I have been looking at RFQ/RFPs (Request for Qualifications/Request for Proposals) of public art for YEARS. I have even been a small part of committees tasked with choosing artists and works to be installed as public works. I have been part of budgets, planning, advertising- but never done it myself. I have been too daunted at the task or felt like my skills just don’t justify giving me a bunch of money to do something that I would absolutely LOVE doing. Public art can be the ultimate challenge to the every day and mundane, depending of course on viewpoint.
I never thought I could do it. Though I would see things and be like- I could’ve done that! Why didn’t I try?
Until now! <cue infomercial announcer> With my new slightly more confident, less self-loathing self! It only took 10 years to finish my bachelors’, now I can due anything! /announcer
I thought I’d share what I’ve done and the sites that helped me in particular, if anyone else might be struggling with the idea or just curious as to what it is. A place that really helped me jump start again for myself was info from the Boise City Department of Arts & History on public art. They talk about all scales of public art in a general way, but with good information.
I found the call for artists on the Idaho Commission of Arts website. Since I used to live in Idaho, I frequent it. There was a call for artists for the city of Eagle for some Traffic Box Art.
I’ve seen this before, where either the box is painted by the artist(s) or wrapped in a vinyl. For once, I had a bit of time to get things together (hooray for deadline not being the next day) and I felt like since it was basically my creating a piece that would then be fabricated to be put on the item, my colored pencil would work well, and that’s my strong suit. I looked up other cities that have done this same call, found some others in the Boise, Idaho area. I looked up artists, found a range of styles and media, and thought I had a good chance.
The materials themselves were pretty easy. Getting images together was super easy for myself (SO MUCH ART!). I chose 10 that I felt would be pretty indicative of my style and would go along with my stating what I would make in my letter of intent. It was great too that they included pictures of the boxes on the call’s website, which I used to create mock ups of what my art work would look like on site.
Yeah yeah. You’d notice these.
My resume just needed to be updated a bit (yay for updating it every year!) and then the last thing that held me up- the letter of intent. I knew this was the equivalent of the cover letter for the job. It started everything, possibly even before they’d decide to look at my images. I stared at a blank screen for awhile then researched what others say to do. I tend to overthink my writing, so I needed some simplicity.
The succinct information on the Creative Capital blog helped me a lot. I also found an article written by an executive director about how she views entries and one thing she liked is when she could feel that the artist was on the edge of something, when they were honest, and vulnerable.
I did my best. Curious? —–>Letter of Intent-City of Eagle
After that was done, I decided to add one thing- an image list. This explains the images I had sent- details about size, year created, media. Curious? ——> Carmichael-Image List
The very last thing I did before printing out was proofing again. I also made sure to change all files names with my last name attached to it- all images, documents, the name of the USB drive. I also resized each picture to be relatively the same dimensions for ease of looking. Not only did I print out my letter of intent, resume, and image list- I added them to the usb drive as documents, just in case something happened.
Its in the mail today. I’m proud to get my first one done. I’m already looking at my next one, a call for muralists.