REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: PUBLIC ART PROJECTS IN BIG MARSH PARK
Chicago Sculpture International (CSI), in collaboration with the Chicago Park District, is seeking experienced artists and artist teams to create original, site-specific, public sculptures for Big Marsh, a 280-acre park on the Southeast Side.
Big Marsh had been the site of a waste and slag dumping ground from surrounding industrial operations since the late 1800s. In the early 2000s, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District teamed up to restore this area to a healthy habitat and eco-recreation park.
This is an opportunity to create an artwork that will emerge from the park; the majority of the materials used will be found in the park. There are available natural materials such as rocks, stones, standing dead trees, logs and certain plants—for example, the plentiful phragmites. And although Big Marsh has undergone an extensive renovation in this century, one can still find remnants of its industrial past, such as shipping containers, tires, bricks, cobblestones, cement fragments and slag; these materials can be used for the artwork as well. Durable sculpture materials such as stone, metal and wood that artists need but cannot be found in the park can be brought in to create the artwork.
Possible sites for projects (as well as materials), and artists are encouraged to visit Big Marsh during public hours to see them in person. To view the image gallery of possible sites and materials, click here.
Artists can also create earthworks with soil that is brought into the park; extensive digging is restricted because of the presence of buried industrial materials. Plantings with native plants are permitted.
- Artists must do the majority of their work on site. Heavy items in the park that artists want to work with will be transported to the site of the art projects if help is needed.
- Artwork can be functional, such as seating, animal habitats or way-finding structures; or non-functional. The work should reflect the color palette of the park and not employ any fluorescent colors. The work must be safe for the public and be able to last for up to three years, resilient to varying temperatures and other outdoor elements. Structural integrity and safety are primary considerations.
- Artists will be asked to commit to two talks about their completed projects at the Ford Calumet Environmental Center in Big Marsh Park.
Timeline: Submissions due on Friday, June 3, 2022, at 11:59 pm CST. Projects must be finished by November 30, 2022.
This RFP is open to professional artists who are at least 18 years of age. Artists whose proposals are accepted, if they are not already CSI members, will be asked to join. There are many membership benefits, including exhibition and networking opportunities, a presence on our website and access to valuable professional information. See what we’re all about at: www.chicagosculpture.org.
Sculptors must have, according to the Chicago Park District, “Commercial General Liability Insurance (Primary and Umbrella) on an occurrence basis with limits not less than $1,000,000 single limit per occurrence and $2,000,000 in the aggregate for bodily injury, personal injury and property damage. The Chicago Park District is to be named as an Additional Insured on a Primary, non-contributory basis.”
HOW TO APPLY
You may propose two concepts, but only one will be accepted. In other words, your application can describe either one or two concepts. You may submit a concept sketch or other rendering.
Materials to be submitted:
- A document describing your proposed project(s) (limit 300 words per proposal).
- A maximum of 6 digital images—samples of relevant past work and any proposal renderings. File names should make it clear which images are of proposal renderings, and they should be numbered and named in this manner—last name, first name, number, description or title of work; for example: doejohn01_proposaldrawing, doejohn02_recycledbottlesculpture, doejohn03_woodsculpture, etc. Images should be jpegs of a maximum 1MB apiece.
- Image List (not to exceed 500 characters for each image). Please use this document as an opportunity to explain/describe your past work images and their relevance to this project. If you completed a project as a team member, the image list should indicate your role for each image submitted.
- Bio. A document of 200 words. If you are applying as part of a team, please provide a bio for each team member (not to exceed 200 words per artist).
- Resume with name, street address, email, phone number and web site.
Send all materials in a zip folder, with your last name and “Big Marsh 2022,” to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have questions about the project and/or application please contact: email@example.com