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The Palo Alto Public Art Program is seeking the professional services of artists or artist teams working in diverse media who are interested in being considered for a possible commission in the Junior Museum and Zoo (JMZ), located at 1451 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA.
Budget: $150,000 – $200,000.
Eligibility: The call is open to professional artists over the age of 18 residing in the United States. All applicants must have all necessary documentation and permits to work in the United States at the time of submittal of qualifications.
Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo Background
As the Bay Area’s only children’s science center and zoo, the Palo Alto Junior Museum & Zoo (JMZ) is a place where children, ages 0-9 years old, and families explore, wonder and make discoveries about the natural world. Their mission is to engage a child’s curiosity for science and nature.
For visiting children, especially toddlers and preschoolers, they provide multi-sensorial, kinesthetic and play-based exhibits, authentic artifacts, hands-on programs, and live animal encounters designed to connect children to early science concepts. Their exhibit messaging is designed to cultivate connections to the scientific and natural world and introduce conservation issues and solutions.
The JMZ hosts about 150,000 visitors per year. For school-aged children, the museum offers annually 1,200 in-depth and hands-on science lessons and camps to 19,000 preschool and elementary students in local elementary schools, at the museum, and in local open space preserves where students gain concrete experience and practice with scientific methods and theory, and conservation practice.
As the Junior Museum and Zoo approaches its 83rd year, the museum and zoo are constrained by a facility that no longer reflects the needs of its visitors, collections, and operations. A new facility will be built to “right size” the Junior Museum and Zoo to better serve their audience. There are multiple opportunities for an artist to integrate into the project.
Visitor Experience Goals for the new Building:
Public Art Opportunities
It is intended that the public art support the JMZ mission to engage a child’s curiosity for science and nature. There are numerous opportunities for artwork associated with the project. The final artwork must be accessible to the public in the free areas of the JMZ facility. Once selected, the project artist will be able to join the design team to look for further opportunities to integrate artwork, potentially leveraging the budget of elements already in the construction budget. Several spaces that have been identified for the integration of art are:
Additionally, it should be noted that there will be trees removed during the construction process and it is intended that the wood be salvaged and re-integrated into the site. An artist may utilize that material for public art purposes.
The tentative RFQ timeline is as follows:
Artist Selection Criteria and Process
City staff and the selection committee will evaluate the documents provided based on the following criteria:
The selection committee will select 3 to 5 Artists to interview, and select the final artist based on the interview.
How to Apply
All interested artists are invited to submit their qualifications electronically via the CaFÉ™ system. Applicants will be asked to submit the following materials:
QUESTIONS? Contact Ken Mullen, Contract Administrator by email at Kenneth.Mullen@CityofPaloAlto.org
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