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Welcome Race Fans 2020 Seeks Artists

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Welcome Race Fans 2020 Seeks Artists


Welcome Race Fans 2020 Seeks Artists

Call to Artists – Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Project Title: Welcome Race Fans 2020

Budget (per artist): $2,000 total ($1,500 original artwork commission, $500 licensing fee.)

Deadline for Submissions: Monday, January 27, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Program Specifics

With the wide-ranging success of the inaugural Welcome Race Fans collaboration between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Arts Council of Indianapolis to incorporate Indiana artists and original artwork into the past four runnings of the Indy 500 celebrations, we are pleased to announce Welcome Race Fans 2020. The original concept called for the commission of 33 paintings by 33 Indiana artists to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime event, the 100th Running of the Indy 500. In the second year of Welcome Race Fans, the field of artists was narrowed to 5, but the mission of the program was the same: to highlight one of the most visible and iconic visuals associated with May in Indianapolis – the blanketing of the city with “Welcome Race Fans” signs. The art program garnered attention from news media regionally and nationally as well as interest from other cities and racetracks around the country including the Texas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and The Grand Prix held in St. Petersburg, Florida. Out of the 48 original artworks created over the last 4 years, 15 have sold to new patrons with100% of the proceeds from the sale of these artworks went directly to the artists.

NEW in 2020: In an effort to build on the success of the previous four years, we are announcing this year’s program will expand to celebrate not only the 104th Running of the Indy 500, but also the Big Machine Vodka Brickyard 400 on the 5th of July. For 2020, the program will consist of five artists creating a version of a “Welcome Race Fans” sign in their own unique materials, process, and style. As with previous years, racing imagery need NOT be included in the final artwork. However, if the artist chooses to include racing imagery, it should not be specific to a particular race, but rather, should reflect the overarching race culture that is so prevalent in Indianapolis. That same culture that celebrates motorsports in general and its significant impact on our city can be incorporated into the artwork.

All participating artists will retain ownership and copyright in their work, however, during the months of May, June and early July 2020, original artworks will appear in key locations around the city and will be installed during key race events at the iconic Pagoda at the Speedway. In addition, reproductions of artworks will be used to create various print media including but not limited to: Larger-than-life vinyl installations on the Artsgarden, on the Allison Building on Main Street in Speedway and other buildings, billboards, banners, and lastly, limited edition commemorative posters, which will be shared with the community as visual reminders of the highly visible collaboration of art & motorsports. Artists will be given credit on any reproductions of their artwork.

To learn more about the program and see the wide range of artworks commissioned in last three years, visit

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for this program, artists must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Work as a professional artist or artist team
  • Live in or have very strong ties to central Indiana
  • Be willing to meet all contractual obligations and adhere to a strict timeline
  • Artists from the first round of Welcome Race Fans are welcome to re-apply.

Artwork Considerations and Requirements

Artists will be asked to create an artwork with imagery and materials of their choosing.  The imagery does not necessarily need to be racing related. This project is meant to showcase the original styles of Indiana artists while welcoming visitors to Indy for the citywide celebration of the 104th running through the Brickyard 400. Though racing imagery is not a requirement, if you choose to include it, the Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will advise artists on how to properly use copyrighted photos and other material with required permissions.

Completed artwork should adhere to the following standards:

  • NEW: Measurements:  A height to width ratio of 1:2 with 12” x 24” being the smallest and 24” x 48” being the largest. Any framing should not increase the overall size by more than .5”.
  • Weight: No more than 30 lbs.
  • Hanging: Must be delivered ready to hang using picture wire, D-rings, or other standard methods.
  • Required text: The words “Welcome Race Fans” (without quotes) must appear in the artwork and must be placed horizontally. You may choose to use all uppercase (EXAMPLE) or title case lettering (Example Two). Uppercase letters should be at least 6” tall. A good list of typography and hand-lettering resources is found at: Those artists who are not accustomed to working with text in their artwork should consult the ACI staff for support.
  • Materials: Artists are not limited to 2D materials, however, any 3D elements should not protrude more than 3” from the wall when hung.
  • Framing: If your artwork needs framing to be protected, frames should be minimal and simple. The Arts Council will discuss framing with the artists selected to participate.
  • Content: Artwork should be appropriate for all audiences.

Selection Process

Once qualifications are received from interested artists, representatives from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will assist the Arts Council Artist Services and Public Art team in reviewing artists’ qualifications and making artist selections. Selected artists will be notified shortly thereafter.


The artist fee for the project is a flat $2,000 per artist.  ($1,500 for the commissioning of an original work of art, and $500 for the licensing of the artwork for reproduction purposes.)

Artists are expected to cover all expenses for materials, supplies, labor, photography, and equipment needed to complete and ship/deliver their artwork and a high-quality digital photograph of it for reproduction purposes. The fee also includes compensation for licensing the Arts Council to reproduce the artwork as part of the project, including the aforementioned print media. Neither the Arts Council nor the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will profit directly from any reproductions of the artist’s work.

All original “Welcome Race Fans” artworks should be for sale. The Arts Council staff will make every effort to try to sell the artwork during the program, and will not take a commission if artwork is sold. Artists will receive 100% of the sale price of the artwork.  The Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will direct potential patrons to to learn more about you and your work.

Project Timeline

The project will follow this timeline:

January 15, 2020 – Request for Qualifications Released

January 27, 2020, 6 p.m. EST – Request for Qualifications Deadline

Week of February 3, 2020 – Arts Council Notifies Artists of Selection

Thru March 1, 2019 – Sketch Review. Artists will send in preliminary sketches for approval. Turning in sketches earlier during this window is encouraged, as it will allow for more time for the artist to complete the final artwork.

April 1, 2020 – Completed “Welcome Race Fans” artworks are dropped off or shipped to the Arts Council office to arrive by this date.

Late April – early July 2020 – “Welcome Race Fans” artworks are displayed in key Indianapolis locations and beginning the last two weeks in May will be installed at the Pagoda at the IMS.  Print media and other artwork reproduction materials will be distributed or installed around the city.

May 24, 2020 – 104rd Running of the Indianapolis 500

July 5, 2020 – Brickyard 400

Mid July – Anticipated return of original artworks to artists

Submission Process

Artists must submit the following information via or (Send the link or transfer to

  • Applicant Information: Fill out and submit the form at
  • Work Samples and Work Sample List: Submit examples of past work from the last 5 years that best represents your experience, style, and ability. Include a list of the work samples included and as much information about each of the samples as possible (include name/title of piece, medium, process, dimensions, year completed, and any other pertinent information). Name your submitted digital files according to the following format: FirstLast_01.jpg, FirstLast_02.jpg, etc. Here is an example of a Work Sample entry:
    • 1. Searching and Finding, acrylic on canvas, 3’ x 4’, 2009, JaneArtist_01.jpg.
      • Digital images (up to 10)
      • Jpeg files ONLY
      • Image Size: Good quality, no smaller than 72 dp
      • No larger than 1MB each

All images should be professional quality photographs of your work. If you need a referral to a professional photographer who specializes in working with artists, please view the Artist Resources Directory at

Delivery of Submissions

All required materials must be received by 5:00 pm (EST) on Monday, January 27, 2020. Send the link or transfer to

Contact Information

Lindsey Lord
Artist Services and Special Projects Manager

For more information about the Arts Council of Indianapolis, please visit


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