Public Art Sought to Honor Barbara Jordan at African American Library

Posted by Houston Arts Alliance ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Public Art Sought to Honor Barbara Jordan at African American Library
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The Civic Art Program of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA) requests the submission of qualifications from artists or artist-teams to design, fabricate, and install an outdoor artwork that will be a tribute to the life and legacy of educator and civic leader Barbara Jordan.

Budget: $235,000
Eligibility:  Professional artists over 18 living and working in the United States
Deadline: 09/23/2019 11:59 PM Central Time

Project Description
The Civic Art Program of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs (MOCA), requests the submission of qualifications from artists or artist-teams for consideration to design, fabricate, and install an outdoor artwork that will be a tribute to the life and legacy of educator and civic leader Barbara Jordan.

Artwork must be family friendly, suitable for public display, and free of safety hazards. Artwork must meet or exceed City of Houston ADA requirements. Artwork should be resistant to graffiti and vandalism and require minimal maintenance. Artwork must have an expected life span of 20 years.

Exterior artwork may be a sculpture, structure, or other artistic intervention located near the front entrance to the building that faces Cleveland Street. The artwork will be visible to all visitors of the library and to pedestrians and cars in the area.

Lighting, sound, seating, planters, or other infrastructure may be an element in the work. With approval, the artist may propose using the hardscaped area, pavers, grassy area just west of the entrance (see link below), or another area within the site.

Site History
Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) was a politician and educator born Houston, Texas and raised in Houston’s Fifth Ward. Jordan attended Texas Southern University, where she graduated magna cum laude and received a law degree from Boston University. After teaching at the Tuskegee Institute, she opened a law practice in Houston and became active in politics. After running twice unsuccessfully for state office, she won election to the Texas Senate in 1966 to become the first black state senator since 1883. In 1972 Jordan successfully ran for the United States House of Representatives from the Eighteenth Texas District in Houston. She was the first black woman from a Southern state to serve in Congress and the first of two African Americans to be elected to Congress from the South in the twentieth century. In 1979, after three terms in Congress, Jordan retired from politics to accept the Lyndon Baines Johnson Public Service Professorship at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin where she taught courses on intergovernmental relations, political values, and ethics. She served as ethics advisor to Governor Ann Richards in the early 1990s. She succumbed to pneumonia and leukemia in Austin on January 17, 1996.

The African American Library at the Gregory School is currently established as a Special Collections archive of The Houston Public Library (HPL). The Gregory School library serves the City’s culturally diverse community in the historic Gregory Institute building in Houston’s Freedman’s Town neighborhood of Fourth Ward. The facility is a one-of-a-kind research and cultural center, providing valuable information to the Houston community and the entire world. The Gregory Institute was opened in 1870 after the Texas Legislature created public schools for African Americans. By 1872, after the Freedmen’s Bureau schools closed, most students and teachers moved to the Gregory Institute. In 1876, the Gregory Institute became a part of the Houston Independent School District. It was one of the first official public education institutions for African American children in Texas. The Gregory Institute operated out of wooden buildings until the current brick structure opened in 1926. It served the community until 1984. This historic building was reconditioned to serve as a repository for use by historians, researchers, and the general public. The library provides an incomparable variety of resources including reference books, rare books, archival materials, exhibits, artifacts, oral histories, and innovative programs. With community participation, this facility is a one-of-a-kind research and cultural center, providing valuable information to the Houston community and the entire world.

Artwork Goals
Artwork should create a space or environment that invites community interaction with the artwork and incorporates themes central to Barbara Jordan’s life and legacy. Artwork should be consistent with Houston Public Library’s vision to be a vital member of a dynamic and diverse local, national, and global community. Artwork should respond to the history and architecture of the renovated, historic library and location within Houston’s Freedmen’s Town.
Artwork should make a significant artistic addition to the City Art Collection, helping to make the Gregory School a destination for visitors to learn, enjoy and be inspired by the life and legacy of Barbara Jordan.

Timeline

  • RFQ released: Week of July 29, 2019
  • Information Session*: Wednesday, August 21, 2019, 6:00 PM @ HAA (3201 Allen Parkway)
  • Information Session*: Saturday, August 24, 2019, 11:00 AM @ Favrot Auditorium at the Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (5101 Montrose Blvd)
  • Deadline for questions: Wednesday, September 11, 2019
  • RFQ deadline: Monday, September 23, 2019
  • RFQ notification: Friday, October 18, 2019
  • RFP released to finalists: Friday, October 18, 2019
  • RFP deadline: Monday, November 18, 2019
  • Artist proposal presentations: Week of November 18, 2019; Date TBD
  • Selection and Approvals: November 18 – December 31, 2019
  • Selected artist notified by HAA: Monday, January 6, 2020
  • Contract released to artist by: Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Project design, fabrication, and installation: February 2020 – Winter 2020
  • Project Completion: Winter 2020

*HAA will host these two (2) artist information sessions about the open call. Click here for more details and to register for a session: https://houstonartsalliance.wufoo.com/forms/k1o9pl1y0ljyx89/

Selection Process
A panel comprised of arts professionals, stakeholders, and community representatives will review qualified submissions. Three (3) short-listed artists will be commissioned to create concept designs and paid a $2,000.00 stipend, as well as a limited travel reimbursement to present their concept design to the artist Selection Panel. Concept designs must show the concept for the artwork, respond to the scope, identify materials, and demonstrate the artwork can be made for the commission budget, including artist’s fees.

What to Submit

The following submission materials are required:

  1. Artist(s) resume or CV, relevant information for any other key team members (3 pages maximum per team member).
  2. Letter of intent that includes contact information and interest and ability to complete the project (1,000 words maximum.)
  3. Biography/artist statement (500 words maximum).
  4. Digital images of completed commissions/artworks. Applicants should submit up to 10 images in JPEG format only, with each image no larger than 5 MB. Image files should be titled to matched the number on the image list. or example: “ArtistLastName_1,” ArtistLastName_2,” etc.
  5. Image list including artist, title, year completed, dimensions, material, commissioning entity, and budget or price (as applicable) for each image provided. The image list should be numbered to match the uploaded digital images of completed commissions/artworks (see above). (6) Contact information for three professional references, one page maximum.

NOTE: All documents should be in at least a 12 point font, single-spaced, with at least a ½” margin.

How to Submit

Submit ONLINE ONLY via Submittable.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Jimmy Castillo, civicart@haatx.com

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