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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.
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 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethel_A.M.E._Church_(Indianapolis,_Indiana) and https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/underground/in1.htm For a virtual-reality look inside the historic church prior to the hotel development, visit https://comet.soic.iupui.edu/bethel/index.php/pages/story
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.
*dates tentative; to be confirmed with selected artist
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.
The following criteria will be used to select the artist and the project that will be pursued to completion:
What to Submit
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
PROJECT IMAGES: Download here.
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