The City of Nanaimo is seeking proposals for Temporary Public Art to be initiated in 2021, and realized in 2022.
The Temporary Public Art Program offers artists of diverse backgrounds and skillsets the opportunity to create artwork for public spaces in Nanaimo. Artists can propose artworks that vary in scale, scope, and medium, including temporary sculptural installations, social practice and community-engaged artist projects and artwork that is integrated into landscape, architecture or civic infrastructure. The City of Nanaimo’s Temporary Public Art Program supports artists in the creation of new works, by providing necessary resources and staff support through the course of project development and realization.
Please note that the process for applying to this program has changed, and will now take place in two stages. Initial applications require a statement of interest, resume and images of previous work. A shortlist of candidates will be selected for a second stage, and a full proposal.
Proposed projects will be realized in 2022 and must be able to endure for a period of 2-5 years. Locations throughout the City may be considered.
Selected artists will receive a fee of $7,500 for the design and implementation of a project, and may propose expenses toward the production or realization of their project up to $5,000.
What is Public Art?
Situated at the intersection of public life, cultural ideas and the social conditions of our time, art in public places takes on many forms. It is always evolving in shape, size, medium and duration, and while there is no one medium, public art shares the common condition that it is a cultural expression that is accessible in a public space or place.
A goal of public art is the enhancement of community life and place-making. Often, public artworks celebrate or critically reflect on a location’s unique attributes, such as the histories, traditions, values and aspirations of a place and the people who live there. Made by artists, or by community members through artist-led processes, it is a cultural contribution that fuels imagination, sparks curiosity and critical thinking, and offers a unique reflection of place, contributing to character and shared sense of identity.
A public art project could:
- unfold as a long-term intervention into a civic process
- be the result of a community workshop or opportunity to be involved in creative work
- take the form of a sculpture, mural, or other visual installation
- include programming in public spaces like video screens or outdoor performance venues
- result in the design of new community space
About the Temporary Public Art Program
Over the past decade the City of Nanaimo has invited artists to exhibit sculptural works in Maffeo Sutton Park on an annual basis through open calls for Temporary Public Art. This program continues to evolve as a longstanding commitment by the City of Nanaimo to integrate artwork into public spaces. Responding to growth and change, in 2021 the program is now ready to expand to new spaces and pursue art in public spaces that can endure for a longer period of time.
Past projects have included temporary works such as:
Top Left: Jason Gress, The Frame (2012), Top Right: Deryk & Samuel Houston, Driftwood Nests (2018), Bottom Left: Victoria Drakeford, the Porthole (2018), Bottom Right: Dan Richey, Dungeness Crab (2015)
OBJECTIVES OF THE TEMPORARY ART IN PUBLIC SPACES PROGRAM
- To encourage the creation of publicly accessible artwork that has artistic merit and community benefit;
- To foster community pride, identity and creativity;
- To support artists in producing public art;
- To reflect the diversity, needs, and ambitions of the cultural community
WHO CAN APPLY?
The Temporary Public Art Program is open to all artists, working individually or in collaboration, and especially encourages applications from those who experience barriers of access due to gender identity/expression, racial identity or perception of disability. For the purposes of this call, the definition of an artist is a professional who:
- has completed basic training in art or an apprenticeship with an accomplished practitioner in the field, or
- maintains an artistic practice and has publicly shared an independent body of their work for at least two years, or
- is recognized as an artist by peers within their community
You do not have to be a resident of Nanaimo, but you must have significant experience with, and relationship to this place.
Partnerships are also encouraged and welcomed between artists and non-profit arts groups, businesses, community service groups, community associations, multicultural societies, and historic societies. However, please note that preference will be given to individuals artists.
WHO CANNOT APPLY?
- For-profit entities (such as small business, corporations, developers) undertaking public art projects. Artists who are registered as a business or in partnership with a business may apply, as long as they retain creative control over the proposed project.
WHAT TYPES OF PROJECTS ARE ELIGIBLE?
Artists can propose artworks that vary in scale, scope, and medium, including performative and temporary artworks. Public art projects need to be freely accessible to the public, be it a temporary event or a sculptural installation.
Artists who would like to propose functional art such as benches or bike racks, streetscape improvements to infrastructure such as sidewalks or plaza surfaces, or adornments to public utilities may apply to the URBAN DESIGN ROSTER. Artists may participate in both programs, but must submit separate applications.
Nanaimo is located on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. We acknowledge the role that culture and public art plays in contributing to a wider awareness and understanding of cultural life on the traditional lands of the Snuneymuxw. The City of Nanaimo is committed to supporting artworks that increase the visibility and acknowledge the ongoing relationship of the Snuneymuxw First Nation to the land.
Artists should propose sites of interest for their project. If selected, shortlisted artists will work to confirm a site during a Concept Development and Design stage. Potential locations for site-specific works on City-owned properties could include plazas, greenways, community centres, parks, and civic infrastructure. Privately owned sites may be considered if they are publicly accessible and an agreement with the owner can be reached.
Sites of significance to Indigenous communities will be reviewed in dialogue with Snuneymuxw First Nations.
If you have questions about a location, you can talk to City of Nanaimo Culture & Events staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have an idea for a piece that doesn’t have a location in mind, you can apply with the idea and subsequently work with the City of Nanaimo to find a suitable place.
- Call to Artists: July 15, 2021
- Artist information session: Wednesday, July 28, 2021- by ZOOM, details to be announced
- Submission deadline (STAGE 1): September 13, 2021, midnight PDT
- Shortlist announced: Week of October 4-8 , 2021
- Concept proposals due (STAGE 2): Week of November 1-5 , 2021
- Artwork selections announced: December 2021
How to Apply
All proposals will be evaluated by a Selection Panel of City of Nanaimo Staff and members of the Public Art Working Group, and may also involve members of the Snuneymuxw Nation. There are two stages in the process. Following the first stage, shortlisted artists will be invited to further develop Concept Proposals.
STAGE 1 - SUBMISSION OF INTEREST
- A detailed statement about your approach to this opportunity, how you see the work situated, and how this idea relates to your practice. (1 to 2 pages maximum).
- Up to 15 images, or up to 15 pages of materials in PDF or paper form. You may include up to 2 videos that offer context or are indicative of previous work. Supporting materials must be have a corresponding descriptive listing, such as an image list.
- A resume for all artists/lead collaborators who will be undertaking the project.
- A very brief summary of your approach to this opportunity (25 word maximum).
At this stage in the application, artists should offer an idea for a new public artwork.
When considering how to propose a new commission, the emphasis is on a statement of intention about a project. It is expected that the work has not already been made, but will rather be developed through this process. The Selection Panel will review preliminary concepts, which can be accompanied by a preliminary set of drawings, or be accompanied by examples of previous artwork that demonstrate your abilities as an artist, and your approach.
STAGE 3 - FULL PROPOSALS BY SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES
The second stage will include the announcement of a shortlist. Shortlisted artists will be invited to submit further details about the proposed projects. A meeting will be held to discuss projects outlined in the letter of interest and provide feedback from the Selection Panel for final development. Examples of project areas that may need to be evolved may include: timeline; research on the durability and availability of proposed materials; any community consultation that will need to occur; budget, determining a suitable site. Shortlisted artists will then have a period of time to further evolve a Concept Proposal.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
Proposals are reviewed by the Selection Panel based on the following criteria (order listed does not indicate the order of importance):
- Strength and creativity of past work
- Demonstrated ability to produce and present work
- Feasibility of the project timeline and available budget
- Connection and relevance to place
- Engagement with critical dialogues in contemporary art
- Consistency with the recognition of Nanaimo as the traditional and ancestral territories of the Snuneymuxw Nation
Selected Projects: Next Steps
The Selection Panel will recommend projects to be commissioned for approval to City Council. All artists will be contacted with the results. The artists whose projects are commissioned will receive an honorarium of $7,500, and a production budget of up to $5,000.
A signed agreement is required before a commission is awarded. The artist/contractor must have commercial general liability insurance of $2,000,000 for the duration of the contract period.
HOW TO SUBMIT A LETTER OF INTEREST FOR STAGE 1
Submissions must be received no later than midnight, Pacific Time, September 13, 2021.
There are two ways to submit:
- Submit your application and required documents online using the submission form (below); or
- Drop off your application and required documents in-person to the Culture & Events Dropbox, located at the Bowen Complex, 500 Bowen Road. The Dropbox is located on the lower level of the building near the tennis courts (Pine Street Entrance). A complete hard copy package must include both one (1) original hard copy and one (1) electronic in PDF format submitted on a flash drive. Hand-delivered submissions must be in a sealed envelope/package clearly marked:
Temporary Public Art Program
City of Nanaimo
Culture and Events
Online Submission Form