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New Hilton Dual Brand Hotel Seeks Artwork for Exterior

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
New Hilton Dual Brand Hotel Seeks Artwork for Exterior



Sun Development and Management Company (“Sun”), the developer of the new Hilton Dual Brand Hotel at 414 W. Vermont St. in Indianapolis, Indiana, in collaboration with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, is looking for proposals from artists wishing to execute a public artwork for the exterior of the hotel.  This project is part of the City of Indianapolis’ Public Art for Neighborhoods program.

BUDGET:  $50,000 (installation to be done by others)

ELIGIBILITY:  Professional artists over 18 based and working in the U.S.

DEADLINE:  Sunday, May 31, 2020 11:59 p.m. EDT

***NOTE:  This is a Request for Proposals.  Applicants must submit a concept design as part of the application process. Applicants are not compensated for this up-front design work.

Project Description

The Hilton Dual Brand Hotel, currently under construction, combines accommodations for Hilton’s Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites brands into one facility. The contemporary-style hotel with conference facilities incorporates a historic structure dating to 1869, formerly the home of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. As part of Indianapolis’ Public Art for Neighborhoods program, Sun has opted to commission public art for the exterior of the hotel to recognize Bethel’s history, to highlight the role of women in the church’s history, and to recognize the vital role of churchwomen to the AME experience. The artwork will be visible at the intersection of West Street and Vermont St., placed on a large facade at a prominent corner of the new structure.

About Bethel AME Church

The Bethel AME congregation was organized in 1836, the oldest African American congregation in the city and one of the earliest AME congregations in the country. Originally itinerant, the church’s first wood-frame complex was constructed near the intersection of Georgia and Senate Streets (1841), but suffered a series of fires. The congregation was an active part of the Underground Railroad network of safe houses for fleeing slaves before the Civil War, which may have been the cause of most of the fires.

In 1869, to accommodate the influx of African Americans fleeing the south after the war, the congregation completed an all-new brick and stained-glass church at 414 W. Vermont St. and adopted the name Bethel AME Church. It served both a local and a citywide community, and remained an anchor of its neighborhood through decades of physical and social change. Bethel also served as the mother church for a number of AME congregations in the state, and several times hosted the national AME church conference in addition to being the premier hub of African American social and religious life for decades. After a significant renovation in 1974 to serve its growing community, the building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991, the first African American building in Indianapolis to receive the designation.

The church building continued to serve the congregation until 2015, when an unsuccessful campaign to raise funds to repair the structure led the congregation to sell the property to the current developer. The congregation vacated the structure in 2016 and was once more an itinerant group until constructing its new home in 2018.

For a full history of the church, visit,_Indiana) and  For a virtual-reality look inside the historic church prior to the hotel development, visit

Artwork Goals

The intention of the public art is to anchor the south (Vermont St.) façade of the hotel, provide a link to the history of the property, and visually bridge the new and the old sections of the site. The intention is to honor the history of women as part of the church.  The developer has requested conceptual designs that incorporate images of women in traditional African American “Sunday best” church attire, dating back to the church’s founding in the early 19th century.

Artwork Design and Artist Scope of Work

The overall size of the wall is 26 ft. w. x 40 ft. h. The developer envisions the artwork to be a flat application of metal, either bronze, aluminum, brass, or steel, cut out in a design or a series of designs (using either positive or negative space, or a combination) and attached to the hotel structure using 6-inch standoffs. The artist is responsible for designing, fabricating, and delivering the artwork complete with the hardware necessary to attach the artwork to the standoffs. The necessary standoffs will be created and installed on the wall by the developer according to the artist’s specifications, and the developer will install the artwork according to instructions by the artist. The artist need not be present for installation.


  • Request for Proposals launched:  April 17, 2020
  • Artist information and concept designs due:  May 31, 2020 11:59 p.m.
  • Commissioned artist selected and contracted:  by June 15, 2020
  • Design development and coordination with project architect:  June 15 – July 31, 2020*
  • Fabrication:  August-October, 2020*
  • Installation:  Late fall, 2020

*dates tentative; to be confirmed with selected artist

Selection Process

Submissions responsive to this solicitation will be reviewed by a selection panel consisting of representatives from the Arts Council’s Public Art Selection Committee, the developer, the project architect, the surrounding community, and the Bethel AME congregation. Several artists may be selected for a phone or video interview with the developer. One concept will be contracted by the developer to move forward into design development, and the artist will work with the developer and the project architect to finalize the design and coordinate attachment points and structural integrity. The artist will fabricate and deliver the approved artwork and will coordinate with the construction team for installation by others.

Selection Criteria

The following criteria will be used to select the artist and the project that will be pursued to completion:

  • Experience of artist with projects of similar nature, scope, scale, and budget
  • Qualifications and record of artist for producing projects of high quality
  • Aesthetics and approach of the proposed concept
  • Sensitivity of artist’s proposed design to historic context and community
  • Ease of maintenance of proposed artwork
  • Ability of artist to produce a finished artwork in the given timeframe, without delays

What to Submit

  1. Basic artist information:  name, address, contact information, social media information, demographic profile (optional)
  2. Resume or CV highlighting projects of similar scope, scale, and budget: include client name, brief project description, and final cost of artwork
  3. Up to 10 examples of previous work in the style or aesthetic proposed for this project; several of them should have been highlighted in the resume or CV. You must submit at least one example!
  4. Brief (less than 5 typed pages) narrative description of the concept of the artwork proposed for this project, with a discussion of the proposed material, fabrication method, and anticipated maintenance needs of the finished artwork. You can type the information into the form, or attach a document with your description.
  5. Images of the proposed concept: may be hand-drawn or computer-designed. Submit images sufficient to enable a full review of the artistic nature of the design. One of the images should indicate the dimensions of the proposed artwork.  One of the images should place the proposed concept on the project site to indicate relative scale. You can submit up to 5 image files through the form, or submit a PDF document containing multiple images with descriptions. Download project renderings and architectural elevations from this link.
  6. Proposed project budget: please divide the $50,000 allotted amount into the following categories:  artist design fee; supplies and materials (including hardware for attachment of artwork to building); fabrication cost (please indicate whether this is the artist’s labor cost or a subcontracted fabricator); transportation of finished artwork to project site; artist’s personal travel costs; and other costs (please indicate the nature of these other costs).

How to Submit

Submit all materials online via this form. Submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. on May 31, 2020 (EDT). The form will automatically close at that time; submissions left unfinished by the deadline will be discarded.

QUESTIONS? Contact Julia Moore, Director of Public Art, Arts Council of Indianapolis,

PROJECT IMAGES: Download here.


2 comments Add yours

  1. I have found this and work on a drawing for Hilton Dual Brand Hotel exterior RFP.
    I am interested in your color charts, the terracotta or brick color in particular. Having little time to propose, please email if it is possible that color can be the color of the wall before mounting metal shape plates . Also tell me the requirements of those 6″ mounts on my sculpture as far as joinery

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    • I’m sorry–the color of the wall will remain the light/white color and cannot be changed. Also–if you are selected, you will have the opportunity to work with the architectural design team to specify the nature of the mounts, or together choose a commercial standoff project that you can design and fabricate your sculpture to accommodate.


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