RACC Blog

Request for Qualifications | Suspended Artworks at PDX Terminal

Aerial view of the Portland International Airport (PDX) showing planes and terminals with the Columbia River and Mt. Hood in the background at sunset

Portland International Airport (PDX)

PDX Terminal Redevelopment Public Art RFQ

Suspended Artworks

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the Port of Portland (Port) in Portland, Oregon, are inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of a permanent public art display that will be a part of the Portland International Airport’s (PDX) terminal redevelopment project.

The Port of Portland has contracted with the Portland area’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage the selection process for this public art opportunity.

INTRODUCTION

PDX has been recognized as the best airport in the United States eight times in the last decade. The airport consistently ranks high when it comes to customer service, based on its facilities, accessibility, and security. PDX is renowned for its local restaurants, beverages, and retail offerings, as well as short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, and permeant artworks throughout the airport.

PDX seeks to commission distinctive, site specific, original public artwork for the $2B terminal redevelopment project. This unique artwork location has been identified for this Request for Qualification (RFQ) within the newly designed terminal. All public artwork locations in the new facility are identified on the attached Exhibit_A. Separate RFQ documents will be released over the next year for the remaining art installations in the terminal redevelopment project.

A Selection Committee of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and Port staff has been assembled to recommend artists or artist teams. Each piece of work shall reflect the essence of the region and create a memorable experience that passengers have come to expect from PDX.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will determine artist(s) eligibility to propose artwork for the specific location described in this document.

The due date to apply for this opportunity is  Tuesday, December 6, 2022 at 11:59pm PST.

The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. All the exhibits can be downloaded here.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support.

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

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PDX AIRPORT OVERVIEW

PDX serves as the unofficial welcome mat to the Northwest with nearly 20 million travelers a year passing through. Once the TCORE project is complete, in 2025, the facility will be capable of serving 35 million passengers. In addition to passengers, PDX supports a workforce of over 10,000 employees.

PDX served 14,107,240 million travelers during Fiscal Year 2022, which is 29% down from FY19’s passenger count of 19,941,424, due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, PDX has recovered from the impacts of the pandemic by 71%, out-performing Port financial analysts’ recovery forecast by 16.4%. Airline staffing shortages are currently suppressing a full recovery, which is expected by early 2024.

PDX operates primarily as an Origination and Destination (O&D) airport. Only 8% of passengers are connecting to other cities. The other 92% of travelers start or end their journey at PDX, and for all those passengers, the airport will be their first or last impression of the region.

With this in mind, the PDX art program seeks to create an environment that embodies the unique character of the Pacific Northwest. PDX is largely a leisure airport, with a smaller percentage of business travelers. This means that most airport users are either nearby residents or are deliberately choosing to visit our region for vacation, so both groups are particularly interested in a localized experience.

Twelve domestic carriers and six international carriers operate at the airport. The airport currently serves 53 domestic markets and, as of November 2022, will offer nonstop flights to 10 international destinations in Japan, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Iceland, Mexico and Canada, some of which are seasonal. Most international flights operate out of Concourse D. Combined, Alaska Air Group (which includes Horizon Air) is the largest passenger carrier at the airport and Southwest, Delta and United are the next three largest, respectively.

PDX currently contains four concourses with 50 gates and ground loading positions. When the terminal redevelopment project is complete, there will be 59 gates and the concourse connector will make its return in 2024, allowing passengers to navigate the entire terminal behind security.

PORT OF PORTLAND PUBLIC ART PROGRAM

PDX provides multiple venues for artists and community arts organizations seeking exposure for their works and collections. The program includes permanent art, rotating exhibits, a temporary installation program and a microcinema that showcases short films by Oregon filmmakers. More information on the art program can be found here.

PORT OF PORTLAND ART PROGRAM GOALS

Artists should also keep in mind the general goals of the Port of Portland’s entire art program, including that of commissioned permanent artworks.

  • Represent artists of diverse races, genders, geographic origins, ethnicities, and ways of being with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion
  • Incorporate a variety of artistic mediums/materials and aesthetics
  • Reflect the region’s creative and cultural wealth
  • Respond to the airport environment in consideration of designated architectural factors and features supporting the general character of the Port and PDX as described above
  • Made of durable materials and easily maintained

PDX TERMINAL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The redevelopment of the main terminal doubles the footprint of the terminal and invites passengers and employees to celebrate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a design evoking a walk in the forest; with vast windows and skylights providing daylight, interior landscaping of living plants, and a monumentally scaled wood roof produced from locally sourced timber.

Overall, the project will grow, modernize, and beautify PDX, preparing it to meet the demands of a new generation of travelers. The upgrades include a 150-footwide

building expansion that houses two brand new security checkpoints with increased capacity. The main entrance and ticket lobby will be fully redesigned to replace the 1950’s original, integrating today’s travel technologies. The concourse connector, which lets visitors move between the two sides of the airport without passing through security twice, will return. We’re also adding two new airline lounges, along with stunning artwork, lush greenery, and an impressive wood lattice roof.

The ticket lobby will be a bright and airy space with ample space for passengers to check in at their ticket counters while admiring the new pieces of artwork.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Ticket Lobby with a lattice work ceiling and skylights

The pre-security concessions will surround a large community gathering space with stadium-style seating, which all departing travelers will pass through. The gathering space will regularly host special events, celebrations, and entertainment.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Market Hall, pre security, showing people staggered around amphitheater style seating on either side of a performance area with someone playing grand piano in the center

Not to be outdone, the grand halls immediately after each security checkpoint will be reconstructed with 30-foot ceilings, expansive window views, tons of natural light, greenery at every eye-level, and a lineup of concessions designed to look like a city streetscape, complete with pergola-style canopies and sidewalk seating. To get a more concrete idea of what the new main terminal will look like, visit pdxnext.com, where you’ll see renderings and construction photos.

SOCIAL EQUITY POLICY

The Port of Portland’s Social Equity Policy promotes social equity, using a racial equity focus, with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion and creating the conditions in which all people can participate, prosper, and achieve equitable outcomes with respect to the Port’s employment, business, and services.

Cultural and racial equity will be considered throughout the process of selecting artists or artist teams, in terms of the demographics of the artists selected, the cultural communities served, and the diverse perspectives represented through the artwork. The Port encourages partnerships among artist/artist teams that reflect our region’s cultural heterogeneity.

ART SITES

The terminal redevelopment project is comprised of 9 separate opportunities for artwork, each with different budgets dependent on the project’s size, location and anticipated material and fabrication needs. Additional locations are listed in EXHIBIT B. The Selection Committee intends on selecting a different artist or artist team for each RFQ.

 

Suspended Art | Concourse Connector

Budget:  Not to Exceed $900,000

This is an opportunity for two large scale, signature artworks to be suspended from the ceiling in an area between both entries of the concourse connector passageway and situated around and above the concession’s pavilions. The concourse connector is a wide corridor that connects the north gates, Concourses D and E, to the south gates, Concourses B and C.  The two artworks are intended to visually complement each other. The artworks will be accessible to ticketed customers, PDX employees and vendor employees. Each zone measures approximately 100 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 9 feet from the top of the celling to the lowest point allowable. The artwork must be at least 15 feet from the ground plane. Each area is engineered for a distributed weight load across the designated area for approximant 4,300 lbs. total. Specifications and detail drawings will be provided during the interview phase.

The primary goals of this opportunity are for the art to:

  • Evoke delight and intrigue
  • Create beacons of texture, color, or pattern
  • Be impactful, iconic and provide wayfinding cues for travelers

The commission will be awarded to one artist or artist team with a budget not to exceed $900,000, inclusive of all artist design fees and associated travel costs, insurance, fabrication, transportation and installations of artwork on site. Eligibility: Open to artists living in the United States and internationally. Applicants must have successfully completed at least one art commission (public or private) within the past five years. RACC staff, Artist Selection Panelists, and Port of Portland employees or their immediate families are not eligible to apply.

APPLYING FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY

In response to the RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items through RACC Opportunity Portal  Incomplete applications cannot be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and submit materials by the application due date: 11:59pm (PST), December 6th 2022

 

Applications must include the following:

  1. Statement of interest. In 2000 or less characters and spaces, explain why this project is of interest to you. Describe how your previous work addressed site and similar goals stated for this project. Address how you and your artistic practice connect to or align with the Port’s Social Equity Policy detailed above. Include descriptions of how you worked with design and construction teams, and other comments that might help to differentiate you as a candidate for this project. Do not submit a proposal for the commission at this time.
  2. Two-page résumé uploaded as a PDF that outlines professional accomplishment and includes two professional references (name, affiliated organization, email address and phone number) for both individual applicants and teams (2 per team). For team applications, include a 2-page résumé for each team member that are combined into one PDF.
  3. Up to 10 images of past work including details. These images are the primary way the quality of your work is judged. Provide the following information for each visual: title, year produced, dimensions, budget, medium, and a brief description. Do not embed label information into the jpeg image. Up to 2 videos may be included.

 

EVALUATION CRITERIA 

Selection Phase
During this phase, qualified applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Artistic vibrancy of submitted past work
 30 points
  • Statement of interest to include:
    • Artist’s interest in project
10 points
    • Connection/Alignment to Port’s Social Equity Policy
10 points
  • Ability to create impactful artwork for PDX Airport
20 points
  • Potential to work successfully as part of  design and construction teams
10 points
  • Meets the goals of Port of Portland’s art program
20 points

 

Proposal/Interview Phase
During this phase, applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Demonstrated artistic vibrancy and feasibility of the proposed concept
40 points
  • Mastery of materials and fabrication through own skills or subcontracted fabricators
20 points
  • Potential to collaborate successfully with the project design and construction teams
20 points
  • Ease of maintenance, durability, and sustainability of materials
20 points

 

Artistic vibrancy is defined as an artistic practice that:

  • Demonstrates integrity of process.
  • Embodies excellence of craft and skills.
  • Demonstrates imagination, distinctiveness, and originality.
  • Contributes to artistic practice.
  • Engages with the diversity and complexity of contemporary life.
  • Is relevant in a local, national and global context.

SELECTION COMMITTEE/PROCESS

The RACC and the Port reserve the right to make changes to the RFQ.  Changes will be made by written addendum which will be issued to all prospective Providers on the RACC’s list of RFQ holders. A Provider may amend or withdraw its proposal any time prior to the time and date established for proposal submission. Refer to Exhibit C for specific disclosures and protest rules associated with this RFQ.

Proposal/Interview Phase

From these applicants, selected by the subcommittee, the Selection Committee will choose up to 5 finalists to prepare a more in-depth art proposal. Finalists will receive more site-specific information and supplemental documents to aid in the proposal process at that point.

A three-day site visit will be required of all interview finalists. Each finalist will be paid a $3,500 honorarium plus travel expenses. On Day One, artists will visit the site and meet with the design team to learn about the construction project and materials used in the new terminal. Day Two is reserved for the artists to reflect on what was learned and the development of a short presentation for the interview that provides initial thoughts, questions and direction for the artwork based on what was learned the previous day. Interviews will be conducted on Day Three. Project specific proposals will not be required at the interview stage

Following the presentations/interviews, the Art Committee will select a single artist/team  who will enter into a Design Phase Contract with the Regional Arts & Culture Council and begin collaborating as needed with the design team of ZGF and the Port of Portland. Following approval of the final design by the Art Committee, the artist/team will then enter into a Fabrication Contract with the Port of Portland, a sample contract is attached as Exhibit D.

 

WORKING PROJECT TIMELINE (BOTH SITES)

Information session:
Instagram Live on: Tuesday, November 8, 2022 2:30pm

Zoom on: Tuesday, November 15, 2022 3:00pm

Application due date: 11:59pm (PST), December 6th 2022

Artist selection for interview: January 2023

Artist (s) site visits, interviews: February 2023

Design Development: Winter 2023

Fabrication: Spring/ Summer 2023

Installation Completion: Spring 2024

*Dates provided are estimates based upon current knowledge of preliminary project schedules and are only intended to assist artists in determining their own availability to participate. Above dates in no way represent final approved schedules and are subject to change through future iterations of design and construction phases.

All questions relating to this RFQ must be posed through RACC’s online portal. Questions received fewer than five (5) business days prior to the deadline for receipt of submissions may not be considered.


RACC unveils Going Public! A Mural Skill Building Intensive

 

We are pleased to announce in partnership with the City of Hillsboro, Miller Paint, and TriMet a collaborative opportunity supporting public art in our community. Envisioned over the last two years, this program has come to fruition with guidance by administrators Salvador Mayoral IV, the Public Art Manager at the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and program consultant Ella Marra-Ketelaar as well as RACC’s Public Art Murals Committee.

In June of 2022, a cohort of emerging muralists of color were selected and paired with established muralists, all from the Portland metro area.  The program’s aim is to support these emerging muralists throughout the mural creative process by providing mentorship, mural-making workshops, and the opportunity to create and paint a design all the while being monetarily compensated for their energy, time, and labor to undergo this process. One of the program’s key goals is to  foster relationships with their fellow muralist participants through the attendance of the workshops, meeting regularly with their mentors, thus creating a network of support and access. This was instrumental in preparing the cohort of emerging muralists to paint their own mural designs on the many donated spaces from the Going Public! partners.

“We’re thrilled to be part of RACC’s Going Public! mentorship program,” TriMet’s Public Art Administrator Michelle Traver said. “TriMet is also committed to nurturing emerging artists and we are pleased to host artist Rebecca Rodela’s first mural, Lotería en Portlandia, at the Gateway Transit Center, where it can be experienced by our riders and the general public alike.”

We are excited to partner with RACC to bring more colorful murals to our neighborhoods,” said Puji Sherer, Miller Paint’s Vice President of Marketing, Color & Brand. “Our Hollywood store in Northeast Portland is one of the mural sites for the project which is in the heart of this community.”

 All but one mural will be completed by the end of November 2022. Follow the mural making process by visiting the social media accounts of RACC, our partners, and the artists.

“Community building and skill sharing are at the forefront of Going Public!” said program consultant Ella Marra-Ketelaar. “It has been incredibly important to feature established artists (mentors and workshop presenters) that are willing to share their years of collective knowledge with the next generation of muralists. The program’s role is to create a platform, their knowledge, and collaboration is what makes it possible”. 

The workshop presenters include, Sarah Farahat, Bernadette Little, Adam Ciresi, Molly Mendoza, Ursula Barton, Daren Todd, Kyra Watkins and William Hernandez.

The mentors include, Kyra Watkins, William Hernandez, Alex Chiu, and Patricia Vásquez Gómez.

All images by Leo Townsell, July 2022 at one of the workshops in Zidell Yards.

The cohort of muralists include, Abdiel Flores Ubaldo, Saphya Lones, Nabíl De la Rosa, Rebecca Rodela, and Tim Tran.

Carol Tatch, RACC’s Chief of External Operations, stresses the importance of leading with RACC values of access, inclusivity, and equity. “It’s not just that you get to wake up and it’s there, but you actually get to see the process. It is definitely important to the economic prosperity of any region to have public art — art that is accessible. That just brings rewards for everyone in the community.”

For more information please contact Salvador Mayoral, the Public Art Project Manager.


RACC launches new Fresh Paint Mural in partnership with Open Signal

Artist Jerome Sloan Comes Full Circle with New Mural, Growth
Now on view at Open Signal on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd as part of Fresh Paint, a partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council

Jerome Sloan spent his youth in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood, starting his creative journey as a spray painter in the 1980s. Now he brings his work back home with a new mural Growth, part of Fresh Paint, a temporary mural program from Open Signal and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Growth will be on view from October to March on Open Signal’s wall on NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd between Graham and Knott Streets.

Sloan’s work documents the struggle to become a better person, drawing from his experiences during a long period of incarceration. At 19 years old, he was sentenced to life without parole. He spent the next 28 years within the prison system developing and leading cognitive programming to help ex-gang members change their lives, and teaching art classes to help others find meaning in creativity. In early 2022, his sentence was commuted by Governor Kate Brown for the impact he had on the young men he worked with.

He now brings his message to the area in which he grew up. “A great piece of art should compel you to take some sort of action or change the way you think,” says the artist. “I send my art out with the hope that it plays a part in changing people or moves them in a positive direction. It is my job to be an example that is positive.”

In this piece, two hands, with vines wrapped around them, reach up towards the sun — representing the need to grow to survive, and the act of reaching towards something bigger and more productive than oneself. The letters spell “growth” in an alphabet of his own creation, and in a graffiti style that he developed when he was young in this very area. The work reflects Sloan’s approach, taking a realistic image and pushing it into the abstract. “Through Fresh Paint we’ve been able to bring great local artists like Jerome into our community,” notes Open Signal’s Community Media Advocacy Manager KatMeow García. “This program is a true collaboration — what started as a conversation between the Regional Arts & Council and Open Signal now encompasses staff, artists, mentors and anyone who’s been impacted by the art. The mural may be temporary, but the connections keep going.”

Mural being completed with artist holding paint and a ladder and paint equipment on the sidewalk

Completed mural with two people standing in front of it with their arms up

Photos by Sabrina Spurlock,  Oct 2022

Fresh Paint is a partnership between the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Open Signal that began in 2017. The program supports emerging artists of color with their first publicly funded commission; the artists expand their creative skill sets and build paths to other public art opportunities. Sloan is the thirteenth muralist to take part in this program; previous muralists have included Molly Mendoza; the artist team of Bizar Gomez, Maria Rodriguez, and Anke Gladnick; and Zeinab Saab.

See more from the artist at jeromesloanart.com.


Regional Arts & Culture Council endorses the CREATIVE Act (Capital, Repairs, and Employment for Art Talent to Improve Visibility Everywhere) Introduced by Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31 2022

Regional Arts & Culture Council endorses the CREATIVE Act

(Capital, Repairs, and Employment for Art Talent to Improve Visibility Everywhere) Introduced by

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR1)

Portland, Oregon

We join arts and culture organizations and businesses across the nation, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Americans for the Arts (AFTA), Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), Grantmakers in the Arts, Cultural Advocacy Coalition of Oregon, and many others who believe that arts and culture are a vital part of what makes us human and enables us to thrive, share stories, connect, learn, and innovate. This act will support our arts organizations and grow our creative economy here in Oregon and the rest of the nation. The Capital, Repairs, and Employment for Art Talent to Improve Visibility Everywhere (CREATIVE) Act will be instrumental as arts organizations strive to recover from the pandemic. It will provide additional funds through grants to build or upgrade current facilities, produce art, reach underserved communities, and hire new staff.

“The arts are an integral part of our economy, help us better understand the world around us, and fuel authentic and meaningful community-building,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Arts organizations were hit hard by the pandemic and many are still struggling to rebuild. The CREATIVE Act will provide the funding these important organizations need to restore their programming and create jobs in the creative sector.”

The CREATIVE Act builds on the NEA’s critical support for local arts agencies organizations by expanding their grantmaking capacity. Specifically, the CREATIVE Act would:

Expand Access to Capital for Facilities: The grants can be used to improve or upgrade facilities, hire new staff, and produce art;

Seek Community Input: Applicants must include how their community will benefit from these resources and how they plan to sustain their programs;

Reach Underserved Communities: Eligible applicants must focus on access to the arts, including arts education in underrepresented communities;

Create Strong Guardrails: The grants will involve reporting requirements and a procedure for returning unused or misspent funds;

Make Rural Outreach a Priority: At least 20% of total grant funds will be reserved for rural communities.

Last year, The Arts Education for All Act was introduced to address the gap in access to arts education, which has the potential to improve the lifelong health and achievement of both children and adults. RACC joined hundreds of other organizations across the country in the endorsement of this act. Once again, Oregon is a leader in advocating, promoting, and encouraging creative work to be part of the artscape in our communities through these legislative acts.

Carol Tatch, RACC’s Chief of External Operations, said “As we look to creating the future that our artists and creatives deserve, RACC sees this as another tool for our continuing recovery from recent health and environmental impacts and an essential building block for access, equity, and engagement in our shared communities. Please support this effort with full hearts and open minds. Let’s KEEP creating the world we want to live in.

A one-page summary of the CREATIVE Act can be found here. The text of the legislation can be found here.                                                                                                 

###

 

The Regional Arts & Culture Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides grants for artists and nonprofit organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; and provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance. RACC advocates for equity, inclusion and access, working to build a community in which everyone can participate in culture, creativity and the arts. For more information visit racc.org

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT

Carol Tatch, Chief of External Operations, RACC

ctatch@racc.org

 

Mario Mesquita, Manager of Advocacy and Engagement, RACC

mmesquita@racc.org


Request for Qualifications | Art Glass Walls at PDX Terminal

Aerial view of the Portland International Airport (PDX) showing planes and terminals with the Columbia River and Mt. Hood in the background at sunset

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the Port of Portland (Port) in Portland, Oregon, are inviting artists to submit their qualifications for the design and installation of a permanent public art display that will be a part of the Portland International Airport’s (PDX) terminal redevelopment project.

The Port of Portland has contracted with the Portland area’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage the selection process for this public art opportunity.

INTRODUCTION

PDX has been recognized as the best airport in the United States eight times in the last decade. The airport consistently ranks high when it comes to customer service, based on its facilities, accessibility, and security. PDX is renowned for its local restaurants, beverages, and retail offerings, as well as short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, and permeant artworks throughout the airport.

PDX seeks to commission distinctive, site specific, original public artwork for the $2B terminal redevelopment project. This unique artwork location has been identified for this Request for Qualification (RFQ) within the newly designed terminal. All public artwork locations in the new facility are identified on the attached Exhibit_A. Separate RFQ documents will be released over the next year for the remaining art installations in the terminal redevelopment project.

A Selection Committee of community representatives, arts and culture professionals, and Port staff has been assembled to recommend artists or artist teams. Each piece of work shall reflect the essence of the region and create a memorable experience that passengers have come to expect from PDX.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will determine artist(s) eligibility to propose artwork for the specific location described in this document.

The due date to apply for this opportunity is  Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 11:59pm PST.

The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. All the exhibits can be downloaded here.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support.

Interpretation services available, email info@racc.org

Servicio de interpretación disponible
Предоставляются услуги переводчика
Có dịch vụ thông dịch
通訳サービスあり

PDX AIRPORT OVERVIEW

PDX serves as the unofficial welcome mat to the Northwest with nearly 20 million travelers a year passing through. Once the TCORE project is complete, in 2025, the facility will be capable of serving 35 million passengers. In addition to passengers, PDX supports a workforce of over 10,000 employees.

PDX served 14,107,240 million travelers during Fiscal Year 2022, which is 29% down from FY19’s passenger count of 19,941,424, due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 2022, PDX has recovered from the impacts of the pandemic by 71%, out-performing Port financial analysts’ recovery forecast by 16.4%. Airline staffing shortages are currently suppressing a full recovery, which is expected by early 2024.

PDX operates primarily as an Origination and Destination (O&D) airport. Only 8% of passengers are connecting to other cities. The other 92% of travelers start or end their journey at PDX, and for all those passengers, the airport will be their first or last impression of the region.

With this in mind, the PDX art program seeks to create an environment that embodies the unique character of the Pacific Northwest. PDX is largely a leisure airport, with a smaller percentage of business travelers. This means that most airport users are either nearby residents or are deliberately choosing to visit our region for vacation, so both groups are particularly interested in a localized experience.

Twelve domestic carriers and six international carriers operate at the airport. The airport currently serves 53 domestic markets and, as of November 2022, will offer nonstop flights to 10 international destinations in Japan, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Iceland, Mexico and Canada, some of which are seasonal. Most international flights operate out of Concourse D. Combined, Alaska Air Group (which includes Horizon Air) is the largest passenger carrier at the airport and Southwest, Delta and United are the next three largest, respectively.

PDX currently contains four concourses with 50 gates and ground loading positions. When the terminal redevelopment project is complete, there will be 59 gates and the concourse connector will make its return in 2024, allowing passengers to navigate the entire terminal behind security.

PORT OF PORTLAND PUBLIC ART PROGRAM

PDX provides multiple venues for artists and community arts organizations seeking exposure for their works and collections. The program includes permanent art, rotating exhibits, a temporary installation program and a microcinema that showcases short films by Oregon filmmakers. More information on the art program can be found herePeople moving around inside a terminal at the Portland International Airport PDX. View of chairs, marble floors, ceiling artwork windows and stores

PORT OF PORTLAND ART PROGRAM GOALS

Artists should also keep in mind the general goals of the Port of Portland’s entire art program, including that of commissioned permanent artworks.

  • Represent artists of diverse races, genders, geographic origins, ethnicities, and ways of being with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion
  • Incorporate a variety of artistic mediums/materials and aesthetics
  • Reflect the region’s creative and cultural wealth
  • Respond to the airport environment in consideration of designated architectural factors and features supporting the general character of the Port and PDX as described above
  • Made of durable materials and easily maintained

PDX TERMINAL REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT

The redevelopment of the main terminal doubles the footprint of the terminal and invites passengers and employees to celebrate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with a design evoking a walk in the forest; with vast windows and skylights providing daylight, interior landscaping of living plants, and a monumentally scaled wood roof produced from locally sourced timber.

Overall, the project will grow, modernize, and beautify PDX, preparing it to meet the demands of a new generation of travelers. The upgrades include a 150-footwide

building expansion that houses two brand new security checkpoints with increased capacity. The main entrance and ticket lobby will be fully redesigned to replace the 1950’s original, integrating today’s travel technologies. The concourse connector, which lets visitors move between the two sides of the airport without passing through security twice, will return. We’re also adding two new airline lounges, along with stunning artwork, lush greenery, and an impressive wood lattice roof.

The ticket lobby will be a bright and airy space with ample space for passengers to check in at their ticket counters while admiring the new pieces of artwork.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Ticket Lobby with a lattice work ceiling and skylights

The pre-security concessions will surround a large community gathering space with stadium-style seating, which all departing travelers will pass through. The gathering space will regularly host special events, celebrations, and entertainment.

Artist Rendering of the new PDX Market Hall, pre security, showing people staggered around amphitheater style seating on either side of a performance area with someone playing grand piano in the center

Not to be outdone, the grand halls immediately after each security checkpoint will be reconstructed with 30-foot ceilings, expansive window views, tons of natural light, greenery at every eye-level, and a lineup of concessions designed to look like a city streetscape, complete with pergola-style canopies and sidewalk seating. To get a more concrete idea of what the new main terminal will look like, visit pdxnext.com, where you’ll see renderings and construction photos.

SOCIAL EQUITY POLICY

The Port of Portland’s Social Equity Policy promotes social equity, using a racial equity focus, with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion and creating the conditions in which all people can participate, prosper, and achieve equitable outcomes with respect to the Port’s employment, business, and services.

Cultural and racial equity will be considered throughout the process of selecting artists or artist teams, in terms of the demographics of the artists selected, the cultural communities served, and the diverse perspectives represented through the artwork. The Port encourages partnerships among artist/artist teams that reflect our region’s cultural heterogeneity.

ART SITES

The terminal redevelopment project is comprised of 9 separate opportunities for artwork, each with different budgets dependent on the project’s size, location and anticipated material and fabrication needs. Additional locations are listed in EXHIBIT B. The Selection Committee intends on selecting a different artist or artist team for each RFQ.

Artist Rendering of the ticket area with rectangles indicating area for proposed artwork between the pinstripe glass on the left and environmental graphic wall on the right on the lower level. Trailing plants can be seen on the tier above and the lattice ceiling also visible.

i. Art area is the pink dotted line

Art Glass Walls | Between Concourse Connector and Security Queuing Area

Budget:  Not to Exceed $940,000

This is an opportunity for an artist-designed glass wall located on the enplaning/ boarding gates level between the concourse connector and the queuing area for both North and South TSA security check points. There are two glass walls available for art that are visible from both the concourse connector passageway and from the security queuing area. The concourse connector passageway is a wide corridor that connects the north gates, Concourses D and E, to the south gates, Concourses B and C.

These glass art walls will provide visual experience in the security checkpoint queuing area that can sometimes be stress inducing. The artworks’ design should counter the stress rather than provoke it. Each of the walls are 56 feet long and 10’-8” feet high, 560 square feet. This artwork should hold intrigue from both a distance and close-up while maintaining various levels of translucency and transparency to take advantage of natural light and views of the outside. The selected artist or artist team will be given parameters for this transparency.  It will be viewed from both sides of the glass, from the concourse connector passageway and both pre and post security areas. Specifications and detail drawings will be provided during the interview phase.

The primary goals of this opportunity are for the art to:

  • Evoke delight and intrigue
  • Be impactful, iconic and provide wayfinding cues for travelers
  • Conjure a harmonious and calm mood to counter the stress of the area

Map of PDX Concourse 2 showing art opportunity areas 2 and 2 b with a legend indicating which areas are for art opportunities and which are overhead art opportunities along with the icons for landscape trees

Artist rendering of the proposed PDX ticket area showing only physical structures and a red rectangle marking the location of an art opportunity

Artist rendering of the proposed PDX ticket area showing both physical structures (including the famous carpet) and people with a red rectangle marking the location of an art opportunity near the amphitheater seating and performance area

The commission will be awarded to one artist or artist team with a budget not to exceed $940,000, inclusive of all artist design fees and associated travel costs, insurance, fabrication, and transportation. This assumes General Contractor installing artwork on site.   Eligibility: Open to artists living in the North America. No previous glass experience is required.  The Port and RACC view this project as a possible development opportunity for an artist or artist team to take their work to a new level of fabrication with technical assistance from RACC & others. RACC and the fabricators will be on hand to assist on the translation from design to glass wall. RACC staff, Artist Selection Panelists, and Port of Portland employees or their immediate families are not eligible to apply.

APPLYING FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY

In response to the RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following items through the RACC Opportunity Portal. Incomplete applications cannot be considered. It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and submit materials by the
closing date: 11:59pm, Pacific Time, November 16th, 2022

Applications must include the following:

  1. Statement of interest. In 2000 or less characters and spaces, explain why this project is of interest to you. Describe how your previous work addressed site and similar goals stated for this project. Address how you and your artistic practice connect to or align with the Port’s Social Equity Policy detailed above. Include descriptions of how you worked with design and construction teams, and other comments that might help to differentiate you as a candidate for this project. Do not submit a proposal for the commission at this time.
  2. Two-page résumé uploaded as a PDF that outlines professional accomplishment and includes two professional references (name, affiliated organization, email address and phone number) for both individual applicants and teams (2 per team). For team applications, include a 2-page résumé for each team member that are combined into one PDF.
  3. Up to 10 images of past work including details. These images are the primary way the quality of your work is judged. Provide the following information for each visual: title, year produced, dimensions, budget, medium, and a brief description. Do not embed label information into the jpeg image. Up to 2 videos may be included.

EVALUATION CRITERIA

Selection Phase 1
During this phase, qualified applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Artistic vibrancy of submitted past work
30 points
  • Statement of interest to include:

Artist’s interest in project

Connection/Alignment to Port’s Social Equity Policy

 

10 points

10 points

  • Ability to create impactful artwork for PDX Airport
20 points
  • Potential to work successfully as part of design and construction teams
10 points
  • Meets the goals of Port of Portland’s art program
20 points

Proposal/Interview – Phase 2
During this phase, applicants will be ranked by the Selection Committee on a 100-point system based on the following points distribution:

Demonstrated artistic vibrancy and feasibility of the proposed concept 40 points
Demonstrated knowledge & skills on working with transparency and scale relationships 20 points
Potential to collaborate successfully with the project design and construction teams 20 points
Ease of maintenance, durability, and sustainability of materials 20 points

Artistic vibrancy is defined as an artistic practice that:

  • Demonstrates integrity of process.
  • Embodies excellence of craft and skills.
  • Demonstrates imagination, distinctiveness, and originality.
  • Contributes to artistic practice.
  • Engages with the diversity and complexity of contemporary life.
  • Is relevant in a local, national and global context.

SELECTION COMMITTEE/PROCESS

Members of the Art Committee include artists, arts professionals, the project architect, a Port Commissioner, Port staff and community members. Non-voting advisors to the panel include additional Port staff.

Evaluation of the applicants will be in accordance with the Evaluation Criteria listed above. The issuance of this RFQ, and the receipt of applicants does not obligate that Port to award a contract. The Port may cancel this RFQ or reject any or all proposals in accordance with ORS 279B.100.

All questions relating to this RFQ must be posed through RACC’s online portal. Questions received fewer than five (5) business days prior to the deadline for receipt of submissions may not be considered.

The RACC and the Port reserve the right to make changes to the RFQ.  Changes will be made by written addendum which will be issued to all prospective Providers on the RACC’s list of RFQ holders. A Provider may amend or withdraw its proposal any time prior to the time and date established for proposal submission. Refer to EXHIBIT C for specific disclosures and protest rules associated with this RFQ.

Selection Phase 1

Prior to the selection phase, a subcommittee comprised of Selection Committee members will review all applicants and narrow the initial pool of RFQ applicants to no more than 50 artists/artist teams per site.

Proposal/Interview Phase 2

From these applicants, selected by the subcommittee, the Selection Committee will choose up to 5 finalists to prepare a more in-depth art proposal. Finalists will receive more site-specific information and supplemental documents to aid in the proposal process at that point.

A three-day site visit will be required of all interview finalists. Each finalist will be paid a $3,500 honorarium plus travel expenses. On Day One, artists will visit the site and meet with the design team to learn about the construction project and materials used in the new terminal. Day Two is reserved for the artists to reflect on what was learned and the development of a short presentation for the interview that provides initial thoughts, questions and direction for the artwork based on what was learned the previous day. Interviews will be conducted on Day Three. Project specific proposals will not be required at the interview stage.

Following the presentations/interviews, the Art Committee will select a single artist/team  who will enter into a Design Phase Contract with the Regional Arts & Culture Council and begin collaborating as needed with the design team of ZGF and the Port of Portland. Following approval of the final design by the Art Committee, the artist/team will then enter into a Fabrication Contract with the Port of Portland, a sample contract is attached as EXHIBIT D.

WORKING PROJECT TIMELINE

Info Sessions

Instagram Live on Wednesday, October 26, 2022 12:30-1pm PDT

Zoom on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 2:30- 3:30pm PDT

 

Application due date: 11:59pm (PST), November 16th, 2022

Artist selection for interview: January 2023

Artist (s) site visits, interviews: February 2023

Design Development: Winter/2023

Fabrication: Spring 2023

Installation Completion: Spring 2024

*Dates provided are estimates based upon current knowledge of preliminary project schedules and are only intended to assist artists in determining their own availability to participate. Above dates in no way represent final approved schedules and are subject to change through future iterations of design and construction phases.

All questions relating to this RFQ must be posed through RACC’s online portal. Questions received fewer than five (5) business days prior to the deadline for receipt of submissions may not be considered.


Call for Artists: Midland Library | Gathering Circle Artwork

Rendering of the art site, view looking towards the northeast corner

If you would prefer these materials in another language please contact the RACC project team for translation services.

Interpretation services are available, please email info@racc.org.
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Midland Library
Gathering Circle Artwork
Request for Qualifications

In partnership with Multnomah County Library (MCL), the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites artists/artist teams living in Oregon and Washington to submit qualifications for a site-specific interior artwork at the soon-to-be renovated Midland Library as part of the Library Capital Bond Projects.

Approved by Multnomah County voters in 2020, the Library Capital Bond Projects will include expansions and renovations to seven branch libraries; building a destination library in East County; adding gigabit speed internet to all libraries; and creating a materials handling and distribution center, also known as the Operations Center. The renovation and expansion of Midland Library is part of the first phase of the bond project. The Gathering Circle Artwork at the library is one of three public art elements intended for the new site.

One artist/artist team will be selected to create a 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork which will frame the library’s interior Gathering Circle, a communal seating area directly opposite the new entryway. The artwork may encompass texture and 3D elements if appropriate for the site and within budget. Located on the north wall of the Gathering Circle, the artwork will be highly visible as people arrive at the library. The artist(s) may also choose to include the neighboring east facing wall, shown to the right side of the image above. The budget available for the commission comes from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program and is $60,000.

Submissions are due by Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 5:00pm PDT.

The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. Further information about the project can be accessed here.

Art Opportunity

We are seeking an artist or artist team to create a site-specific interior wall-mounted artwork for Midland Library’s Gathering Circle, a new communal seating area that encourages and fosters connection. The far north wall of the art site frames the backdrop of the Gathering Circle and is directly across from the new main entry doors, therefore this artwork will be one of the first things visible as people enter the library. It is possible for the artwork to extend to the east wall of the Gathering Circle, depending on the artist’s vision and budget allocations. There will be a featured book collection on the west wall of the space, the current intention is for this selection to celebrate Midland Library’s various cultural communities. However, the final determination for this compilation will be made by library staff.

While the site primarily suits a 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork, there is a desire to incorporate texture and/or 3-dimensional elements, created through either illusion or physical components. Use of mediums such as textiles/fabric arts, ceramics, mosaics, paint, light, color, wood, metal and more could be considered. We expect the artist(s) to determine the medium for their work through conversations with the project team, taking other design considerations for the space into account.

For example, the Gathering Circle is bookended by the Teen Space, on the other side of the east wall, and the Children’s Space, to the west. In addition, a Sensory Room will be accessible from the Gathering Circle space. These groups as well as the diverse range of populations whom the library serves should be considered within the design. As this area is intended to be a place where all library guests feel comfortable, the artwork should not be overly stimulating, reflecting on and incorporating aspects of trauma-informed design will be beneficial.

The north wall of the Gathering Circle is about 16ft in height and 36ft in length with an approximately 9ft bay of full height windows that interrupts it. The east wall of the Gathering Circle is 16ft in height and 26ft in width. Both walls have tiered seating up to 4ft-6inch in height that is permanently installed in front of the walls. The artwork should take the spatial adjustments related to the windows and seating into consideration, especially as it is desired for this artwork to extend down to heights where many people will be able to reach and touch it, including children. The total area for art is approximately 340sq.ft. on both the north and east walls, with a combined total of 680sq.sf. At heights that are accessible to general patrons, the finished artwork must be durable, easy to maintain, and tamper resistant. It should be assumed that people will touch the artwork over time.

Artwork on the north wall will not be in the path of any direct sunlight, however artwork on the east wall will be. The wall behind the artwork will be a drywall surface with a plywood backing provided for the full extent of the wall(s). The door for entering the Sensory Room will be to the west of the north wall, so the artwork will need to retain ADA clearances in order to allow for access. Therefore, the overall depth of the artwork can extend up to 4in maximum from the face of the drywall wall under 7ft in height and up to 6in maximum above 7ft in height.

The artist(s) will be responsible for delivering a completed piece of artwork to be installed on site as a final deliverable and will also work with the design team to select complementary fabrics for the furniture in this area. The project team will coordinate installation with the artist(s), RACC, the construction contractor and any third party vendors, if necessary. Artist(s) are invited to either conduct the final installation personally or be part of reviewing the final install, depending on the medium and vision for the artwork.

Information Sessions

  • Wednesday October 19, 2022 at 1pm on Instagram Live with Morgan and Sophie from RACC. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities.
  • Wednesday October 26, 2022 at 5pm on Zoom with Sophie from RACC and Elizabeth from Colloqate Design, the design team leading the Midland Library renovation project. Watch the previously recorded Zoom Info Session here

We strongly encourage you to attend an info session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. The project team will share information about this opportunity and go over the steps of how to submit application materials.

If you have questions about the Zoom info session or need any accommodations in order to attend, please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

Artwork Goals & Qualities

The goal is for the many works of art in the library to represent the myriad of communities that live, work and play in Mill Park, and other surrounding neighborhoods, especially under-represented communities. Communities served by Midland Library should be reflected in the new works of art through artistic expression and creative storytelling. There is a deep desire for the Gathering Circle artwork to instill a sense of place and belonging, creating a warm, inviting and welcoming environment where imagination, interests and engagement can be inspired.

The overall concept for the design of Midland Library is based on the idea of weaving. The project aims to weave together a diverse range of stories and lived experiences in a shared communal space. Humans’ relationship to nature, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is also central to this concept. On the interior of the building, this manifests as a focus on water as a connector to all life and environments. As part of the community engagement process so far, library patrons were asked to participate in the selection of the color palette for the interior design. Option B, the concept inspired by the movement of water, creating a calm space with gentle colors and soft, natural patterns, won the public vote. In addition, through ongoing community engagement efforts with library users and the MCL team, members of various communities have expressed that circles are a significant spatial form for gathering in many cultures and traditions. Community feedback has noted that circles represent equality and life cycles. We are seeking artwork that considers culturally specific colors, shapes and patterns, perhaps reflecting textiles, symbols and color palettes, from the various communities served by Midland Library. Innovatively weaving the vast array of community stories and experiences together is essential. Further collective visioning, through engagement with the community, will likely inspire even more creative suggestions.

The Gathering Circle artwork should take these design directives into consideration, complementing the interior design palette and aligning with the overall goals to center trauma-informed design in this space. Themes of weaving, water and circles can be drawn upon to inspire the final artwork design, however we are not necessarily expecting literal interpretations or representations of these concepts in the artwork.

Communities served by Midland Library include Black/African American, Indigenous Peoples, Somali and other East African immigrants, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin speakers), Vietnamese, Slavic and Eastern European, Malay, Bhutanese, Iraqi, Tongan, Latinx (not just Spanish language speakers), youth and elders, LGBTQIA2S+, people living with disabilities and neurodivergence, people experiencing housing insecurity. More information from the community engagement process so far, including demographics, will be shared with the artist/artist team to ensure authentic understanding and representation.

Budget

The selected artist/artist team will receive $60,000 for this opportunity to create a site-specific interior 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork. This fee is inclusive of all project expenses including artist fees, design development, materials, fabrication, installation, community engagement scope of work and communication/coordination with the design team, construction team and third-party contractors who may help to fabricate and install the artwork.

Community Engagement & Participatory Design

Community engagement is a central component to this project. We are seeking an artist/artist team who welcomes and reflects the diverse communities that are served by Midland Library within their process and work. Genuine understanding and demonstration of community engagement practices in existing artistic practice, past work and/or other key areas of experience where skillsets may be transferable, such as teaching, mentorship, community organizing, care work and other non-typical/non-traditional examples of embedding community into process and practice, are highly desirable. 

Prior to finalizing a design, the selected artist/artist team will plan and facilitate at least two engagement sessions to meet with community stakeholders to gather information and insight into the library, community and area. The artist(s) is expected to welcome and encourage community participation within the design phase, seeking feedback, input and inspiration from key stakeholders to ensure the final artwork meets the intended goals as outlined above, specifically community representation.

Midland Library will be available as a venue to host community engagement events. Interpretation, translation and other access services can be made available, if needed, and coordinated through MCL and/or RACC, if enough time is given in advance. Working or in-progress design materials and narratives may be requested for wider community communication updates and will be coordinated in conjunction with the project team.

About the Library Capital Bond Project

As part of the Library Capital Bond Projects, MCL is expanding the Midland Library to provide additional space and an enjoyable experience for all through renovations to the existing building as well as more robust services. Located on the southwest corner of SE 122nd Ave and SE Morrison St in the Mill Park neighborhood of east Portland, Oregon, the existing 24,000 square foot library will be updated and expanded by 6,000 square feet. The revised site will include a new entryway which creates the opportunity for an interior Gathering Circle, a communal space to foster and encourage connection amongst patrons, staff and community members alike. 

The renovation and expansion of Midland Library is part of the first phase of the Library Capital Bond Projects and will be one of the first to reopen, currently scheduled for late spring/early summer 2024. 

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to artists/artist teams based in Oregon and Washington. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. Those with significant current or past connections, or those with interest and ability to create meaningful connections, to Midland Library, the Mill Park neighborhood and other surrounding neighborhoods and communities served by the library are preferred. Applicants who have an interest in and/or experience with community engagement processes, including social practice, which inform their approach and art practice are strongly encouraged to apply. Strong consideration will be given to artists who have experience working with youth and residents from historically underrepresented communities to develop their artwork including communities of color as well as immigrant and refugee communities.

MCL and RACC are committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for emerging and historically underrepresented artists. Artists/artist teams representing communities of color are strongly encouraged to apply. RACC is committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the City’s public art collection.

The selected artist/artist team must be able to create, complete and deliver their artwork by February/March 2024.

Selection Process

At this time, the selection process will be entirely virtual. A selection panel composed of Multnomah County Library representatives, local artists, community members and East County residents, Library Bond Project team members and Midland Library design team members will review artists’ submissions and choose more than one finalist to invite to interview for the commission.

Overall, the purpose of the interview is to allow the artist(s) and panel to meet each other and engage in a mutually beneficial and informative conversation. It’s an opportunity for the artist(s) to better understand the context of the project and the intentions the selection panel has for the final art piece. Both parties are given the chance to ask questions and determine best alignment and artist selection for the project. After the interviews are completed, the selection panel will choose a final artist/artist team to award the public art opportunity to. The selected artist(s) will then be issued a Design Phase contract during which they will create a community engagement plan, meet with the community and create a proposal that includes a design for the Gathering Circle, a budget and a timeline.

Criteria for selecting semifinalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general goals described above, specifically community engagement and designing with stakeholder communities, through demonstrated processes and/or final design; (4) existing, interest in and/or ability to create connections to Midland Library, Mill Park, other surrounding neighborhoods and communities served by the library.

Please note the selection panel reserves the right to select an artist who does not directly apply to this call, if appropriate. Likewise, the panel maintains the option to make no selection from submitted applications and to reopen the selection process or propose other methods of selection if no applicant is accepted.

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants will need to create an account, or log into their existing account at https://racc.org/apply. If you are applying as a team, please assign one person to apply and be the point of contact on behalf of the team.

Application Materials

  • Artist bio/resume. Upload a PDF, no more than two pages, that outlines your creative activities, artistic accomplishments and experience with community engagement. If applying as a team, submit one PDF that includes a bio/resume for all team members. 
  • Statement of interest. In 3000 characters or less, provide a statement that outlines the following:
    • Your interest in this project
      • Why this project, its focus and themes are of interest to you
      • Why you’d be a good match for the project
      • How do you foresee your work connecting to the mission and values of the project
    • Describe your capacity and/or experience to complete the scope of work
    • Explain why you value community engagement in your artistic process and share past examples of successfully incorporating community visions, values and voices into a project
      • What is your approach to community engagement
      • How has community engagement impacted your process
      • How has community engagement informed your art-making practice and the end results of your work
    • If you are applying as a team, describe your individual roles on the team and how you anticipate working together
  • Up to 8 past work samples. These work samples are the primary way the quality of your work will be judged. Provide up to two images, no larger than 5MB each, for each work sample. For each image, please provide title, artist name, media, dimensions, year completed, budget and location. Conceptual information is desirable but not required.

Once you have started your application, you can save after each step and sign out. Your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on, as needed. Please note that after you click “Submit,” your application is final and no further edits can be made.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us throughout the process.

 Submissions due Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 5:00pm PDT

Questions

We are here to support and assist you! If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC application portal,  would like to set up a time for a phone/video call or have any other needs for assistance please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language you can contact the RACC project team  for translation services.

We strongly encourage you to submit your application with enough time for any questions to be answered prior to when submissions are due as enquiries received towards the end of that period may not be responded to. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of our capacity.

Interpretation services are available, please email info@racc.org.
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Important Dates

October 6, 2022 – RFQ launch
November 3, 2022 – Applications due
November-December 2022 – Panel review and artist selection including interviews
January-May/June 2023 – Community Engagement and Participatory Design
June 2023-February 2024 – Fabrication
March 2024 – Artwork complete and installation


Call for Artists: Holgate Library | Exterior Site Enclosure Artwork

Rendering of the art site, view looking towards the northeast corner

If you would prefer these materials in another language please contact the RACC project team for translation services.

Interpretation services are available, please email info@racc.org.
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Holgate Library
Exterior Site Enclosure Artwork
Request for Qualifications

In partnership with Multnomah County Library (MCL), the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) invites artists and artist teams living in Oregon and Washington to submit qualifications for a site-specific exterior artwork at the newly constructed Holgate Library as part of the Library Capital Bond Projects.

Approved by Multnomah County voters in 2020, the Library Capital Bond Projects will include expansions and renovations to seven branch libraries; building a destination library in East County; adding gigabit speed internet to all libraries; and creating a materials handling and distribution center, also known as the Operations Center. The renovation and expansion of Holgate Library is part of the first phase of the bond project. The Exterior Site Enclosure Artwork at the library is one of two public art elements intended for the new site.

One artist/artist team will be selected to create a  2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork on the south and west facing walls of the Exterior Site Enclosure, a purpose built multi-use space for staff bike parking and library trash receptacles. The artwork may encompass texture and 3D elements if appropriate for the site and within budget. Located within the outdoor patio on the north side of the building, between the new library and the new parking lot, the artwork will be highly visible from SE 79th Avenue as people arrive at the library. In addition, the artwork will act as the backdrop to ground floor flex spaces that will be used by library staff and patrons for classes and events. The budget available for the commission comes from Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program and is $30,000 for the design fee, with a separate allocation for materials, fabrication and installation.

Submissions are due by Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 5:00pm PDT. 

The full request for qualifications can be downloaded here. Further information about the project can be accessed here.

Art Opportunity

We are seeking an artist or artist team to create a site-specific 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork for Holgate Library’s Exterior Site Enclosure, a purpose built functional outdoor space for staff bike parking and library trash receptacles. The artwork will wrap the enclosure on the south and west sides and should be a durable exterior installation that can withstand the elements, is graffiti resistant and easily cleanable. 

The Exterior Site Enclosure will creatively anchor the north entry outdoor patio, a peaceful urban oasis surrounded by trees and greenery central to the Foster-Powell, Lents and other Southeast Portland neighborhoods where library patrons, staff and community members alike can take a moment away from busy city life to relax. With pedestrian traffic from the new north entry parking lot and SE 79th Avenue, the artwork will be one of the first things visible as people enter the library. The south facing wall of the Exterior Site Enclosure will be parallel to the main building and act as the backdrop to the ground floor flex spaces which will host educational and recreational library and community events. 

While the site primarily suits a 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork, there is a strong desire to incorporate texture and/or 3-dimensional elements, created through either illusion or physical components, depending on the artist’s vision and budget allocations. Use of mediums such as ceramics, mosaics, tile, paint, light, color, wood, metal and more could be considered. We expect the artist(s) to determine the medium for their work through conversations with the project team, taking other design considerations for the space into account. For example, landscaping and overall design themes, concepts and palettes.

In addition, the design team has stewarded a series of engagement sessions with the local community over the last year and so there is a deep desire for the diverse range of populations whom the library serves to be reflected and represented within the artwork. As the north entry and outdoor patio will be one of the main entrances to the new library, the artwork will play a fundamental role in creating a sense of welcome well before walking through the building doors. The outdoor patio brings the experience of the library outside, with seating and tables for gathering and the flexibility for outdoor activities and library programming, the space encourages connection.

The south wall of the Exterior Site Enclosure is approximately 8ft in height and 36ft in length, with the west wall measuring at approximately 8ft in height and 11ft in width. The total area for art is approximately 288sq.ft. on the south elevation and 88sq.ft. on the west, with a combined total of 376sq.ft. A planter with low growing shrubs will wrap around the base of the enclosure on both the south and west sides, creating a decorative protective buffer for the artwork as it will be installed at heights accessible to the general public, where many people will be able to reach and touch it, including children. Therefore the finished artwork must be durable, easy to maintain, and tamper resistant. Pedestrian traffic from the parking lot, street and other neighborhood amenities will benefit from close interaction with the artwork, so it should be assumed that people will touch the artwork over time. 

The wall behind the artwork will be a CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit) block wall. Blocks will be 8inx16in, of standard pattern and ground-face finish with the color to be determined by the architecture team. Depending on the artist’s vision for the site, the project team can provide a smooth skim coat surface to enhance the quality and lifespan of the artwork. In order to encompass texture and 3-dimensional elements, the overall depth of the artwork can extend up to 4in maximum from the face of the CMU wall. More information on the material specifications for the Exterior Site Enclosure can be found in the supplemental materials.

The artist(s) will be responsible for delivering a completed piece of artwork to be installed on site as a final deliverable. The project team will coordinate installation with the artist(s), RACC, the construction contractor and any third party vendors, if necessary. Artist(s) are invited to either conduct the final installation personally or be part of reviewing the final install, depending on the medium and vision for the artwork.

Information Sessions

  • Monday October 17, 2022 at 1.00pm on Instagram Live with Mario and Sophie from RACC. Follow @regionalarts on Instagram to stay informed of this and other upcoming opportunities. Watch the previously recorded IG Live Info Session here
  • Monday October 24, 2022 at 5pm on Zoom with Sophie from RACC and Emily from Bora Architecture and Interiors, the design team leading the Holgate Library construction project. Watch the previously recorded Zoom Info Session here

We strongly encourage you to attend an info session, especially if you are a first-time applicant. The project team will share information about this opportunity and go over the steps of how to submit application materials.

If you have questions about the Zoom info session or need any accommodations in order to attend, please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

Artwork Goals & Qualities

The goal is for the many works of art in the library to represent the myriad of communities that live, work and play in Foster-Powell, Lents and other surrounding Southeast Portland neighborhoods, especially under-represented communities. Communities served by Holgate Library should be reflected in the new works of art through artistic expression and creative storytelling. There is a deep desire for the Exterior Site Enclosure artwork to instill a sense of place and belonging, creating a warm, inviting and welcoming environment where imagination, interests and engagement can be inspired.

Communities served by Holgate Library include Black/African American, Indigenous Peoples, Somali and other East African immigrants, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin speakers), Vietnamese, Slavic and Eastern European, Malay, Bhutanese, Iraqi, Tongan, Latinx (not just Spanish language speakers), youth and elders, LGBTQIA2S+, people living with disabilities and neurodivergence, people experiencing housing insecurity. More information from the community engagement process so far, including demographics, can be shared with the artist/artist team to ensure authentic understanding and representation.

The overall concept for the design of Holgate Library is based on the butterfly, a reference and language for design rather than literal interpretation (see the supplemental materials provided for more information). There is a distinctive inward fold gesture along the building façade, evoking a nimble and resilient form of a butterfly, a universal symbol of resilience, hope, beauty and transformation. Many qualities that are reflected in and embodied by the array of communities served by Holgate Library. This project aims to be a point of connection, cohesion and unity, acting as a central point for the diverse range of stories and lived experiences shared within this communal space to coexist.

Humans’ relationship to nature, especially in the Pacific Northwest, is also central to this concept. On the interior of the building, this manifests as a focus on the unique patterns found in nature. As part of the community engagement process so far, library patrons were asked to participate in the selection of the color palette for the interior design. Option C, prioritizing calming natural colors and repeating geometric patterns that complement the building’s wooden structure, won the public vote. Additionally, there is a public vote underway to select the color of the folded metal panel which will wrap the exterior of the building, options can be viewed here. The artwork should be expressive and complementary with the exterior color selected by the community.

We are seeking artwork that considers culturally specific color palettes, shapes, patterns, symbols and storytelling inspired by the various communities served by Holgate Library. Innovatively connecting the vast array of community stories and experiences together is desired. If the artist chooses to do so, further collective visioning through engagement with the community would likely inspire even more creative suggestions.

The Exterior Site Enclosure artwork should take these design directives into consideration, complementing the overall building architecture, exterior and interior design palette and aligning with the overall goals to represent and reflect the local community in the space. Themes of nature and butterflies can be drawn upon to inspire the final artwork design, however we are not necessarily expecting literal interpretations or representations of these concepts in the artwork.

Budget

The selected artist/artist team will receive a $30,000 design fee for this opportunity to create a site-specific exterior 2-dimensional wall-mounted artwork. This fee is inclusive of the following expenses; artist fees, design development, community engagement and communication/coordination with the design team, construction team and third-party contractors who will help to fabricate and install the artwork. Funds for materials, fabrication and installation will be covered separately through Multnomah County’s Percent for Art Program.

Community Engagement & Participatory Design

Community engagement has been a central component to this project. The broader community that will be served by the library have been invited to participate in the design process so far by contributing their experiences and ideas through open houses, tabling events, leave-behind boards, and community design advocate conversations. An array of design priorities emerged during these engagements with community members and key stakeholders which should be considered by the artist(s), more details can be found in the supplemental materials. Beyond that, feedback and other results from the community engagement process so far, including demographics, can be shared with the artist/artist team to ensure authentic understanding and representation of the local communities.

We are seeking an artist/artist team who welcomes and reflects the diverse communities that are served by Holgate Library within their process and work. Genuine understanding and demonstration of community engagement practices in existing artistic practice, past work and/or other key areas of experience where skillsets may be transferable, such as teaching, mentorship, community organizing, care work and other non-typical/non-traditional examples of embedding community into process and practice, are preferred.

Prior to finalizing a design, the selected artist/artist team will plan and facilitate at least two engagement sessions to meet with community stakeholders to gather information and insight into the library, community and area. The artist(s) is expected to welcome and encourage community participation within the design phase, seeking feedback, input and inspiration from key stakeholders to ensure the final artwork meets the intended goals as outlined above, specifically community representation. Neighboring Midland Library could be available as a venue to host such community engagement events. Interpretation, translation and other access services can be made available, if needed, and coordinated through MCL and/or RACC, if enough time is given in advance.

The artist(s) should expect that working or in-progress design materials and narratives may be requested for wider community communication updates and will be coordinated in conjunction with the project team.

About the Library Capital Bond Project

As part of the Library Capital Bond Projects, Holgate Library will be a new 21,000 square foot building due to be constructed on the existing site at the northeast corner of SE Holgate and SE 79th Avenue in the Foster-Powell neighborhood in Southeast Portland. The current 6,060 square foot building will be demolished to make way for the expanded future library in order to provide additional space and an enjoyable experience for all through major updates, sustainable building features and more robust services. The revised site will include a new north entryway and outdoor patio, featuring an Exterior Site Enclosure for library trash receptacles and public bike parking.

The new construction of Holgate Library is part of the first phase of the Library Capital Bond Projects and will be one of the first to reopen, currently scheduled for late spring/early summer 2024.

Eligibility

This opportunity is open to artists/artist teams based in Oregon and Washington. If applying as a team, at least one member must meet the residence eligibility requirement. Those with significant current or past connections, or those with interest and ability to create meaningful connections, to Holgate Library and the surrounding Southeast Portland neighborhoods are preferred. Applicants who have an interest in and/or experience with community engagement processes, including social practice, which inform their approach and art practice are strongly encouraged to apply. Strong consideration will be given to artists who have experience working with youth and residents from historically underrepresented communities to develop their artwork including communities of color as well as immigrant and refugee communities.

MCL and RACC are committed to reflecting the cultural richness of our city by promoting opportunities for emerging and historically underrepresented artists. Artists/artist teams representing communities of color are strongly encouraged to apply. RACC is committed to engaging new communities of artists and expanding the range of artistic and cultural expression represented in the City’s public art collection.

The selected artist/artist team must be able to create, complete and deliver their artwork by March 2024.

Selection Process

At this time, the selection process will be entirely virtual. A selection panel composed of Multnomah County Library representatives, local artists, community members and East County residents, Library Bond Project team members and Holgate Library design team members will review artists’ submissions and choose more than one finalist to invite to interview for the commission.

Overall, the purpose of the interview is to allow the artist(s) and panel to meet each other and engage in a mutually beneficial and informative conversation. It’s an opportunity for the artist(s) to better understand the context of the project and the intentions the selection panel has for the final art piece. Both parties are given the chance to ask questions and determine best alignment and artist selection for the project. After the interviews are completed, the selection panel will choose a final artist/artist team to award the public art opportunity to. The selected artist(s) will then be issued a Design Phase contract during which they create a community engagement plan, meet with the community and create a proposal that includes a design for the Exterior Site Enclosure, a budget and a timeline.

Criteria for selecting semifinalists for interviews are (1) quality of past work as demonstrated in submitted images; (2) ability and interest in creating site-specific artwork; (3) how past artwork has fit one or more of the general goals described above, specifically community engagement practices, through demonstrated processes and/or final design; (4) existing, interest in and/or ability to create connections to Holgate Library, Foster-Powell, Lents and other surrounding neighborhoods and communities served by the library.

Please note the selection panel reserves the right to select an artist who does not directly apply to this call, if appropriate. Likewise, the panel maintains the option to make no selection from submitted applications and to reopen the selection process or propose other methods of selection if no applicant is accepted.

How to Apply

All application materials must be submitted through the RACC Opportunity Portal, an online application system. Applicants will need to create an account, or log into their existing account at https://racc.org/apply. If you are applying as a team, please assign one person to apply and be the point of contact on behalf of the team.

Application Materials

  • Artist bio/resume. Upload a PDF, no more than two pages, that outlines your creative activities, artistic accomplishments and experience with community engagement. If applying as a team, submit one PDF that includes a bio/resume for all team members. 
  • Statement of interest. In 3000 characters or less, provide a statement that outlines the following:
    • Your interest in this project
      • Why this project, its focus and themes are of interest to you
      • Why you’d be a good match for the project
      • How do you foresee your work connecting to the mission and values of the project
    • Describe your capacity and/or experience to complete the scope of work
    • Explain why you value community engagement in your artistic process and share past examples of successfully incorporating community visions, values and voices into a project
      • What is your approach to community engagement
      • How has community engagement impacted your process
      • How has community engagement informed your art-making practice and the end results of your work
    • If you are applying as a team, describe your individual roles on the team and how you anticipate working together
  • Up to 8 past work samples. These work samples are the primary way the quality of your work will be judged. Provide up to two images, no larger than 5MB each, for each work sample. For each image, please provide title, artist name, media, dimensions, year completed, budget and location. Conceptual information is desirable but not required.

Once you have started your application, you can save after each step and sign out. Your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on, as needed. Please note that after you click “Submit,” your application is final and no further edits can be made.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us throughout the process.

 Submissions due Thursday, November 3, 2022 at 5:00pm PDT

Questions

We are here to support and assist you! If you have questions about the overall opportunity or the RACC application portal,  would like to set up a time for a phone/video call or have any other needs for assistance please email project manager, Sophie, at shook@racc.org.

If you would like to be considered for this opportunity and don’t have a computer or online access, please feel free to contact RACC for support. Also, if you prefer these materials in another language you can contact the RACC project team  for translation services.

We strongly encourage you to submit your application with enough time for any questions to be answered prior to when submissions are due as enquiries received towards the end of that period may not be responded to. We appreciate your understanding and consideration of our capacity.

Interpretation services are available, please email info@racc.org.
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Important Dates

October 6, 2022 – RFQ launch
November 3, 2022 – Applications due
November-December 2022 – Panel review and artist selection including interviews
January-May/June 2023 – Community Engagement and Participatory Design
June 2023-February 2024 – Fabrication
March 2024 – Artwork complete and installation


City of Portland Urgency/Stability ARPA Grants Awarded

The Regional Arts & Culture Council has awarded $450,000 to 196 artists through the City of Portland’s Urgency/Stability Support for Artists grant program, a part of the American Rescue Plan: Investing in Portland initiative.

The Urgency/Stability program was designed to support artists and other creatives working in the arts who identify as under-served or under-represented, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander and People of Color; LGBTQIA+ artists; and artists with disabilities.

Grants between $500-$5,000 were made to support artists and other creatives working in the arts who live in the City of Portland, had lost income or opportunities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and had an ongoing practice creating work and sharing it with the community.

Submitted by a grant recipient:

“Thank you for supporting my artistic practice through the City of Portland Urgency/Stability Grant! As we continue to experience collective crises, we need art to help us reflect, reframe, and reimagine our world together. Your funding creates that crucial access for so many.”

Program funds came from Federal grant funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA); the process was administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.