The City of Cleveland, through its Public Art Program, is requesting qualifications from artists or designers or teams thereof who may be interested in producing public artwork for the recently improved environs of the Lake Avenue Bridge, which carries railroad tracks across Lake Avenue, between Desmond Avenue and Viking Court. The bridge is owned by Norfolk Southern Railway, but the city has control of the wing walls that abut the sidewalks running under the bridge on both sides of Lake Avenue. The artwork being sought through this call will accompany and complement the improvements the city recently made to the wing walls and the land immediately adjacent to the bridge, which are all under its jurisdiction. Those improvements included painting the wing walls, addressing erosion near the walls, and improving sidewalks and lighting. Rather than submit pre-conceived proposals, the selected artist will work with city officials, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO) staff, neighborhood residents, and other stakeholders to develop innovative, original art that would thematically relate to neighborhood identity and connectivity with nearby neighborhoods and Edgewater Park.
The Public Art Program requires that certain major capital projects undertaken by the City set aside funding for use toward public art. Program requirements are that the artwork be in proximity to the improvements that generated the funding for the artwork. Eligibility This competition is open to qualified artists and designers or teams thereof, aged 18 and older, and based in Northeast Ohio. Artists and designers with ties to the neighborhoods around the bridge are especially encouraged to apply.
The Lake Avenue Bridge is close to several Cleveland neighborhoods. The Norfolk Southern Railway line that the bridge carries forms the border between the Edgewater (to the north) and Cudell (to the south) statistical planning areas (SPAs), as designated by the City of Cleveland. The Detroit Shoreway SPA is just to the east, with West 85th Street serving as the border. Though the SPAs approximately line up with the neighborhood boundaries that most Clevelanders would probably recognize, there is much variation in the ways that area residents identify this part of town. For example, some neighborhood residents living just south of the bridge have adopted “Edgewater Parke” as the name of their community. Others may consider it to be a part of Gordon Square, which in turn is a part of Detroit Shoreway. To succeed at this project, an artist will need to collaborate with neighborhood residents to get the messaging right.
Four key elements of the resulting artwork should be neighborhood identity, connectivity to both sides of the bridge, relevant history, and enhancement of the bridge aesthetic. Artwork may not be attached or applied to the bridge itself or the supporting pillars underneath it. The selected artist(s) is expected to engage in community meetings during the development of the artwork.
The budget for this project is $20,000. The budget is all-inclusive and required to cover all public art related expenses, including, but not limited to, design or artist fees, engineering, fabrication, and installation.
Artists or teams are required to submit a one-page narrative describing their qualifications and explaining why they would be interested in working on this project. Artists should indicate what approaches they would take to this project and make note of how they would involve neighborhood residents and others in developing their design. Additionally, artists are required to submit, in electronic format:
An up-to-date CV or resume;
Up to 10 images depicting completed relevant work in JPEG or PNG format (none of the images may contain identifying information), suitable for inclusion in a PPT or PDF presentation; and
An annotated slide list for the depicted artworks, including location, commissioning agency, materials, and total project budget. Submitters should note what their role was in producing the works depicted.
Up to three artists or designers or teams thereof will be invited to interview with City of Cleveland’s Public Art Committee. Submission deadline Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. Cleveland time, on Friday, February 28, 2020. Entries may be submitted electronically to both Tarra Petras, the city’s public art project coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org and Vince Reddy of LAND studio at email@example.com. LAND studio currently provides administrative services to the Public Art Program. Direct questions to Vince Reddy at the e-mail address above or 216-621-5413, ext. 107.
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