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University of Northern Iowa Seeks Artist for College of Education Commisson

Posted by University of Northern Iowa ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
University of Northern Iowa Seeks Artist for College of Education Commisson


The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) in Cedar Falls, Iowa has issued this RFQ to commission an artist or artist led team to produce a two-dimensional and/or three-dimensional artwork for permanent installation in the designated sites within or near Schindler Education Center. The University of Northern Iowa’s College of Education is housed in Schindler Education Center which prepares teachers to educate, serve and lead classrooms in the 21st Century.

A minimum of $100,000 is anticipated to be available for this project. The exact budget will be provided to finalists prior to the development of their concepts. This project is funded through the State of Iowa, Art in State Buildings Program.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) project competition is open to all professional public artists or artist teams, including those who are new to the field of public art, from throughout the United States. Artists from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply for this project. Artists are allowed to apply in teams. Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.

Site History
The University of Northern Iowa is a four-year, comprehensive university that prides itself on putting “Students First” and has a reputation for providing exceptional undergraduate education, as well as complementary programs at the master’s, specialist, and doctoral levels. Building on its historic excellence in teacher education, the university has developed outstanding programs in business, natural sciences, humanities and fine arts, and social and behavioral sciences. One of three state universities, UNI enjoys national recognition for its high educational standards. U.S. News and World Report has ranked UNI second among Midwest public universities for 13 consecutive years. The university’s size – around 12,000 students – allows it to offer faculty, facilities and academic choices of a large university, while retaining a friendly, small-college atmosphere on a compact, park-like campus. For more information, see

Project Description
The renovated Schindler Education Center building will include technologically-enhanced classrooms; seating that is mobile, variable and conducive to learning; and an environment that encourages receptivity and collaboration amongst students, staff and faculty. It follows a philosophy the students need to feel welcome, affirmed and connected to environments that model the instructional methods to be carried into the preK-12 classroom. The UNI Art and Architecture Committee’s focus is building a collection of public art works that encourages a global perspective. This focus in not meant to exclude any aesthetic or conceptual direction determined by the artist, but rather encourage the production of artwork that contributes to an expanded worldview. The selection committee is interested in permanent durable materials that support the artist’s vision. The campus is not interested in materials with inherent technological obsolescence, such as components utilizing video or other electronic media that will be challenging to maintain in the future due to rapidly evolving technology.

In addition, the selection committee is interested in artwork that might:

  • Function as collection or a body of work—multiple images or objects located throughout the space.
  • Changes and/or is revealed over time.
  • Contains multiple layers of metaphoric meaning.
  • Has a strong intellectual and poetic dimension.
  • Is timeless and bears repeated viewing over time.
  • Is complex enough to allow viewers to learn from it over time and provides a sense of discovery

The primary sites for the artwork include: exterior spaces adjacent to the new West Entrance, the NW facing exterior second and third story walls, and a two story high atrium interior site adjacent to the main lobby.

This new main entrance to Schindler Education Center is designed to be friendly, open, day lit and sky lit – welcoming to those coming in from the community, the region and the state, and aspirational in our efforts to truly make a difference through education.

Selection Process
Up to three artists (or teams of artists) will be selected to prepare conceptual designs for this project. These proposals will then be submitted to the UNI Art & Architecture Committee with the opportunity to interview the finalists in person or by phone at that time. Once the proposals are reviewed, final selection will take place as quickly as possible and the selected artist will be notified.

Selection Criteria
Artist selection will be based on:

  • Appropriateness of the artist’s past work as it relates to this project
  • Quality of work samples
  • Durability of the artwork relative to environment, theft and vandalism
  • Ability of the artist to meet deadlines
  • Interest level of the artist, as expressed in the cover letter
  • Experience and accomplishments



  • Applications due: November 30, 2016
  • Selection of finalists: December 8, 2016
  • Conceptual designs due: January 15, 2017
  • Construction completion and installation of the artwork: August 1, 2017


Applicant Process

To be considered for the Schindler Renovation Public Art Project, please submit one copy each of the following items:

  • Brief letter of interest: Not to exceed one page. Describe your interest in the project and general vision or plan for the artwork. Explain any relevant details to your involvement, such as your process, medium and method by which you create your work.
  • A CD of recent artwork or projects: Include 10-15 images of relevant art projects and work. Please label the images (LastNameFirstInitial_Image Number).
  • Annotated image list: Complete image descriptions that include the title, medium, size, date and budget that corresponds with the image number of the CD.
  • Resume: Professional resume.
  • References: Names and contact information for three professional references familiar with your experience and/or potential in the field of public art.


How to Submit

Send application materials BY MAIL to:

Steve Carignan, Chair
Art and Architecture Committee
University of Northern Iowa
Gallagher-Bluedorn PAC 13B
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0801



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