Temporary Public Art Program 2023

Program Guidelines and Submission Form

Deadline July 15, 2022

Introduction

The City of Nanaimo is seeking proposals for Temporary Public Art to be  initiated in 2022, and realized in 2023.

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 takes 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 2023 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

BACKGROUND

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 expanded to new spaces and supports art in public spaces that can endure for 2 to 5 years. 

Past projects have included temporary works such as:

Top Left: Victoria Drakeford,The Porthole (2018), Carl Sean MacMahon, Breaching  Orca (2011), Joel A Prevost, Name Your Dog! (2020), Peter Achurch, Seabed (2020).

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

Eligibility

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. The next opportunity will be in 2023.

ARTWORK LOCATIONS

Nanaimo is located on the traditional and ancestral territory 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. 

Artworks proposed with Indigenous content must demonstrate approval of content and site location from Snuneymuxw First Nations prior to final selection.

Artists should propose a site of interest for their project with their initial proposal. If selected for the shortlist, the artists will work together with City Staff to adapt or the confirm site. Potential locations for works on City owned properties could include plazas, greenways, community centres, parks, and on/in civic infrastructure. Privately owned sites may be considered, but only if they are freely accessible to the public and an agreement with the owner to ensure accessibility can be demonstrated.   

If you have questions about seeking approvals from Snuneymuxw First Nation related to content or a location, you can talk to City of Nanaimo Culture & Events staff by emailing cultureandevents@nanaimo.ca. 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 location.

Timeline

ANTICIPATED SCHEDULE
  • Call to Artists: May 27, 2022
  • Artist information session: Wednesday, June 22, 2022- by ZOOM
    register by email at cultureandevents@nanaimo.ca 
  • Submission deadline (STAGE 1): July 15, 2022, midnight PDT
  • Shortlist notification: August 2022
  • Concept proposals due (STAGE 2): September 2, 2022
  • Artwork selections announced: November 2022

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. Artworks involving Indigenous content will require the approval of Snuneymuxw First Nation. 

There are two stages in the application process.

Following the first stage, shortlisted artists will be invited to further develop Proposals.

STAGE 1 - SUBMIT A PRELIMINARY PROPOSAL

Requirements:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. A resume for all artists/lead collaborators who will be undertaking the project.
  4. A very brief summary of your approach to this opportunity (25 word maximum).
  5. A letter confirming the approval of Snuneymuxw First Nations, when appropriate. 
When considering what to include in your proposal, note that 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 all proposal materials. Please include a preliminary set of drawings or other relevant supporting materials such as examples of previous artwork that demonstrate your artistic ability to undertake the work, and your approach to the project.

STAGE 2 - SHORTLISTED CANDIDATES DEVELOP A FINAL PROPOSAL

Shortlisted artists will be offered feedback from the Selection Panel, and will be invited to submit further details about their proposed projects. The Selection Panel will review shortlisted proposals a second time to finalize the selections. Examples of project areas that may need to be evolved may include: production timelines; research on the durability and availability of proposed materials; community consultation that will need to occur;
budget development; determining or adapting the location to a suitable site.  

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
  • Artist has received Snuneymuxw First Nation approval if the project involves Indigenous content

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, July 15, 2022.

There are two ways to submit:

  1. Submit your application and required documents online using the submission form (below); or
  2. 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:

Your Name
Temporary Public Art Program
City of Nanaimo
Culture and Events

Online Submission Form

Preferred method of contact

I hereby acknowledge that the information included with my application is complete, is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Submission Elements

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Requirements 
1. 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). 

2. 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. Please use this example format for your corresponding image listing:

Artist name, Title of work, date, medium

Include a brief description that offers relevant context about the visual materials, such as the context of presentation, whether it was part of a series, if there are collaborators, etc.

3. A resume for all artists/lead collaborators who will be undertaking the project.

4. A very brief summary of your approach to this opportunity (25 word maximum).

5. A letter confirming the approval of Snuneymuxw First Nation, when appropriate.

Image Files

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If uploading individual images, please provide images in .jpg format, and under 10 MB each.

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  • up to 15 images (Jpeg files preferred)
  • up to 2 videos of 5 minutes length each (online links preferred)
Collection and use of your personal information

Information collected on this form is done so under the general authority of the Community Charter and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), and is protected in accordance with FOIPPA. Questions about the collection of your personal information may be referred to the Legislative Services Department at 250-755-4405, or via email at foi@nanaimo.ca. Please also see our Privacy Policy.

Materials submitted for consideration to the Temporary Public Art Program will be treated as confidential. Ideas presented are understood to be the intellectual property of the applicant and the information contained therein will not be reproduced or adapted for any purpose, except to the extent necessary to communicate information to Staff and the committee for the purpose of evaluation and analysis. The City will not release this information to the public except required under the Province of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Last updated: May 27, 2022

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Collection and use of your personal information

Information collected on this form is done so under the general authority of the Community Charter and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA), and is protected in accordance with FOIPPA. Questions about the collection of your personal information may be referred to the Legislative Services Department at 250-755-4405, or via email at foi@nanaimo.ca. Please also see our Privacy Policy.