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Arts Huntsville invites artists to submit qualifications for $530,000 public art project

HUNTSVILLE — Arts Huntsville recently extended an invitation for artists everywhere to submit their qualifications for the new CityCentre Public Art Project, a multi-site art installation in the downtown Huntsville area around the new CityCentre development.

Both individual artists and artistic teams may submit qualifications to be considered. The deadline for submittal is Feb. 15.

The $530,000 project is the largest-scale public art project yet in Huntsville, according to a news release. It is also a collaborative effort between several organizations, including Arts Huntsville, the City of Huntsville, the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville, Redstone Federal Credit Union and RCP Companies, CityCentre’s developer.

According to Arts Huntsville Executive Director Allison Dillon-Jauken, the City of Huntsville’s Public Art Master Plan encourages developers to include public art in major projects like CityCentre. She said RCP Companies committed to this notion early on.

“The Community Foundation was also looking for an opportunity in downtown Huntsville to celebrate the community’s philanthropy and values through public art,” Dillon-Jauken added. “The addition of a new pocket park adjacent to Redstone Federal Credit Union’s new downtown branch gave them the opportunity to invest in this project.”

The installation will span three separate sites and should tie into each other, creating a “visual link” between Big Spring Park, the CityCentre development and Pelham Park, which is in development and will be adjacent to the new RFCU facility being built.

In addition to acting as a visual link for the area, Arts Huntsville is asking that the final art installation meet a list of requirements. Some of these requirements include having a strong visual presence, celebrating the community’s core values and philanthropy, and incorporating an aesthetic that is representative of Huntsville.

“With this specific installation, the project partners are looking to create collaborative spaces at each site that encourage people to gather,” Dillon-Jauken added. With this, it is hoped that the art will make the area more inviting for pedestrians and anyone else gathering or passing through.

Dillon-Jauken also said the art installation will aim to “embody Huntsville’s innovative spirit.” She noted Huntsville’s strong connection to STEAM—with the arts bringing more creativity and innovation to STEM areas—in aerospace, biotechnology and other sectors. “At the same time, the arts engage, entertain and inspire us when the work day is done,” she said.

The $530,000 total budget consists of the artist award and all costs associated with the project. This may include the artist design fee, structural and electrical engineering, landscape design, insurance, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, building or site modifications, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency and any other costs related to the project, according to the RFQ page.

All applications must be submitted through callforentry.org (CaFÉ). No hard copy submissions will be accepted.

Finalists will be named Feb. 27. According to the release, up to four finalists will receive honorariums of $3,000 to be used to create and present their design proposals. Following the finalists’ visit to the area and submission of concept proposals, one winner will be selected to take on the project. Once an artist or artistic team is selected, the winner can expect the contract to be finalized in late June with the artistic work commencing in July and lasting up to a year.

The official art installation is scheduled to take place in August 2020.

Dillon-Jauken also stressed the importance of public art in a community and its positive contributions to the mundane.

“Public art is a reflection of a community,” she explained. “From murals to sculpture trails to large, site-specific commissions like the CityCentre Public Art Project, public art enlivens our everyday spaces and captures the unique qualities of a city. … Public art is accessible to everyone and reminds us that we are a community driven by creative thinkers, innovators and artists.”

For more information on the project—including the art sites, a detailed timeline, the scope of services and what the requirements are for submittal—visit artshuntsville.org/news/rfq-citycentre-public-art.

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