10 Apr 2018

Public Art RFP Call for Public Art on STEAM

University of West FloridaPensacola, Florida, United States

NOTE: This opp listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

Opportunity Description

International Deadline: June 30, 2018 – The University of West Florida invites artists worldwide to submit letters of interest and qualifications, along with project renderings, to be considered for the commission of permanent sculptures to be installed on the campus of the University of West Florida. The call is open to all professional artists or teams of artists. Artists may propose a single installation or a series. The artworks will be maintained and owned by the University of West Florida.

The university is increasingly foregrounding interaction between colleges/disciplines, and the commissioned sculptures will be a visual component of these initiatives. General objectives of the project are: to highlight the potential for collaboration across disciplines; to visually (or otherwise) link the science and art buildings on campus (across the road from one another); and to stimulate thinking on transdisciplinary work.

Questions/concepts to consider might be:

  • Transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary integration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
  • Is it possible to rise above merely illustrating a design and practice? We seek projects that will integrate the disciplines.
  • How does transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary practice further creativity and awareness?
  • How can the production of this project and a resultant sculpture directly and compellingly engage in interdisciplinary issues?
    Projects that actively engage interdisciplinary practice in design, installation, etc. and projects that continue to operate as a locus for hybrids of disciplines.
  • Any other concept that explores transdisciplinary practice.

The call to artists is open to a range of ways in which this might be addressed. Some areas that might be of interest include perception, geometry in art and reverence (sacred geometry, the golden ration), color and the sensory, eco-art and the local longleaf pine (see E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth Project, 175-79, and attached site photos), the sublime, sound/silence, nature and memory, optics and the use of light (including natural), the will of nature/the will of man, among others.

Materials and designs need to be durable enough to last through potentially severe and hazardous weather, including tropical activity and high winds and withstand harsh conditions over a long course of time without extensive maintenance. Final installations must meet all current applicable codes. UV-resistant and rust resistant materials should be used. Artists’ proposals will be evaluated by a fine arts conservator to identify future maintenance and conservation needs. Artworks should be constructed to reasonably discourage theft and vandalism and must take into consideration the ground surrounding the piece. Include plans for nighttime lighting.

The University of West Florida has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Located in Pensacola, Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, it has the second largest campus in the Florida State University system with 1600 acres, much of which is undeveloped. The climate is considered to be humid sub-tropical. The natural setting is complex with rivers, wetlands, and meadows along with diverse foliage.

Two campus locations have been identified for the installations. They are across from one another on either side of a main road which winds its way through the university campus. (View the interactive campus map and related photos below.) This area includes a large open lawn on one side where the Center for Fine and Performing Arts (Building 82) is located and an area with a number of trees abutting a sidewalk on the other where the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering is located (Building 4). Bldg. 82 is just South, Southeast of Bldg. 4. Occasional University-related social activities take place on the lawn of building 82.

A budget of $500,000 has been allocated for permanent public art through this initiative. These funds will be split among finalists, and the amount may vary depending on the scale and complexity of the artwork. It is anticipated that individual awards will range from $75,000 to $100,000. However, the selection panel will consider larger installations with higher awards or a connected series. The awards will be structured as all inclusive including the artist’s design fees (including travel and housing), materials, fabrication, engineering inspection fee, shipping and installation (including any subcontracting). Artists are responsible for the installation. Projects that involve students in the process of completion are encouraged.

The call is open to professional artists or artistic teams that have a strong exhibition record and an interest in working between disciplines. Artists must show evidence of completion of a project with a similar budget, scale, and scope. The responses will be evaluated by a jury and semi-finalists selected and notified by July 30, 2018. The jury will consider past work, innovative ideas, experience, appropriate relationship of the work to the site, trans-disciplinary engagement, and durability of the project. Final proposals are due on August 30, 2018. Members of the community at large will be invited to offer comments on projects in September. Semi-finalists will be interviewed by Skype in September and by October 1 the jury will select the finalists. Finalists will be required to provide an engineering safety confirmation of the project. Final location of individual pieces will be determined by October and finalists will be urged to visit campus. Successful applicants will work with the jury to finalize proposals. Construction, fabrication, and installation must be completed by April 30, 2019. Students may be assigned to each sculptor or group to assist with the installation where appropriate. Artists will be asked to give a public lecture on their work.

All responses must be submitted to email address indicated on full RFP no later than 11:59 p.m CST June 30, 2018. There is no application fee.

Download complete RFP with images
Incomplete or incorrectly formatted applications as noted on RFP will not be considered.


  • June 30, 2018: Submission deadline
  • July 30, 2018: Semi-finalists notified
  • August 30, 2018: Submission of final proposal
  • September 2018: Semi-finalist projects exhibited to the public; semi-finalists interviewed via Skype
  • September 30, 2018: Finalists selected and notified; finalists must secure engineering safety confirmation
  • October-December 2018: Sculptures fabricated
  • April 30, 2019: Installation of sculptures completed

Hard Copy RFQ with images

Inquiries can be directed to art@uwf.edu.

Opp Categories: + Open to Multi-Media. Opp Types: Public Art RFP. Opp Tags: $0 Entry/Application Fee, Deadlines 05 May thru June, and Open to Artists Worldwide. Income: *No Application Fee and Purchase.

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