Fran Huettig Public Art Project Seeks Artists

Fran Huettig Public Art Project Seeks Artists



 Unknown, Kentucky, Unknown

The Fund for the Arts and Louisville Metro Government, in conjunction with the Commission on Public Art (COPA), are inviting artists to develop and implement a community-engaged public art project in Louisville’s Russell neighborhood in the fall of 2016. The Fran Huettig Public Art Project is the first of five public art projects to be commissioned in west Louisville over the next five years. The Huettig project is a partnership between the Fund for the Arts, Louisville Metro Government and COPA. The project series is funded through private donors, in memory of the late Fran Huettig, a supporter of public art and long-time employee of the Fund for the Arts.

This RFI is an open call for artists working in visual art, performance, written and spoken word, site-specific interventions, sound, and digital media. Professional artists who are new to the field of public art and/or have experience interacting with the community are encouraged to apply. This RFI is open to professional artists and designers nationally, working individually or as a team.

The historic Russell neighborhood is located west of downtown Louisville from 9th to 32nd Streets going east to west, and from Market Street to Broadway going north to south. From the turn of the century to the 1960s, Russell was a well-established neighborhood known as “Louisville’s Harlem”; the neighborhood included America’s first library open to African-Americans, the offices of The Louisville Defender publication, and Central High School (once Louisville’s African American High School). Despite suffering recurrent disinvestment following an epic flood in the 1930s and failed urban renewal efforts in the 1960s, Russell’s strong and distinctive neighborhood identity remains. Russell’s central location, major corridors, and recent transformative civic and private investments make this community a catalyst for significant change throughout Louisville. 

The Fran Huettig Public Art Project is an opportunity for artists to work with community members as well as with the Louisville Metro department of Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods’ initiatives, including One Love Louisville, a comprehensive strategy to reduce overdose, suicide and homicide rates; and Zones of Hope, a strategy for transforming a culture of violence into a culture of hope. This commission is for a long-term project, sited for five or more years.

The total budget for the project’s first year is $20,000.

Successful projects will consider the following goals:

  • Interpret and express the unique identity of the Russell neighborhood
  • Work in collaboration with community members to capture and develop a visual expression referencing the past, present and future of Russell
  • Invite dialog and interaction in a public space
  • Create public art that appeals to a broad audience

From the submitted responses to this RFI, up to three artists or artist teams will be selected to interview with the selection panel. The final artist or artist team will be selected based upon their submittal and the interview.

Criteria for artist selection includes:

  • Artistic excellence – Does the quality of previous work submitted demonstrate compatibility with the project series?
  • Project goals – Does the previous work submitted demonstrate an ability to create artwork that responds to the goals of the project?
  • Approach – Applicants are asked to submit a brief letter describing their interest in the project, how they would approach the project, what ideas they would like to explore, and confirming their availability to meet the project timeline. Does the applicant clearly articulate their ideas and understanding of the project? Are the ideas they are interested in exploring compelling and relevant?
  • Experience – This project will require projects to be designed, fabricated, installed, de-installed, and performed on time and on budget. Does the applicant have proven experience (confirmed by submitted references) to execute this project?

The selected artist or artist team  will propose a project budget that includes all costs of creating the artwork, including but not limited to artist fees, travel, design, insurance, engineering, fabrication, site-work, shipping, installation costs, community engagement expenses, and artwork maintenance for at least five years. In addition, the selected artist(s) will be expected to lead and participate in community events related to the development of the project. The commissioned project will be initiated in the fall of 2016.

Anticipated Timeline (dates subject to change)

  • Thursday, June 9, 2016                                  Submissions Due
  • By June 27, 2016                                            Artists Selected
  • Week of July 11, 2016                                     Artist Site Visits
  • August 2016                                                    Artist Present Concept Proposals (specific dates TBD)
  • Fall of 2016                                                      Installation and Unveiling 


To Submit

Please send the following materials by June 9, 2016:

  • A brief letter describing your interest in the projects you are applying for, how you would approach the project, what ideas you would like to explore, and confirming your availability to meet the project timeline. 
  • A CV/resume and the names, titles, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of 3 to 5 references that we can contact.
  • Up to 15 jpeg images and/or up to 3 video samples documenting previous work (please provide links to online videos, do not include digital video files).
  • A corresponding image/video list with title, medium, dimensions, brief description, location, date of work, commissioning entity and budget.

Please send or email your materials to:

Sarah Lindgren

Public Art Administrator

Metro Development Center

444 S. 5th Street, Suite 600

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

Please save written materials as a PDF and images in JPEG format (at least 300 dpi). You may send us your materials on USB flash drive, compact disk (CD), or via email. If you email, please use a file sharing service such as an FTP or Dropbox. If you have any questions, please email or call Sarah at 502.574.1554.