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Trades District Parking Garage Seeks Public Art

Posted by City of Bloomington ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Trades District Parking Garage Seeks Public Art




The City of Bloomington, Indiana, through the Bloomington Arts Commission, seeks an artist or artist team to create a unique, durable, site-specific artwork at the Trades District Garage located near downtown Bloomington.  Professional visual artists, designers, and architects, including artists new to the public art field, are invited to submit qualifications for consideration.

BUDGET:  $75,000

ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists age 18 or over

DEADLINE: July 8, 2020

Project Description

The Trades District garage site is located just south of West Tenth Street between the Showers City Hall building and the B-Line Trail.  The Trades District Garage and the City’s new Fourth Street Garage will be the first two garages in Indiana designed and built to achieve Parksmart-certification, based on compliance with guidelines that reduce environmental impact, increase energy efficiency and performance, and manage parking spaces efficiently. The Trades District Parking Garage will add 350 spaces to the inventory of parking spaces downtown upon completion in late 2020 or early 2021.

The garage will serve the 12-acre Trades District, the former site of Showers Brothers Furniture Company complex that has been re-envisioned as the city’s newest economic and cultural destination.  In addition to the business incubator and co-workspace known as The Mill, the site will soon see the transformation of the original Showers Kiln building into a home for established companies and flourishing startups to expand, along with restaurant space.  The City has made additional infrastructure improvements in the district in the form of new streets, walkways, and other environmentally friendly amenities.

There are key areas within the building for the artwork to be located – we are specifically seeking artwork for the interior stairwells of the parking garage.

Project Goals and Values
To commission a signature work of art which:

  • Responds to the building’s unique built environment, and designated areas
  • Reflects a standard of artistic excellence
  • Represents strong and compelling artistic concepts

Fabrication Services

Artists, designers, and architects from all levels of public art experience are encouraged to contact the following vendors. Each has shown interest in
working with artists who respond to the City of Bloomington’s public art projects.

Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Financing

Artists who wish to respond but lack the capital for up-front expenses may be eligible to receive a CDFI business loan. If desired, the City will assist the selected artist/team to pursue funding through a CDFI.

Selection Process

Through review of work submitted, a selection panel shall choose up to three finalists to recommend for the Trades District Garage. The finalists will each be asked to provide further detailed drawings, renderings and or models of a proposed concept and will be compensated with an honorarium. The selected artist/artist team will be contracted to refine the project design. With final design approval the artwork will be installed in coordination with City staff.

Selection Criteria

Applicants must demonstrate the following qualifications and qualities:

  • Successful, creative, innovative in comparable projects or potential for new work to be accomplished in the public sphere
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Ability to understand a locale’s sense of place, and design in a context-sensitive manner
  • Openness to working collaboratively with the project team members and City staff

What to Submit

  1. Letter of Interest (1 page maximum): Summarize your qualifications and qualities relevant to the project.
  2. Conceptual and Material Approach to the Project (1 page maximum): Outline your likely conceptual approach to your work or process, including what types of materials you might use to implement your concept. Drawings are not necessary, but if included, should be submitted on 8 ½ x 11 paper.
  3. Images (Digital Images): Provide one set of 10 images of past work numbered in priority order of desired presentation. Each image must include artist’s name, title of artwork, medium, size, date of artwork completion, location and any project details such as budget, commissioning agency.
    Installations or three-dimensional work may be illustrated by multiple images.
  4. Professional Resume or Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum): Outline your experience as an artist. In the case of a team application, include resumes for each team member. As an abbreviated resume or curriculum vitae, this should be no more than 2 pages. Please submit either a resume or cv, but not both.

How to Submit

  • Please format the items as a single PDF document in the order listed above.
  • Email proposals to with the subject line, RFQ-Trades Garage: ARTIST (or PROJECT TEAM) NAME
  • Packets can be also mailed, though digital submission is preferred:
    Sean Starowitz
    Assistant Director for the Arts
    Department of Economic and Sustainable Development
    401 N. Morton St., Suite 150
    Bloomington, IN 47404
  • Applications received after 5:00 PM on July 8th will not be considered.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Sean Starowitz, or (812) 349-3534


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