Call for Public Art on STEAM

Deadline June 30, 2018

The University of West Florida invites artists to submit letters of interest and qualifications, along with project renderings, to be considered for the commission of permanent sculptures to be installed on the campus of the University of West Florida. The call is open to all professional artists or teams of artists. Artists may propose a single installation, a series, or a connective pathway between works of art. The artworks will be maintained and owned by the University of West Florida.

Total Funding: $500,000 for up to six installations. Submission Deadline: June 30, 2018
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Conceptual Theme: The Potential of STEAM
The university is increasingly foregrounding interaction between colleges/disciplines, and the commissioned sculptures will be a visual component of these initiatives. General objectives of the project are: to highlight the potential for collaboration across disciplines; to visually (or otherwise) link the science and art buildings on campus (across the road from one another); and to stimulate thinking on transdisciplinary work.

Questions/concepts to consider might be:
* Transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary integration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
* Is it possible to rise above merely illustrating a design and practice? We seek projects that will integrate the disciplines.
* How does transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary practice further creativity and awareness?
* How can the production of this project and a resultant sculpture directly and compellingly engage in interdisciplinary issues?
* Projects that actively engage interdisciplinary practice in design, installation, etc. and projects that continue to operate as a locus for hybrids of disciplines.
* Any other concept that explores transdisciplinary practice.
The call to artists is open to a range of ways in which this might be addressed. Some areas that might be of interest include perception, geometry in art and reverence (sacred geometry, the golden ration), color and the sensory, eco-art and the local longleaf pine (see E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth Project, 175-79, and attached site photos), the sublime, sound/silence, nature and memory, optics and the use of light (including natural), the will of nature/the will of man, among others.

Materials and designs need to be durable enough to last through potentially severe and hazardous weather, including tropical activity and high winds and withstand harsh conditions over a long course of time without extensive maintenance. Final installations must meet all current applicable codes. UV-resistant and rust resistant materials should be used. Artists’ proposals will be evaluated by a fine arts conservator to identify future maintenance and conservation needs. Artworks should be constructed to reasonably discourage theft and vandalism and must take into consideration the ground surrounding the piece. Include plans for nighttime lighting.

The University of West Florida has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Located in Pensacola, Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, it has the second largest campus in the Florida State University system with 1600 acres, much of which is undeveloped. The climate is considered to be humid sub-tropical. The natural setting is complex with rivers, wetlands, and meadows along with diverse foliage.
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A budget of $500,000 has been allocated for permanent public art through this initiative. These funds will be split among finalists, and the amount may vary depending on the scale and complexity of the artwork. It is anticipated that individual awards will range from $75,000 to $100,000. However, the selection panel will consider larger installations with higher awards or a connected series. The awards will be structured as all inclusive including the artist’s design fees (including travel and housing), materials, fabrication, engineering inspection fee, shipping and installation (including any subcontracting). Artists are responsible for the installation. Projects that involve students in the process of completion are encouraged.

Selection Process
The call is open to professional artists or artistic teams that have a strong exhibition record and an interest in working between disciplines. Artists must show evidence of completion of a project with a similar budget, scale, and scope. The responses will be evaluated by a jury and semi-finalists selected and notified by July 30, 2018. The jury will consider past work, innovative ideas, experience, appropriate relationship of the work to the site, transdisciplinary engagement, and durability of the project. Final proposals accompanied by engineering safety confirmations are due on August 30, 2018. Members of the community at large will be invited to offer comments on projects in September. Semi-finalists will be interviewed by Skype in September and by October 1 the jury will select the finalists. Final location of individual pieces will be determined by October and finalists will be urged to visit campus. Successful applicants will work with the jury to finalize proposals. Construction, fabrication, and installation must be completed by April 30, 2019. Students may be assigned to each sculptor or group to assist with the installation where appropriate. Artists will be asked to give a public lecture on their work.

All responses must be submitted to no later than 11:59 p.m CST June 30, 2018. COMPILE COMPONENTS AS ONE PDF. Please title submission all lower case by last name, first initial, followed by an underscore, followed by uwfSTEAM. If your name is John Smith you would submit your file as smithj_uwfSTEAM.pdf. There is no application fee. Inquiries can be directed to

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