Downtown Gary, IN Seeks Public Artwork

Downtown Gary, IN Seeks Public Artwork


 Gary, IN, Unknown

The purpose of the Gary Public Art Competition is to give artists living in Gary and the surrounding region an opportunity to undertake the challenge of creating a work of art in a public space within Gary, Indiana. With the support of the City of Gary and the Legacy Foundation through the Knight Donor Advised Fund, funding has been allocated for the competition. Projects may be multi-disciplinary, multi-media, and/or collaborative. They may involve movement, sound, light, technology, and/or be multi-sensory, as long as it does not pose a threat to public safety. Prior to final funding the project must adhere to all relevant city permitting processes and ordinances.

Budget: $3,000-$25,000 (8 artists/projects will be selected)

Eligibility:  Applicants must be over 18 years of age and have a demonstrated connection to the City of Gary (live, work, family, childhood, etc).  Artists are allowed to apply in teams. Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.

Deadline: 06/30/2017 5:00 PM Central Time

Artwork Goals
A public space is defined as a site that experiences a high level of pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic and is easily visible and accessible. Historically, art that is accessible to the public has been in the form of freestanding artworks or objects that occupy a public space, such as sculptures or memorials, or architectural embellishments such as carved facades. Functional objects such as benches, trail markers, tree guards, or manhole covers may be commissioned works by artists. And now, in a growing number of cities, artists are working with architects, engineers, and landscape designers to create visually rich public spaces. All of these forms of public art make cities more interesting and unique places to live, work, and visit.

A public art project may anchor and activate its site, enhance the overall environment, create a place of congregation and activity, or establish a new landmark and/or neighborhood gateway.  By bringing art outside the traditional context of museums and galleries, public art benefits the community and its visitors by increasing access to art and providing artists with opportunities to expand their artistic practice and market. The program has a commitment to work with both emerging and established artists to produce high quality, creative art projects and exhibitions in public spaces in Gary, Indiana.

The competition is designed to encourage innovative and experimental public projects by local and regional artists. Artists are encouraged to investigate the physical, social and psychological nature of the environment throughout the diverse areas of Gary, developing artwork that engages neighborhoods, community groups, and local businesses, and are relevant to the selected project site.

Final projects must:

  • Be exhibited in a public space with great accessibility to a broad spectrum of the public
  • Demonstrate consideration of the diversity of Gary’s residents and visitors
  • Demonstrate a subject that connects Gary’s past with Gary’s future and potential

Budget Details
Eight artists will be selected and awarded to design and execute their projects in the following categories and amounts:

  • Open – $25,000
  • Open – $10,000
  • Sculpture – $10,000
  • Mural – $10,000
  • Murals (4) – $3,000 each

A mural must be a one-of-a-kind work of art, which is hand-created and applied directly to the surface of a physical structure. It may be comprised of paint or a variety of mixed media, including three-dimensional elements, which are graded for exterior use and harmoniously integrated into the physical structure.

Sculptures can take a wide range of forms, sizes, and materials. They can be visual, functional, or interactive.

Open concept can include elements of mural and/or sculpture art in addition to landscape, architectural, community art, digital/new media, light, sound, and more! The design should be site-specific, meaning it is created in response to the place and community. The artist is be given the lot and space dimensions to use as a blank canvas – be creative!

Selection Process

This will be a request for qualifications (RFQ), not proposals; there are two phases to the artist and project selection process.

PHASE 1: Artist Submissions and Qualification Review

  • For the sculpture and open categories, up to three finalists for each award will be chosen by the Public Art Selection Committee. Each finalist will be given $300 to develop a formal proposal.
  • For the mural category, 5 finalists will be selected and given $300 each to develop a rendering of the final artwork. All mural renderings must be scalable to varying sizes of public space.

PHASE 2: Finalist Proposals and Review

For the sculpture and open categories, finalists will develop a project narrative, schematic drawings, draft proposal of artwork to be completed, and present an accurate budget and timeline for the proposed project. All implementation and installation costs are the responsibility of the artist. Muralists will develop a rendering of the finished mural.

Finalists will present their project proposals to the Public Art Selection Committee.

Projects will be selected and funded for fabrication and installation from amongst the finalists based on public voting. For mural proposals, the finalist who receives the most votes will receive $10,000, all others will receive $3,000 to execute his/her proposed mural.

The Selection Committee will formally adjudicate finalist project proposals, consistent with online vote totals, and artists will be commissioned.

How to Apply

Visit the Legacy Foundation grants site to create an account and submit your materials.

Selection Criteria

Qualification Review:

  • Demonstrates a history of high quality, creative, and innovative work
  • Strength and clarity of the artist’s statement

Proposal Review:

  • Illustrates a high quality, innovative and creative art project that will enhance efforts to further art and culture within Gary
  • Exhibits the ability to create a feasible project, taking into consideration issues of budget & public safety
  • Demonstrates accessibility and a positive impact to the project’s site
  • Subject matter must demonstrate connecting Gary’s past with Gary’s future and potential

Qualifications are due by 5pm on Friday, June 30, 2017 to

PHASE 1: RFQ Submissions

  • June 30, 2017:  Deadline for Artists’ Submissions of Qualifications
  • Notification of finalists: July 7, 2017

PHASE 2: Review

  • Preparation of public art project proposals: July 7–August 4, 2017
  • Presentations; Public voting begins:  Week of August 7, 2017
  • Public voting on finalists:  August 7–August 18, 2017
  • Public announcement of winners: Week of August 21, 2017

Installation and Exhibition:  September 1, 2017–May 31, 2018

  • All projects must be complete and installed by May 31, 2018.
  • Artists are encouraged to complete their project in fall 2017, if possible.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Kelly Anoe, (219) 736-1880 or