Call for Public Art - Oconee Rivers Greenway Network Connectors (SPLOST 2011 Project 9)
- Call Summary
- Project Overview & Site Description
- Public Art Goals & Criteria
The Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC) invites professional artists to submit a proposal and images of a public art concept for the Oconee Rivers Greenway (ORG) trail construction project in Athens, Georgia. The selected artist(s) will work with the ACAC and government staff to create public art that enhances the project and complements the selected site.
Athens-Clarke County, GA is a university town known for its historic, diverse, and creative environment. Walking, cycling and recreating for sport, leisure, and transportation is important to Athenians, and support for new and improved trails across Clarke County is growing.
The Oconee Rivers Greenway is a network of natural areas within the 100-year floodplains of the North Oconee River, Middle Oconee River, and Oconee River and their major tributaries as its core. The primary purpose of the greenway is to protect the natural resources of the corridor for the benefit and enjoyment of the citizens of Athens-Clarke County (ACC).
The network includes a system of river-oriented trails that connect the river corridors with adjacent parks and green spaces, as well as neighborhoods and other community sites in Athens. The greenway trail system currently has 10 miles of trails and future plans for many more.
The greenway represents a long-standing community vision of interconnected green spaces that protects and preserves natural habitats and scenery, historic features, exceptional and sensitive areas, and includes a trail system that provides connectivity, education, and recreation opportunities. Improving community health and well-being is an important outcome of the greenway mission. More detailed information about the greenway development and management can be found in The Greenway Network Plan (2016).
The greenway is a vital civic space in Athens and invites people to gather in places that are dominated more by nature than the built environment. Yet there are ample opportunities to celebrate the neighborhoods, culture, daily life and heritage that the greenway trail connects together. To that end, public art solicited for this project should not only enhance the appreciation and enjoyment of the natural surroundings but also express local community values.
The general location for public art as depicted in Attachment A on an elevated site overlooking the recently constructed trail along Martin Luther King, Blvd. between College Ave. and North Ave. The exact boundary for the public art installation area will be flagged in the field by ACC staff prior to the artist site visit (see schedule below). A suitable public art installation will be viewable from the trail, the street, and perhaps from vantage points outside the park. Artists are encouraged to visit the site if at all possible, to help determine the appropriate scale and concept for the site. A map of the trail system open to the public is included in Attachment B.
ACC staff are improving the area around the project site as a native grass and pollinator plant landscape to be developed over time. Also, ACC Leisure Services may establish a pathway to link the artwork to the paved greenway trail once the artwork has been determined. Additional landscaping such as trees and grasses may be added after installation of the artwork. Artists may suggest landscape ideas, however, ACC reserves the right to determine the final landscape treatments. Landscaping need not be part of the artist’s proposal unless integral to the concept.
In general, public art on the greenway should enhance the experience of enjoying the extensive natural environment located within the corridor. The main focus and overarching theme of the greenway corridor is the river and its natural environment; and, consequently the urban, manmade environment should be subservient to the greenway experience. In tune with this philosophy, public art should have a secondary, supporting role in the overall impression when visiting the area. To be true with the values of the environmental focus of the corridor, creating a public art walk or an outdoor gallery is not the intent of adding public art along the corridor.
Public Art Goals
- maintain a sense of place for the greenway
- celebrate key resources of the corridor such as the river, riparian eco-systems, floodplains, geomorphology, water quality, native plants and animals, cultural and historic features, local heritage, etc.
- enhance the visitor experience by aiding in way-finding, protecting or framing viewsheds, and in some cases provide functional uses that support passive recreation in the area
- supplement but not dominate the natural scenery of the greenway with harmonious siting, scale and materials within the trail corridor
- incorporate, to the degree practical, re-cycled materials and sustainably sourced media
- work with existing landforms and landscape features and incorporate these wherever practical. Landforms may be shaped by the artist however, final slopes and surfaces must be low maintenance and in accordance with ACC specifications. Erosion control measures may be required during grading
- take views into consideration for the context of the art
- encourage interaction; for example creating tactile opportunities or allowing the public to be “in” or “on” the artwork
Public Art Selection Criteria
- Originality of the work created by the submitting artist (or team)
- Quality art in both design and execution; including use of recycled or sustainably sourced materials and demonstrated experience with previous similar work are pluses
- Scale and visibility of the artwork from the trail and perhaps from vantage points outside the park; framing views from the artwork to the river and trail scenery will also be a consideration
- Integration and celebration of Oconee River greenway resources (natural and or cultural) as outlined in The Greenway Network Plan (2016). General thematic areas may include but are not limited to:
- Natural resources
- Cultural resources
- Water quality and water cycles
- Health and well-being
- Alternative transportation
- Local heritage
- Durability: Materials should be highly durable, non-toxic, and resistant to normal weathering and vandalism
- Ease of maintenance; no electricity or running water is available at the site
- Public safety
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.
The budget for this project is $55,000 all-inclusive. This means including, but not limited to, design, materials, 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:
- Artist Site visit: October 27, 2020 at 11 a.m. (facial masks and social distancing will be required)
- Application deadline: January 4, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
- Selection panel convenes in January, 2021
- Finalist will be contacted in January, 2021
- Mayor & Commission vote on recommended artist(s) in February, 2021
- Contract signing in February - March, 2021
- Art installation in April 2021 (earliest)
All proposals must be submitted to Athens-Clarke County’s online system of calls for entry, care of the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission (ACAC).
All of the following must accompany your submission to be considered by a citizen selection panel:
- 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).
- A resume highlighting your credentials and related experience.
- Contact information for at least three (3) professional references.
- 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.
- 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 image to the application website.
- A budget that details all costs related to the proposed artwork(s) including, but not limited to, design, materials, fabrication, installation including foundation/supports, insurance, travel and artist’s fees.
- Please indicate your interest in mentoring a local artist as part of the project.
Summary of Contract Provisions
The artist(s) ultimately selected will be required to sign a contract with the Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County that contains provisions including, but not limited to, the following:
- Requirements that the artist communicate and cooperate with Athens-
- Clarke County in any desired revisions the final design for the artwork;
- A timeline for the completion and installation of the artwork;
- Depending on the size and complexity of the artwork structural design and building permits may be required for the art.
- All cost associated with the art shall be included in the artist fee/budget for the art, including, but not limited to design, permitting, foundations, etc.
- Requirements that the artist produce and provide to Athens-Clarke County certain preliminary design documents, fabrication documents, maintenance plans, and fabrication, delivery, and installation schedules;
- Guidelines for the acceptance of the artwork by Athens-Clarke County and the passing of the title of the artwork from the artist to Athens-Clarke County;
- A compensation and payment schedule (e.g. no more than 20% of the cost of the art will be paid to the artist at the time of contract execution);
- Warranties by the artist that the artwork is solely the result of the artistic effort of the artist, the artwork is unique and original and does not infringe upon any copyright, and various other warranties;
- Insurance coverage to be provided by the artist for the risk of loss or damage to the artwork prior to the artwork being delivered to Athens-Clarke County;
- Insurance coverage to be provided by the artist for liability coverage while working on-site, if applicable;
- Indemnity agreement holding Athens-Clarke County harmless for damages associated with artist’s negligent performance of their services; and,
- Copyright provisions, including the artist’s waiver of rights under the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA).
No work will begin on the project until the contract is signed by all parties. This process may require no less than 8 weeks to complete after the artist is selected and notified; and may take longer depending on the city approval process.
Andrew Salinas, Chairman
Athens Cultural Affairs Commission