Request for Proposals - Sign/Sculpture Project

Posted by The City of West Lafayette ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Request for Proposals - Sign/Sculpture Project


Request for Proposals – Happy Hollow Park Sign/Sculpture Projects

The City of West Lafayette (Indiana) announces an exciting opportunity to create unique public sculptures. In order to create points of interest for the community, surrounding businesses and Purdue University students, staff and faculty, the city’s Public Arts Team, with funding from theWest Lafayette Redevelopment Commission, is supervising a public art project in Happy Hollow Park in West Lafayette.

Happy Hollow Park is the crown jewel of our parks department with 81 acres with its ravines, creek and trails. It has two accessible playgrounds, five shelters and open space for picnics. It is home to walkers, runners, skateboarders, dog walkers, and people wanting to sled or play volleyball.

Scope of the project
The Public Arts Team seeks an artist, team of artists, or design firm to create a permanent public artwork at the Entrance to Happy Hollow Park with 3 smaller sculptures at the pedestrian entrances.

  • The sculptures should embody the spirit of Happy Hollow Park. Public input was gathered and is attached (Appendix A)
  • The works will be on top of the same sign base design that was used for “Heron” but with different text. The color can change. The plans for that base are attached (Appendix B). Sign should read “Happy Hollow Park West Lafayette Parks and Recreation”
  • The larger work will be positioned near the trail and drive leading into the park from Happy Hollow Road. Artwork at this site can be as large as 15 feet long and 25 feet tall for impact and visibility. This site is currently under construction. Installation of this larger piece will take place in 2019 but the sculpture will be kept in storage until that time.
  • The three smaller pieces will be positioned at trail entrances: 1) Kingston/Rose, 2) Indian Trail and 3) Salisbury Streets. Artwork at these sites can be as large as 8 feet long and 10 feet tall for impact and visibility. They will be installed in 2018. Refer to Appendix C.
  • All four pieces should be unique but related to one another.

Artwork should not project out into the pedestrian walkways. Due to their vulnerability and concerns for visibility and public safety, loose accessories should be avoided. Avoid moving and easily damaged parts. Maintenance should be a factor.


  • Budget should be appropriate to the scope of the project. Projects ranging from $70,000- 80,000 are sought and the committee envisions successful projects at any level within that range. Lighting of the artwork for safety and nighttime appeal will be addressed by the city but should be planned for in the design of the sculpture.

The Public Arts Team will select the winning proposal based upon aesthetic appeal, successful artist experience with similar projects, considerations of practicality and public safety, appropriateness to the site, and durability.

Successful proposals should:

  • engage with the life that occurs in the setting
  • allow for clear sightlines and pedestrian accessibility, in accordance with the Americans
    with Disabilities Act
  • not interfere with overhead utilities


A sealed envelope containing the completed and signed application form (included with this RFP) shall be mailed to:
The West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission
Happy Hollow Park Sign/Sculpture Project
222 N. Chauncey, Room 102
West Lafayette, IN 47906

It must be received by 4:30 PM on September 19th and will be opened at the Redevelopment Commission meeting on September 20th at 8:30 AM.

The rest of the proposal should be submitted in digital format. Please submit:

  • typed project proposal (1-3 pages, including a proposed time frame/work plan);
  • resume/curriculum vitae;
  • up to 10 digital images of recent artwork or comparable projects; and either detailed sketches of the proposed artwork or 3D model (should not exceed 18” L x 12” W x 12” H).

Submission materials should be sent to the address listed above as digital files on disk or via Dropbox to – 3D models can be mailed or dropped off to the address above. Materials will not be mailed back to artists but can be retrieved at the close of the competition with advance notice. Proposal models and sketches for the chosen submission will become property of the City of West Lafayette. Please label all submission materials with the artist’s contact information including name, address, phone number and email.

The artist retains ownership of submitted design concepts until a selection has been made and a contract signed. The resulting artwork will become the property of the City of West Lafayette. Images of the work may be used in publicity for local municipalities and the University. The selected artist must carry his or her own insurance during the installation process.

Submission Schedule
All proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. September 19 . The Public Arts Team will then jury proposals and notify applicants of the decision by October 11th.

Please contact Eric Lucas, chair of the Public Arts Team at for additional

Potential area fabricators include:
Smock Fansler Corporation

Bo-Mar Industries

Appendix A – Citizen Input

  • Sledding
  • Trolley
  • Large tree with small sculptures of a leaf with dew, an acorn, and one of the tree’s flowers.
  • What about a steel slab cut and bent polygonally to be interesting with a silhouette of the
    State or City tree cut out, then each of the other sculptures could be a leaf or bough of a
    particular indigenous tree also found there. You could extend this further by using positive
    leaves in a similar bronze color/material as trail markers and rename the trails for each
  • A Sundial sculpture that is also interesting to look at- reminds you the Sun shining there is
    one of the unique values. Each other sculpture could be another agronomic instrument as
    art- like a rain gauge, wind speed gauge, light calendar, or wind direction.
  • What if the main sculpture was kinetic and was like a large, mild-sounding wind chime.
    Each other sculpture could be a smaller chime in a different key. Maybe they’re positioned
    in such a way to capture wind from the 4 cardinal directions independently, or a plaque
    shares details on the names or origins of local wind currents or poetry of what the wind
    carries as metaphor.
  • Maybe for the kids the main sculpture is of a fictional character that built the park 200
    years ago, or used to stay up at night cooking fish from the Wabash River or whatever- and
    each other sculpture extends this fiction- like a banjo he used to play or maybe even a piece
    of metal like a tuning fork that hums in the wind to mimic him. It’s like the fairy gardens but
    not as childish.
  • What if the sculpture was interactive- something simple but maybe a series of metal
    paddles that could be rotated to make shapes or they’re hinged to stack in a variety of ways
    based on the order from the outside in. Like a hiking cairn, it’s a reminder other people are
    there sharing the park with you, or even working together and getting to know one
    another. Each other sculpture could be a way to remind others you’ve been there- like a
    slab of oxidized iron made to have your name scratched in, or a rod that rotates and counts
    on a dial the number of times it has been turned, or something you step in that measures
    the size of your feet and those with you and stays until the next person resizes them.
  • What if the main sculpture was very large- like a stack of wooden blocks fixed together, and
    each subsequent sculpture was one or two of the same blocks to show each are a part of the
    whole. Maybe other blocks from the original sculpture or hidden among the trails and turns
    of the park in the same material as well.

Appendix B – See images

Appendix C – See images
Indian Trail:
Location is visible to pedestrians and trail users. Sign should be oriented parallel to the road (or at a very slight angle). Sign will not be lit. Sign would be located on east side of walkway leading into park.

Location is visible to cars and pedestrians. This sign could be 12’ tall. Sign should be perpendicular to the road. Sign will be lit. Sign would replace existing timber wall.


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