Monday, December 27, 2010

Vote for UrbanArt!

http://chuckhuttontoyota.org/

Remember to VOTE UrbanArt! 
Chuck Hutton Toyota's 'We Care We Share' campaign as selected UrbanArt as one of 6 local non-profits to compete for a share of $20,000! Follow the instructions and vote for UrbanArt! The award will go to painting community murals througout Memphis!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

UrbanArt Video Tutorial: How to Apply for Project Commissions

video

Be kind with your criticism as we experiment with our first D-I-Y video tutorial on how to pursue an UrbanArt project commission! This segment describes how to interpret and apply to a project RFQ. It is a very rough cut, and we will most likely re-shoot it entirely, but the demand for such information has been so great that we didn't think you'd mind a few frayed edges on the production values in exchange for the excellent information it provides. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Show your support with an UrbanArt window sticker!




Car window stickers are in and available for free! If you would like a free UrbanArt car window sticker, just send an email with your postal address to Whitney Washington at wwashington@urbanartcommission.org, she will mail you 2!


Electroland's 'Lightspan', Memphis

video

Check this out!

Electroland's Damon Seeley and Cameron McNall designed this wonderful interactive light piece for the City of Memphis Percent for Art Program.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Vote for UrbanArt: We Care We Share Campaign

UrbanArt has been selected as one of 6 local non-profits to compete for a share of $20,000 as a part of Chuck Hutton Toyota's 'We Care We Share' campaign.

Please follow the instructions via this LINK and vote for UrbanArt!

Any award received will go towards painting community murals throughout Memphis!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Charjean Park Site Photos







Downtown Memphis Public Art

Public art projects coordinated by UrbanArt in Downtown Memphis only.

[*NOTE: there is a great deal more all over town!]

1. The large-scale mural adjacent to Redbirds Stadium on Madison Avenue.

2. The mural consisting of a series of icons adjacent to Central Station in South Main.

3. A series of 'poetry panels' in South Main

4. The Tom Lee Memorial in Tom Lee Park

5-9. The Trolley Stops along Madison Avenue at Redbirds Stadium, Danny Thomas Blvd., Orleans, Dunlap,  and Cleveland

10.  Sculpture at Auction Street traffic circle

11-14. Art at the Cannon Center (inside and out)

15. Shade structure sculpture in Vance Park

16. A collection of multiple wall-hanging art works at the new University of Memphis Law School

17. A collection of multiple wall-hanging art works at City Hall

18. City Hall plaza equipment screen

19-20. Bike racks at Tennessee Street and Harbor Town

21. Interactive lighting design at Court Avenue pedestrian bridge

22-26. 'Curious Pictures' video art series

27-30. Temporary projects in various Downtown locations to mark our 10th Anniversary

New projects currently in progress:

31. Uptown Gateway sculpture

32. University Place sculpture

33. Chickasaw Heritage Park sculpture

34. Legends Park neighborhood identification emblems

35-36. Beale Street Landing paving and sculpture

37. Multiple works of art for the Direct Purchase Collection

38. Mural school projects

Additionally, we often work with the Center City Commission to develop grant proposals for their initiatives, and we routinely present to the Memphis Regional Design Center's educational workshops about the importance of public art in cultivating vibrant and dynamic urban spaces in Downtown and elsewhere.

We view Downtown as a vital and creative crucible for the culture of our city, and will continue our work towards coordinating public art projects in the area for as long as I am Executive Director.

UrbanArt Request for Qualifications for Charjean Park--Deadline Extended



Site and Project Descriptions:
UrbanArt and the City of Memphis are commissioning a work of public art for Charjean Park located on Ketchum Rd at Crosby near Airways Blvd and I-240. This park can be seen from the I-240 Expressway.

The commissioned will be selected based on previous experience with the design and production of exterior public art sculptures. Applicants are also expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. The finished project must require little to no regular maintenance.

Scope of Work:
The selection committee seeks to create a wayfinding system that will be placed around the walking trail for children that are utilizing the park from Airways Middle School and the nearby neighborhood.  The wayfinding system should include motivational slogans or quotes that promote success and leadership.  Final artwork should compliment the characteristics and neighborhood identity of the site. The artist selected shall be expected to conduct community workshops with the general public for education purposes, as well as collaborate closely with site architects and designers. NOTE: commissioned artists are permitted to work with outside contractors to fabricate the actual work of art.

The selection committee will select 3 finalists based on their qualifications, and interview each individually before selecting 1 artist (or artist team). Finalists will receive $1,500 for a design proposal, which will be discussed in the interview.

Budget:     $59,250
Deadline:   4P Friday 07 January 2010
Eligibility:   National: Artists currently living in the United States of America.   

NOTE: Artists are allowed a maximum of 2 City of Memphis Percent for Art Program commissions within any 5 year period.

Guidelines:
Please see http://www.urbanartcommission.org/sampledocuments.html, for the UrbanArt Artist Handbook, for detailed instructions for applying to UrbanArt projects and how the selection process works. 

Please submit the following:
·      Typed, one-page letter of interest noting the project for which you are applying. Explain your interest and your general approach to its design and production. Note: this should not take the form of a formal design proposal, but rather a description of your methods for producing a design and finished project if selected.
·      Résumé, not to exceed 2 pages.
·      Recent images of your work that are relevant to this project and are good representations of your style of work.
·      Image identification sheet with location, brief description, and project budget.
·      List of three professional references, including current phone and email.
·      Complete applicant’s packet should be composed as a single PDF document only. Hardcopy packets shall not be accepted.
·      Materials should be submitted via CD-R or email only.
·      Optional: Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. CD-R’s will not be returned without one.

NOTE: Application materials not prepared according to the format outlined above will not be reviewed.

Send applications to:  
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Charjean Park
2549 Broad Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

For more information contact:

Tiena Gwin, Projects Manager
(901) 454-0474 / tgwin@urbanartcommission.org

All proposals must be received by 4P Friday 07 January 2011.

To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.

Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.

Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are
implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.

UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.

UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, UrbanArt may solicit proposals from artists not responding to this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.

The staff of UrbanArt shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of UrbanArt.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Take the ArtSpace Memphis Survey!

Kerry Hayes from the Mayor's office, the Hyde Foundation, and ArtsMemphis are hosting ArtSpace from Minneapolis to conduct a study of Memphis artists' housing and work space needs.

The results will fuel further initiatives designed to make ideas for cultivating a community in which its artists are able to thrive into reality.

Take the survey HERE!

Friday, November 5, 2010

RFQ for Plough Blvd. Sculpture - Design Phase

Request for Qualifications for Plough Blvd. Sculpture - Design Phase

Site and Project Descriptions:
UrbanArt and the City of Memphis are commissioning an artist or artist team to design a single sculptural art piece or series of sculptural works to be installed along Plough Boulevard between Winchester and Democrat Road.  The first phase of the commission will be for the design phase of the project.

Artists will be selected based on previous experience with the production of exterior public art sculptures. Artists are also expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. The finished project must require little to no regular maintenance. The selection committee is also interested in artists who have experience with vandalism deterring methods and applications. Final artwork should compliment the characteristics and identity of the site. The selection committee is interested in submissions that propose works of art that will function as an iconic gateway for visitors and citizens, alike, as they enter and leave Memphis. The artist selected shall be expected to conduct community workshops with the general public for education purposes.

The selection committee will select 3 finalists based on their qualifications, and interview each individually before selecting 1 artist (or artist team). Finalists will receive $1,500 for a design proposal, which will be discussed in the interview.  The selected artist will design the public art plan for this site in coordination with UrbanArt Commission staff and project Landscape Architect, including budget remit for production.  The production budget will be proposed to City Council for funding.

Budget:               $65,500 for design phase only
Deadline:             4:00 PM, Friday, 3 December 2010
Eligibility:             Local, Regional, National, and International Artists

Guidelines:
Please see http://www.urbanartcommission.org/sampledocuments.html, particularly the UrbanArt Artist Handbook, for more information about applying to UrbanArt projects and how the selection process works.

Please submit the following:
  • Typed, one-page letter of interest noting the project for which you are applying.  Explain you interest and your general approach to its design and production.  Note: this should not take the form of a formal design proposal, but rather a description of your methods for producing a design and finished project if selected.
  • A sketch is not required, but may be included. Sketches must be no larger than 8.5 x 11 inches. Please do not send original artwork.
  • Résumé, not to exceed 2 pages.
  • Recent DIGITAL images of your work that are relevant to this project and are good representations of your style of work. Send up to 10 digital images in JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size.
  • Image identification sheet with location, brief description, and budget of each project
  • List of three professional references, including current phone numbers and email addresses
  • Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. Materials will not be returned without one.Materials may also be submitted in PDF format via email to: info@urbanartcommission.org

Send applications to: 
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Plough Boulevard - Design Phase
2549 Broad Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

For more information contact:

Rodney Coleman, Projects Manager
(901) 454-0472 / rcoleman@urbanartcommission.org

All proposals must be received by 4:00 PM, Friday, 03 December 2010.

To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.

Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.

Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are
implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.

UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.

UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, UrbanArt may solicit proposals from artists not responding to this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.

The staff of UrbanArt shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of UrbanArt.

UrbanArt's mission is to enhance the cultural vibrancy of our community through the development of public art.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

UrbanArt RFQ for Direct Purchase Program

UrbanArt Request for Qualifications for Direct Purchase Program

Direct Purchase Program Descriptions:
UrbanArt and the City of Memphis are seeking to purchase works by local artists for the City of Memphis Direct Purchase Program. The Direct Purchase shall be comprised of a collection of artworks by local artists and shall represent a diverse range of medium, style, subject matter and scale.

Artists will be selected based on the content of their portfolio and previous experience as a practicing artist. Artists are also expected to have the technical capabilities to advise the selection committee on the installation and maintenance of the proposed works. The work must require little to no regular maintenance.  Two-dimensional works suitable for wall installation will be given preference.  Submitted artwork should be installation-ready and should not require framing.  Three-dimensional artwork will only be considered if the artist also proposes a way to secure and protect the artwork in a public space.

Purpose of the Direct Purchase Program:
  • To acquire and display of a collection of moveable artworks by the Memphis artists in public venues throughout the City of Memphis, as well as:
  • Provide community members with aesthetic and educational experiences from artworks in public places.
  • Stimulate broader interest in artworks created by artists working and living in the City of Memphis.
  • Provide greater opportunities for local artists to participate in the City of Memphis Percent for Art Program.
  • Provide a cultural archive for future generations of citizens.

The selection committee will select artworks based on their quality.

Budget:      Works between $500 and $2,500     
Deadline:    4:00 PM, Friday 3 December 2010
Eligibility:    Artists living in Memphis or Shelby County for 2 years   

Guidelines:
Please see http://www.urbanartcommission.org/sampledocuments.html, particularly the UrbanArt Artist Handbook, for more information about applying to UrbanArt projects and how the selection process works.

Please submit the following:
  • Typed, one-page letter of interest that notes your interest in applying to the City of Memphis Direct Purchase Program.
  • Resumé, not to exceed 2 pages.
  • Recent DIGITAL images of your work that are suitable for installation in high traffic interior settings and are good representations of your style of work. Send up to 10 digital images in JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size.
  • Image identification sheet with title, medium, date, and price information
  • List of three professional references, including current phone numbers and email addresses
  • Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. Materials will not be returned without one.
  • Materials may also be submitted electronically in PDF format via email to: info@urbanartcommission.org

Send applications to: 
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Direct Purchase Program
2549 Broad Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

For more information contact:

Whitney Ranson, Projects Manager
(901) 454-0475 / wranson@urbanartcommission.org

All proposals must be received by 4:00 PM, Friday 3 December 2010.

To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.

Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.

Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are
implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.

UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.

UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, UrbanArt may solicit proposals from artists not responding to this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.

The staff of UrbanArt shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of UrbanArt.

UrbanArt's mission is to enhance the cultural vibrancy of our community through the development of public art.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

UrbanArt RFQ for Mural Program

Site and Project Descriptions:
UrbanArt and the City of Memphis seek seven local artists for participation in the inaugural UrbanArt Mural Program, which shall result in the production of seven murals.

Artists will be selected based on previous experience with the design and production of public art murals. Artists are also expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. The finished project must require little to no regular maintenance.

Scope of Work:
The selection committee is aiming to select seven local artists with design or painting experience. Strongly encouraging recent art school graduates to apply. The murals will be designed in such a way that commissioned artists are groomed in the process of mural making. The mural sites will be determined within each of the seven city council districts through a collaborative process between the selected artists, community groups, and UrbanArt staff. The estimated completion date will be within a year of selection of artists. The artists selected shall be expected to conduct community workshops with the general public for education purposes, as well as collaborate closely with site architects and controlling authorities.

The selection committee will select 3 finalists for each district (21 total finalists) based on their qualifications, and interviews of each individually before selecting 7 artists (or artist teams).

Budget:     $26,642 per selected artist
Deadline:   4P Friday 03 December 2010
Eligibility:   Local: Artists living in Memphis Statistical Area for 2 years.  

NOTE: Artists are allowed a maximum of 2 City of Memphis Percent for Art Program commissions within any 5 year period.

Guidelines:
Please see http://www.urbanartcommission.org/sampledocuments.html, particularly the UrbanArt Artist Handbook, for more information about applying to UrbanArt projects and how the selection process works.

Please submit the following:

  •  Typed, one-page letter of interest noting the project for which you are applying. Explain your interest and your general approach to its design and production. Note: this should not take the form of a formal design proposal, but rather a description of your methods for producing a design and finished project if selected.
  • Résumé, not to exceed 2 pages.
  • Recent DIGITAL images of your work that are relevant to this project and are good representations of your style of work. Send up to 10 digital images in JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size.
  • Image identification sheet with location, brief description, and project budget.
  • List of three professional references, including current phone and email.
  • Optional: Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. Materials will not be returned without one.
  • Materials may also be submitted as PDF files via email to info@urbanartcommission.org.

Send applications to: 
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Mural Program
2549 Broad Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

For more information contact:

Siphne Sylve, Mural Program Coordinator
(901) 454-0474 / ssylve@urbanartcommission.org

All proposals must be received by 4P Friday 03 December 2010.

To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.

Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.

Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are
implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.

UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.

UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, UrbanArt may solicit proposals from artists not responding to this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.

The staff of UrbanArt shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of UrbanArt.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Brooke Foy's 'Tall Tales' Dedication Ceremony

Congratulations to Ms. Brooke Foy on the completion of her concrete book maze titled 'Tall Tales'. The life size concrete books were recently installed behind the Cordova Branch Library by Brooke and her team of helpers. It will serve as an interactive art piece for people of all ages, so check it out! Thanks for helping make Memphis BEAUTIFUL, Brooke!

Photos are on our Facebook page!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Moveable Collection Tours and Dedication of Court Avenue Bridge Public Art

MEMPHIS, TN- The UrbanArt Commission and the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law are co-hosting a special event on Thursday, October 22 from 6 to 8 PM.

Guided tours of UrbanArt's Moveable Art Collection on display in the new law school will be followed by a dedication ceremony honoring Cameron McNall and Damon Seeley of Electroland studio, the designers of the light display on the Court Avenue Bridge.

There will be a reception held in the law school with guided tours at 6:15p and 6:30p. At 7p the event will move to the back terrace of the law school to celebrate the public art project.

The mission of the UrbanArt Commission (501c3) is to enhance the cultural vibrancy of our community through the development of public art. UrbanArt is funded in part by the City of Memphis, ArtsMemphis, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Call to Artists! Broad Avenue DIY Sculpture Garden 19-20 NOV 10

Site and Project Descriptions:
The Historic Broad Business Association and Livable Memphis are offering artists the opportunity to create a DIY Sculpture Garden.  The Sculpture Garden will be open to the public and a featured exhibit during the “A New Face for an Old Broad” event on November 19 and 20.

The Sculpture Garden will be located in a secure area on Broad Avenue between Bingham and Collins.  The area is a fenced yard, but is accessible to the public from the street.   The event is expected to draw between 3,000 – 5,000 people over the two days. 

Memphians can see and enjoy the future when the Historic Broad Business Association and Livable Memphis bring their vision for the arts district and livable communities into existence for these two days.

To create an urban facelift, the current artist studios, galleries and restaurants will be joined by additional retail, food, art and activities that will be housed in the current vacant buildings along Broad Avenue.  In addition, bike lanes and greenscapes will magically appear when the street is temporarily repainted and planted for the event.  The purpose of the event is to create a 'Main Street' design that encourages bike and pedestrian traffic – thus being a role model for those seeking to create more livable neighborhoods.

Scope of Work:
The sculpture must be appropriate for all ages and able to be safely displayed outside in various weather conditions.  Artists may decorate their immediate area as they desire, list their sculpture for sale and be present during the event to solicit commission work.  Artists may exhibit a piece of sculpture from their current portfolio or create something new.  Given the nature of the event, sculpture that complements the themes of the event (biking and walking communities) will be given premium positioning and might be used in publicity for the event – with credit given to the artist.

The artist is responsible for the installation of the sculpture on Thursday, November 18 (3 – 7 pm) or Friday, November 19 (9am – noon).  Artists may pick up their respective sculpture on Sunday, November 21 (10am – 2pm).  Neither the Historic Broad Business Association nor Livable Memphis assumes any responsibility for theft or damage to the sculpture during the event.  However, please note that the DIY Sculpture Garden will be locked after hours. 

Deadline: 4P Friday 05 November 2010
Eligibility: Open

Guidelines:
Please submit the following:
• DIGITAL image(s) of the sculpture you will place in the garden during the event. 
• Image identification sheet with name of piece, materials and retail price (if you want to list the sculpture for sale).

Email to:
TCliftonArt@comcast.net
Subject – sculpture park

For more information contact:
Pat Brown, Historic Broad Business Association
tcliftonart@comcast.net

All requests to participate must be received by 4P Friday 05 November 2010.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Get Lost in Books!


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2010
Contact: Rodney Coleman, (901)454-0474
    
   Tall Tales Dedication Ceremony
  Saturday, October 16th , Cordova Branch Library: The Urban Art Commission presents Brooke Foy’s recently installed maze-sculpture, Tall Tales at the Cordova Branch Library at 2123 Trinity Road. The ceremony begins at 10:30 AM.
  Have you ever dreamed of flying to Neverland with Peter and Wendy? Or imagined tiptoeing through the Secret Garden like Mary? Maybe you’ve even tried climbing into a wardrobe in search of a magic world on the other side?
  Now, you can let your imagination run wild at the Cordova Branch Library with Brooke Foy’s newest sculpture, Tall Tales. The recently completed installation is a maze of life-sized concrete books spanning a 1,000 square ft. space behind the library. Each colorful book makes up the walls to the maze and 19 tile book titles grace the covers of the gigantic book structures. Both children and adults are sure to enjoy climbing, standing, and sitting on the gigantic books in the safety-surfaced playground.
  The artist Brooke Foy is a native of Lafayette, Louisiana. She received her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, and is a recent graduate of the University of Memphis with a Master’s of Fine Arts in sculpture.
  The Cordova Branch Library and the Bert Ferguson Community Center are epicenters of activity for people from ages 3 to 63. The sites offer a plethora of educational, art and exercise programs to everyone in the community. With the library providing a quiet place to study or get lost in a novel, there is no better place to have a community sculpture for all to enjoy. The once empty lot has been transformed into an aesthetically pleasing neighborhood landmark thanks to Brooke Foy’s Tall Tale book maze.
   The mission of the UrbanArt Commission (501c3) is to enhance the cultural vibrancy of our community through the development of public art.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Charjean Park RFQ

UrbanArt Request for Qualifications for Charjean Park

Site and Project Descriptions:
UrbanArt and the City of Memphis are commissioning a work of public art for Charjean Park located on Ketchum Rd at Crosby near Airways Blvd and I-240. This park can be seen from the I-240 Expressway.
Artists will be selected based on previous experience with the design and production of exterior public art sculptures. Artists are also expected to have the technical capabilities to design and install such projects, including providing maintenance instructions. The finished project must require little to no regular maintenance.

Scope of Work:
The selection committee is interested in proposals that create a wayfinding system that will be placed around the walking trail for children that are utilizing the park from Airways Middle School and the nearby neighborhood. The wayfinding system should include inspirational/motivational slogans or quotes that promote success and leadership. Final artwork should compliment the characteristics and neighborhood identity of the site. The artist selected shall be expected to conduct community workshops with the general public for education purposes, as well as collaborate closely with site architects and designers. Note that artists are permitted to work with outside contractors to fabricate the actual work.
The selection committee will select 3 finalists based on their qualifications, and interview each individually before selecting 1 artist (or artist team). Finalists will receive $1,500 for a design proposal, which will be discussed in the interview.

Budget: $59,250
Deadline: 4P Friday 05 November 2010
Eligibility: Local: Artists living in Memphis or Shelby County for 2 years

Guidelines:
Please see http://www.urbanartcommission.org/sampledocuments.html, particularly the UrbanArt Artist Handbook, for more information about applying to UrbanArt projects and how the selection process works.
Please submit the following:
• Typed, one-page letter of interest noting the project for which you are applying. Explain your interest and your general approach to its design and production. Note: this should not take the form of a formal design proposal, but rather a description of your methods for producing a design and finished project if selected.
• Résumé, not to exceed 2 pages.
• Recent DIGITAL images of your work that are relevant to this project and are good representations of your style of work. Send up to 10 digital images in JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size.
• Image identification sheet with location, brief description, and project budget.
• List of three professional references, including current phone and email.
• Optional: Self-addressed, stamped envelope with postage sufficient for the return of your materials. Materials will not be returned without one.

Send applications to:
UrbanArt Commission
Attn: Charjean Park
2549 Broad Avenue
Memphis, TN 38112

For more information contact:
Tiena Gwin, Projects Manager
(901) 454-0474 / tgwin@urbanartcommission.org

All proposals must be received by 4P Friday 05 November 2010.

To ensure fairness to all, there are no extensions or waivers of deadlines.
Applicants will be notified by letter as to the status of their application.
Commissioning of artists by UrbanArt and the pursuit of all UrbanArt activities are
implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.  UrbanArt reserves the right to modify this solicitation and to request additional information or proposals from any or all participating artists.
UrbanArt reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time prior to the commissioning of a work, any or all proposals when the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of the project. In addition, UrbanArt may solicit proposals from artists not responding to this call and reserves the right to select an artist outside of the pool of artists responding to this call.The staff of UrbanArt shall be responsible for all correspondence and communication by and between applicants and members of selection panels. Discussion regarding these projects by and between any applicant and any member of a selection panel outside of regularly scheduled meetings during the selection process may be grounds for the disqualification of the applicant. Such determination shall be in the sole discretion of UrbanArt.

 











Thursday, October 7, 2010

Come out to UrbanArt tomorrow from 6-8p for Gadsby Creson's exhibition of 40 bike rack maquettes!






Thursday, September 30, 2010

Underpasses in Memphis Need Some Mural TLC!

Dear Memphian Fed-up with Eyesore Underpasses,

Let's face it: underpasses are ugly. Memphis has dozens upon dozens of these dilapidated, gross looking, crumbling concrete behemoths throughout the city. They are a prime contributor to the problem of urban blight and make Memphis look bad. It is time to fix that!

Here's how.

Step 1: Pick an underpass. What abysmal, graffiti scrawled nightmare do you have to drive by or through every day? What gaping maw of civic embarrassment do you have to look at on your way to and from work, or taking your kids to school? What monolithic pile of urban neglect makes you cringe when trying to show out of town visitors the bright spots of our fair city? That's probably the underpass you should focus on first. Afraid some other good citizen will beat you to it? Don't worry, there are plenty to choose from!

Step 2: Get permission. This would seem like a fairly straightforward procedure, and in some cases it is, indeed, rather easy. However, it depends on the owner, and the design proposed. Memphis underpasses are owned by a variety of entities, but the 3 primary controlling authorities are usually the City, the State, or the railroad companies. Each requires a different process. So research who owns it first, then get your plan together. Ask for permission to propose a design for painting the underpass, as their permission will always be conditional upon what design you are proposing. This is the hardest step. For example, UrbanArt has been trying to secure a user agreement from a certain railroad to paint a certain underpass for close to a year. Although we've had verbal and email correspondence confirming it is fine for us to paint our selected design from the railroad official, the actual hard copy user agreement seems to never be forthcoming despite repeated reminders on our part and assurances its on the way from them. While I'd love to unleash the community volunteers that are eager to get to work, and who have donated private funds to cover all costs, until I get the signed agreement in hand, I am wary of simply showing up with buckets and ladders. In order of difficulty for getting permission I'd say that City owned underpasses are fairly straightforward as the willingness of the City administration and our partners there are very supportive of the use of community murals as low cost, high impact anti-blight measures. If it is a state controlled Tennessee Department of Transportation held property, that is slightly more involved simply because they are based in Nashville and it takes a bit longer to coordinate permissions, etc. Railroads, from our experience, require the most time because they are primarily based out of state and local communities ideas and desires for improving the visual look of their built assets are generally not a priority. It takes a lot of coordination. A LOT.

Step 3: Gather your crew. Assemble a group of neighbors, business owners, community association representatives, and neighborhood civic leaders who have to drive through these awful eyesores everyday to brainstorm how best to brighten up this beast of blight. You will have to also raise the funds to pay for the supplies and any artist you wish to work with your team.

Step 4: Brainstorm. What do you want to see instead of a monstrosity? Geometric patterns? Figurative historical scenes? If you can dream it, it can indeed be done, but it will affect your budget. Here are some basic rules of thumb that will determine how much funding your civic improvement project requires: Complexity costs. Simplicity saves. Seriously, it's that straightforward. If you want complicated designs, it will require more color, more time, more expertise, and more money. Because these are underpasses and not parkland, most folks will not be using these spaces for family picnics [...or, will they?]. Many of them are poorly lit even in the day time, so, spending a lot of money on any single underpass doesn't make much sense. Good news! It doesn't have to cost much!

Step 5: Establish your budget. In general, I recommend design patterns rather than figurative works unless the area is well lit in daylight. The Soulsville underpasses by Arnold Thompson are an excellent example. Those portraits of Stax Records superstars are a hit! Working with an artist requires that they be fairly compensated for their expertise and time in consulting with your group, making design proposals for your review, and leading the installation process. If your budget does not allow for professional expertise, your group can make the design super simple and do it yourself. While it does require design sense, and knowledge of proper materials and processes, what it requires most is elbow grease! Go to your area hardware store or paint supplier and inquire as to the price for gallon of concrete water sealant, concrete primer, and an all weather concrete paint. Find out what colors they come in and if they vary in price depending on the hue. Ask about the coverage area per gallon of material. For example, how many square feet will one gallon of paint cover? You will also need roller heads, extension rods, step ladders, scrapers, paint stirrers, paint brushes, buckets for mixing paint, and buckets for carrying water for clean up, drop cloths to prevent spills onto the sidewalks, and rags to soak up any messes. You may want goggles to protect your eyes when dealing with the upper areas of columns and ceilings. You will also most likely need to rent or borrow a power washer to clean off the caked on dirt and any loose concrete fragments from the surface. A clean surface is the first step to a well made final product. Painting on a dirty surface is pointless, because the dirt is loose and can flake off, taking your paint with it! You may also want to get a set of orange traffic cones and a 'Slow: Work in Progress' sign to alert traffic of your team's presence.

Step 6: Get to work! Once the site is chosen, permission is granted, teams are set, design is decide, budgets are confirmed, and supplies are collected, you are ready to go! First, you power wash, then water seal, then prime, then paint, then water seal again. Depending on the size of the underpass, the whole installation process should take 2-3 days.

Step 7: Party time! You and your colleagues have worked hard to make Memphis shine, so celebrate your selfless civic works! Crack open a couple of beers, grill out some hot dogs and take lots of photos of your new best pals on your mural team enjoying their newly refashioned streetscape!

Congratulations, proud Memphian, you just made the world a little bit better place to live in.


                                      South Main Street just North of Crump Blvd.




                                       Central Avenue between Lombardy and Flicker




                                       Soulsville gateway murals by Arnold Thompson


                                                   'Modern Hieroglyphs' by Anthony Lee




Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UrbanArt Recent News

Hello Everyone,

I hope you are well.

I wanted to share some positive news in the programs and processes of UrbanArt that have recently taken place that we believe will improve the entire way we work in terms of project determination, artist selection, artist payments processing, and overall project completion.

First, we've added new staff! After a period of time where we had no choice but to keep staff levels low as a cost savings measure due to funding decreases related to the economic downturn over the past couple of years, we have been successful in structuring a new funding stream that shall provide for staff numbers appropriate to our projects caseload. Our projects management team is composed of Rodney Coleman, Tiena Gwin, and Whitney Ranson. They shall be administering the selection process for all projects and their production schedules and logistics. Shelley Madison has recently joined our organization as the Business Manager, and shall be coordinating all projects billing, contracts, and benchmarks confirmation, as well as internal controls and compliance matters. Whitney Washington is our Executive Intern performing a variety of tasks from research, projects promotion, and event planning. Siphne Sylve shall be acting as an ad hoc assistant on special projects.

This increase in staff is the result of a resolution approved by the City Council allowing a percentage of the Capital Improvement Projects allocations to be billed for expenses associated with projects' management. Previously, we were receiving a set sum that did not change for several years. This had the deleterious effect of causing the caseload to swell beyond capacity. With the passing of the resolution we will be able to give each project more attention from individual project managers moving forward.

Secondly, after concerted efforts by ourselves and officials within the City administration, we believe we have come to an agreement on measures that should reduce payments turnaround by as much as 1/3 of the previous time frame. Included in these changes are: setting up electronic payments of invoices to UrbanArt, weighting benchmark compensation percentages toward the front end of the project so that materials sourcing is swifter, and layering of design and fabrication invoices so that payments can potentially be parcelled in larger sums over fewer installments over the course of the project's production.

Next, we shall be condensing the selection process in a manner that builds increased levels of community engagement prior to contracting the final artist to assist smoother approvals through selection committees. Additionally, PAOC members shall be invited to attend individual selection committee meetings, and selection committees for individual projects shall be requested to attend those PAOC (Public Art Oversight Committee, responsible for program functions and projects confirmations) where their projects are to be discussed. We believe this will also streamline the process.

Regarding artist's selection, the PAOC has approved providing honorariums up to $1,500 per artist for up to 3 artists per project for design proposals. This shall be policy across the board. I will be sending an e-newsletter with additional detailed information on new selection process steps in the coming week or so. If you are not receiving our e-newsletter, please send an email to info@urbanartcommission.org, and request to be added to the 'Constant Contact Artist Opportunities' list.

Pertaining to the amount of a project's budget recouped by individual artists for their work on a project, we've devised a system that we believe has the potential to make it where artists could consistently garner up to 20% of the entire project budget for their design fees and fabrication labor costs. Nationwide, 10-15% is considered standard. This is a new metric with new mechanics, so understand that 20% may not always be possible, but that we are working to make it the case more often than not.

Whereas the City ordinance that founded the Percent for Art program mandates 60% of those projects be completed by local artists in a 5 year period, we are now closing in on the 90% mark and believe this statistic will hold between the 80-90% level fairly consistently in the future. We still love artists based nationally and abroad, but their engagement will be more specifically targeted moving forward.

We are also formalizing a series of professional development workshops that will cover all these developments and more, to begin in the Spring that will be free of charge to all local artists and art students.

Lastly, [*for now!] whereas historically the program produced projects primarily in association with new City capital improvement building projects, we are now permitted to produce projects on any appropriate City owned property or parcel of land. For example, the 7 District Gateways currently in the midst of their selection process, and the FY11 Public Art Plan mural projects and Plough Blvd. sculpture [*RFQ's coming soon!] are all being produced in sites independent of new construction. We feel this will enable the general public increased accessibility to art throughout the city.

I greatly appreciate the encouragement, patience, and support you've all provided the organization over the years. Would you consider doing me a personal favor by assisting us in communicating the strides UrbanArt has made in its efforts to refine the processes by which large-scale public art projects are produced in Memphis? If friends or colleagues casually wonder what UrbanArt is working on, please tell them!

We fully realize there will always be room for improvement, and that other issues will occasionally arise. Please know that the task of perfecting our programs and procedures that affect the artists we work with to enhance the cultural vibrancy of our community through the development of public art is one that the UrbanArt staff, its Board of Directors, its municipal and private partners, and I personally view as a top priority. Please be patient while we put these new policies and procedures into effect.

Also, if you have a question about how something works, or a concern that an aspect of our program is not working as well as it could, please let me know. Send me an email with any quick ideas or inquiries. If you would like to know more about a specific aspect of our work or a particular process that may require detailed explanation, it may me a few days to get back to you because of our current workload, but I will get back to you. Just let me know.

The artists that make all our work worth the effort deserve the best experience possible. Our neighbors in the city and metropolitan area at large will no doubt benefit from the public art produced as a result. I look forward to seeing UrbanArt's endeavors flourish in the future and for the public art landscape of our hometown of Memphis to grow ever more dynamic because of your ongoing support.

Thank you.

Be well,

John Weeden
Executive Director
UrbanArt Commission
jweeden@urbanartcommission.org

UrbanArt's mission is to enhance
the cultural vibrancy of our community
through the development of public art.

UrbanArt Staff

                                             Rodney Coleman

                                       Tiena Gwin

                                            Shelley Madison

                                          Whitney Ranson

                                       Siphne Sylve

                                       Whitney Washington


                                                  John Weeden