Call for Public Art: Firefly Trail (TSPLOST Project #06 – Sub-project #2) – Trailhead - RFP
- Call Summary
- Project Overview & Site Description
- Public Art Goals & Criteria
The Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County (ACCGov) invites professional artists to submit a proposal and images of a public art concept for consideration in the Firefly Trail Network project in Athens, Georgia. The selected artist(s) will work with stakeholders and government staff to create public art that enhances the project and complements the selected site. A suitable public art installation will be a sculpture of landmark-scale and viewable from the trail and adjacent roadways.
Project Overview and Site Description:
Athens is a university town known for its historic, diverse, and creative environment. Cycling for sport, leisure, and transportation is important to Athenians, and support for new and improved trails across Clarke County is growing.
The Firefly Trail is a planned 39-mile rail-trail from Athens to Union Point in Northeast Georgia, connecting Athens-Clarke, Oglethorpe, and Greene Counties. The historic rail line, known as the Athens Branch of the Georgia Railroad, branched off the still-active Augusta-to-Atlanta line in Union Point and passed through the towns of Woodville, Maxeys, Stephens, Crawford, Arnoldsville and Winterville on its way to Athens.
The Firefly Trail in Athens-Clarke County is a Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) funded project to establish non-automobile pathways along an existing rail-bed corridor. A percent of the trail construction budget was approved for a public art installation along the Phase 2 section of the Firefly Tail. A public art feature here should relate to the trail and enhance the trail experience. A historic trestle of the rail-bed has been disassembled and materials will be available for artist use. (Attachment D)
Section 2 is 1.8 miles of paved multi-use trail starting at Old Winterville Road and extends to Hancock Road at Spring Valley Road. Section 2 compliments Firefly Trail Section 1 that connects into downtown Athens. The trail is a mostly complete 2.8 mile stretch taking pedestrians and cyclists along a historic rail line and connects to the North Oconee River Greenway Trail network within Dudley Park. A small detour down through Dudley Park and across Poplar Street will soon be replaced with a beautiful bridge over Trail Creek at the site of a former wooden railroad trestle. Currently, the trail ends at Hancock Road but future development will connect it to the completed downtown Winterville, GA section within Clarke County before heading into Oglethorpe County.
The site for public art as depicted in Attachment A is an open greenspace at the “Phase 2” trailhead. A suitable public art installation will be landmark-scale and viewable from the trail and adjacent roadways. The surface of the site is relatively flat. The site is also a secondary connection of the Firefly Trail and the Greenway Trail network. The Firefly Trail has one existing piece of public art adjacent to Dudley Park, called Trail Blossom. There is an adjacent call for art for the area at the intersection of Winterville Road, Spring Valley Road, and Indian Hills Road.
Within Clarke County, trails are open during daylight hours. Planned improvements in the area will likely increase trail use in the coming years. Artists are encouraged to visit the site if at all possible to help determine the appropriate scale and concept for the site near Old Winterville Road and Dublin Street.
Public Art Goals & Criteria:
The goals for public art in this project are to enhance the visual and experiential appeal of the Firefly Trail Network, and foster community identity and pride. The stakeholder group guiding the project has identified the following criteria for the artwork:
- Original work created by the submitting artist (or team)
- Quality art in both design and execution
- A 3-dimensional installation that is landmark-scale, viewable from the trail, the road and perhaps from vantage points outside the trail (e.g., the Oconee St. trailhead of the East Campus Connector/Greenway)
- Incorporates Rail-Trail themes, alternative transportation themes
- May incorporate a functional element, such as a bench or bike rack
- After installation, will not require water or electricity
- Materials should be highly durable, non-toxic, and resistant to normal weathering and vandalism
- Minimal, ease of maintenance; no permanent electricity or running water is available at the site
- Public safety: no tripping hazards, sharp edges, etc.
- Must not be closer than 2 feet on either side of the trail for bike safety
- Must allow full access down the trail for maintenance and emergency vehicles (such as an ambulance).
The project is open to professional artists (or team) 18 years and older, who are legal residents of and reside in the United States. It is preferable that the artist (or team) has experience working with public art projects and community government. We strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, people with disabilities, people from working-class backgrounds, and others from historically and currently marginalized communities that are not well represented or misrepresented within our society to apply. We recognize that many systemic barriers and actions have barred individuals from pursuing and being selected for these sorts of opportunities. As a result, we are committed to fostering equitable inclusion within this space. Ultimately, we believe that the more opportunities the diverse people in our communities have to produce art, the more engaged our audiences will be in the content we create, and the more inclusive our culture will become.
The budget for this project is $38,000 all-inclusive. This means including, but not limited to, design, materials, engineering review, fabrication, insurance, travel, installation, and artist’s fees.
The following timeline is contingent with the construction schedule and may be changed, but is current as of this RFP as follows:
- Site visits and virtual info sessions: November and December 2022
(Email Tatiana.Veneruso@accgov.com to schedule)
- Application deadline: January 13, 2023
- Selection panel convenes: January 2023
- Finalist will be contacted: January 2023
- Mayor & Commission vote: February/March 2023
- Contract: Spring 2023
- Art installation: Summer 2023 (earliest)
Final Proposal Submissions:
All of the following must accompany your submission to be considered by the resident selection panel:
1. Contact information, including your name(s), mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail. Please do not submit any other proposal items that would directly identify you to the selection panel (including links to website).
2. A resume highlighting your credentials and related experience.
3. Contact information for at least three (3) professional references.
4. A title and description of your public art concept for this project. Include a materials list, any needs for special equipment or the like, and a timeline for producing and installing the artwork. Provide enough detail to support your images and budget.
5. Up to five (5) images of your proposed design, annotated with image descriptions such as perspective, scale, etc. May include additional detail images, if needed. The media chosen to convey the proposed design(s) is up to your discretion, whether hand-drawn, computer generated, digital media, or photograph examples including previous work. However, all designs must be uploaded as a digital attachment to the application website.
6. A budget that details all costs related to the proposed artwork(s) including, but not limited to, design, materials, engineering review, fabrication, and installation including foundation/supports, insurance, travel and artist’s fees.
7. Maintenance plan to outline instructions for long term care of the artwork.
8. Please indicate your interest in mentoring a local artist as part of the project. (Yes or No)