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Welcome Race Fans 2021 Program Seeks GIF Artists

Posted by Arts Council of Indianapolis ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Welcome Race Fans 2021 Program Seeks GIF Artists


Welcome Race Fans 2021 Seeks GIF Artists
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Project Title: Welcome Race Fans 2021
Budget (per artist): $1,500 total ($1,000 artist GIF commission plus $500 for still image)
Deadline for SubmissionsFebruary 28, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST

Program Specifics

With the wide-ranging success of the 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 five runnings of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge celebrations, we are pleased to announce Welcome Race Fans 2021. The original concept called for the commission of 33 paintings by 33 Indiana artists to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime event, the 100th Running of the Indy 500. 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. 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.

NEW for 2021: In an effort to build on the success of the previous five years, we are announcing this year’s program will expand to include artists working in the digital art realm!  This year, the program will consist of five artists creating a version of a “Welcome Race Fans” sign using the animated GIF format (moving graphic images). These GIFs will be featured on Indianapolis Motor Speedway social channels, web properties, and onsite digital locations during the Month of May! The Arts Council and IMS will also work with several local partners to ensure the artwork is displayed around the city at various potential locations such as Shining a Light on the Circle, IndyGo bus screens, and many more.

Artwork Considerations and Requirements


This project is meant to showcase the original styles of Indiana artists while welcoming all fans for the citywide celebration of the 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Selected artists will be asked to create a five second GIF of their take on “Welcome Race Fans” while also incorporating themes surrounding the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Race for Equality and Change Initiative. Each of the commissioned GIFs will encompass the traditions surrounding IMS, woven with themes of inclusion, pushing the boundaries to embrace gender identity, sexual orientation, cultural views, equality, diversity, equity, activism, and more. The goal for the five artworks is to creatively celebrate both the history of the Racing Capital of the World and its current emphasis on increasing inclusivity and opportunity in motorsports.  The final GIF artworks should address the question: How are we welcoming ALL race fans?

When you’re thinking about IMS traditions, here are some examples of past traditions as well as words to associate with developing themes:

Milk bottles, Wreath, Speed, Bricks, Fuel, Borg-Warner Trophy, Fans, Champion, Military, Drivers, Engines

Women, Diversity, Race, Global, Unity, Technology, Youth, Latinx, BIPOC, Accessibility, Sustainability

As with previous years, racing imagery need NOT be included in the final artwork. If the artist chooses to include racing imagery, it 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.

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 images  and other material with required permissions. All participating artists will retain ownership and copyright in their work.

In addition, Artists are expected to also supply one static image containing all GIF visual elements. These static images may be used to create reproductions of artworks for various print media including but not limited to: A limited run of takeaway 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 five 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 Indiana
  • Be willing to meet all contractual obligations and adhere to a strict timeline
  • Previous selected Welcome Race Fans artists are welcome to re-apply.

Completed artwork should adhere to the following standards:

  • Specs for final GIF:
    • At least five seconds long
    • During the contract period, artists may be requested to provide updated GIF sizes/formats for other display opportunities as they arise. Here are some examples of known sizes/formats:
      • IMS digital screens and social channels:
        • 3840 X 2160 UHD
        • 1920 x 1080
      • Shining a Light specs:
        • 4000 x 4000 at 72 dpi
  • Static Image for Printing: Each artist must also supply IMS/Arts Council with a static image that has all/most GIF elements included
  • Required text: The words “Welcome Race Fans” (without quotes) must appear in the GIF and must appear horizontally. This may be included in English or any other language. You may choose to use all uppercase (EXAMPLE) or title case lettering (Example Two). A good list of typography resources is found at:  Those artists who are not accustomed to working with text in their artwork should consult the ACI staff for support.
  • 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 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 $1,500 per artist.  ($1,000 GIF commission plus $500 for still image containing all/most GIF elements to be printed as a commemorative poster.)

Artists are expected to cover all expenses for materials, supplies, labor, photography, and equipment needed to complete and deliver their artwork. 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 may be for sale. Sites like and specialize in the sale, trade, and collection of single-edition digital artworks. The Arts Council will not take a commission if the original artwork is sold. The Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will direct potential patrons to to learn more about selected artists and their work.

Project Timeline

The project will follow this timeline:

February 11, 2021 – Request for Qualifications Released

February 28, 2021, 11:59 p.m. EST – Request for Qualifications Deadline

By March 5, 2021 – Arts Council Notifies Artists of Selection

Through March 12, 2021 – Sketch Review. Artists will send in preliminary rough sketches/concepts 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 9, 2021 – Completed “Welcome Race Fans” GIFs are delivered to the Arts Council by this date

Late April – May 2021 – “Welcome Race Fans” artworks are displayed in key Indianapolis locations and beginning the last two weeks in April and May. Print media and other artwork reproduction materials will be distributed and displayed around the city.

May 30, 2021 – 105th Running of the Indianapolis 500

How to Apply

Apply online at You will be able to start your application and come back to it later if needed. The form will be able to be completed using a phone.

You will need to provide:

  • Your legal name, and any preferred artist names you work under
  • Your contact information (land mail address, email address, and phone number; social media handles optional)
  • Names of any proposed collaborators or team members
  • Images of past work relevant to this project
    • If you have a website, you can provide a link to it so we can review your work
    • Instagram or other social media account links you provide should be dedicated to showcasing your artwork–please do not link to your personal social media!
    • If you do not have a website, please attach between 5 and 10 examples of relevant past work to the application form.
      • Attachments can be individual GIFs, JPG/JPEG, PNG, BMP, TIF, or PSD  images. NOTE: Total uploaded files may not exceed 25 MB.
  • OPTIONAL: If you have an idea for your GIF, you can describe it. Do not include any sketches or any designs at this time!
  • OPTIONAL: You may provide your demographic information to help us ensure equity in our programming.

Delivery of Submissions

The application form must be filled out and submitted by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, February 28, 2021.


Email Lindsey Lord, Director of Artist Services and Gallery 924 at

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

For more information about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, please visit


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