Welcome Race Fans 2023 Seeks Artists

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Welcome Race Fans 2023 Seeks Artists


Welcome Race Fans 2023 Seeks Artists

Call to Artists – Request for Qualifications (RFQ)

Project Title: Welcome Race Fans 2023

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

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, December 16, 2022, 8 p.m. EST

Program Specifics

With the wide-ranging success of the Welcome Race Fans collaboration between the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy Arts Council to incorporate Indiana artists and original artwork into the past seven runnings of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge, the Indy Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway are pleased to announce Welcome Race Fans 2023!

The original Welcome Race Fans 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 Indianapolis 500. In the second year of Welcome Race Fans, the field of artists was narrowed to 5, but the mission of the program remains 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 garners attention from regional and national news media, as well as interest from other cities and racetracks around the country including Texas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. Of the 63 original artworks created over the last seven years, many have been sold to new patrons with 100% of the sale proceeds going directly to the artists.

Selected artists will be asked to consider the theme of this year’s race in their artwork: “This is May.” This is May represents all that is special and unique about the many facets of May activity (on and off track) in Indianapolis, lending itself to a phenomenon that can only be described as “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” and furthermore, a marvel that’s only capable at the Racing Capital of the World.

The often-used refrain resonates with core audiences. It’s become more than a tagline in recent years and is a prideful mantra for Indy 500 fans and residents of Indianapolis and Central Indiana.

This year’s program will consist of five artists creating a welcoming 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 racing 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. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will provide the selected artists visual representations for this year’s marketing theme to support their efforts of connecting racing with the arts.

All participating artists will retain ownership and copyright of their work; however, during the months of April, May and June 2023, original artworks will appear in key locations around the city and will be installed during key race events at the Racing Capital of the World. In addition, reproductions of artworks will be used to create various print media including but not limited to: larger-than-life vinyl installations around Central Indiana, on the Indianapolis Artsgarden, on Main Street in Speedway and on other buildings, billboards, banners, and lastly, limited edition commemorative posters/items, 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, visit www.WelcomeRaceFansIndy.org.

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 previous rounds of Welcome Race Fans are eligible to apply, but preference will be given to new applicants.

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 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Though racing imagery is not a requirement, if you choose to include it, the Indy 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:

  • Measurements: A height to width ratio of 2:3 with 16” x 24” being the smallest and 24” x 36” being the largest. Any framing should not increase the overall size by more than 1.5”.
  • Required text: The words “Welcome Race Fans” (without quotes) must appear prominently in the artwork and must be placed horizontally. You may choose to use all uppercase (EXAMPLE) or title case lettering (Example Two). A good list of typography and hand-lettering resources is found at: http://gomedia.com/zine/insights/best-resources-for-typography-and-hand-lettering
    • Those artists who are not accustomed to working with text in their artwork should consult the ACI staff for support.
      Weight: No more than 30 lbs.
  • Hanging: Must be delivered ready to hang using picture wire, D-rings or other standard methods.
  • 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 Indy 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 Indy 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 Indy Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway to reproduce the artwork as part of the project, including the aforementioned print media. Neither the Indy Arts Council nor the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will profit directly from any reproductions of the artist’s work.

All original artworks should be for sale. The Indy 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 Indy Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway will direct potential patrons to WelcomeRaceFansIndy.org to learn more about you and your work.

Selected artists may be asked to speak with news media as well as appear in Indy Arts Council and Indianapolis Motor Speedway photos, videos, and events for promotion of their artwork and the Welcome Race Fans program.

Project Timeline

The project will follow this timeline:

October 24, 2022 – Request for Qualifications Released

December 6, 2023, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. EST** DATE CHANGE ** Virtual Application Workshop (Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85751128508?pwd=RW5uQjVUcVNpUTluT01oa0ZuOVhOUT09)

December 16, 2022, 8 p.m. EST – Request for Qualifications Deadline

By December 23, 2022 – Arts Council Notifies Artists of Selection

Thru January 20, 2023 – Sketch Review. Artists will send in rough, 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.

By March 6, 2023– Completed artworks are dropped off or shipped to the Indy Arts Council office to arrive by this date.

Late April – early July 2022 – Artworks are displayed in key Indianapolis locations and beginning the last two weeks in May will be installed at selection locations around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Print media and other artwork reproduction materials will be distributed or installed around the city.

May 28, 2023 – 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge

By the end of June 2023 – Anticipated return of original artworks to artists


Submission Process

Apply online at https://indyarts.formstack.com/forms/wrf_2023. You will be able to start your application and come back to it later if needed. The form can be completed using a phone.

You will need to provide:

  • Your legal name, and any preferred artist name(s) under which you work
  • Your contact information (land mail address, email address, and phone number; social media handles optional)
  • Names of any proposed collaborators or artist team members
  • Images of past work relevant to this project
    • Website: 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!
    • Upload: 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.
    • 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 http://indyarts.org/resources/category/vendors-list
  • We request demographic information to help us ensure equity in our programming.


Indy Arts Council Equity Statement

The Indy Arts Council is committed to working with the arts and cultural community to cultivate a sector that serves, celebrates, and values every resident of Indianapolis. In pursuit of this vision, we do not predetermine participation on the basis of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. We see a successful arts and cultural community as one where all artists have full access to the robust creative arts resources of our city and in which their varied histories, voices, and life experiences are honored. Our goal is to ensure that at least 39% of Arts Council commissions, artist payments, and contracted services, by both numbers and dollars spent, are directed towards BIPOC artists and service providers. Recent projects have approached and exceeded 50%.

To read the full Arts Council Equity Statement, click here. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please contact Kate Oberreich at koberreich@indyarts.org or call 317-631-3301.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Equity Statement

The “Race for Equality and Change” was announced by Roger Penske and Penske Entertainment President & CEO Mark Miles on July 4, 2020, as a Penske Entertainment strategic plan to foster greater diversity, equity and inclusion in motorsports. The collective program was developed to acknowledge the need for long overdue progress in the motorsports world and to fundamentally change the sport. It launched with a $1 million dollar fund to support immediate action steps. Key areas of focus include: recruiting and developing a diverse workforce through all levels of INDYCAR and IMS; meaningfully increasing the number of minority and women owned businesses that contract with INDYCAR and IMS each year; supporting impactful grassroots youth motorsports programs; diversifying the competitive driver field at the grassroots, Road to Indy and NTT INDYCAR SERIES levels; diversifying employment, leadership and ownership within the SERIES and with INDYCAR promoters; and investment in minority communities to encourage greater engagement with INDYCAR and IMS.



Kate Oberreich



For more information about the Indy Arts Council, please visit www.indyarts.org.