The City of Cuyahoga Falls is seeking a professional artist or artists to partner with for the installation of an interconnected, two-part public art project in the city. The concept consists of an exterior mural on the Front St. façade of the city’s Green Deck public parking deck as the main component. Additionally, parts of the mural are sought as wraps on utility boxes at various locations throughout the city. The selected artist or artists will work with the city to develop a public engagement strategy, partner recruitment, project implementation strategy, and overall project sourcing, design, and installation.
The project components are further described in this release and in the Cuyahoga Falls Public Art Master Plan1. Proposals are due by noon on Friday, September 29, 2023. The City will establish a Task Force to review submittals and help in the facilitation of project resources, communications, and implementation. The Task Force will aid in the review of artist submittals and make recommendations for the Public Art Board’s consideration. Submittals selected as finalists will be presented to the Public Art Board at a November 2023 meeting. A project plan to include a public engagement strategy is expected within thirty (30) days of final selection. Conceptual renderings (for which artist[s] will be compensated) are due for final selection and approval by the PAB at a February 2024 meeting. Project completion is expected within six months of final project approval.
PROPOSED PUBLIC ART PROJECTS
The Cuyahoga Falls Public Art Master Plan describes the Downtown Parking Deck and Front Street Utility Box public art projects and recognized significant public interest in seeing public art in the reinvigorated downtown. The city is currently celebrating the five-year anniversary of reopening Front St. to vehicular traffic.
Downtown Parking Decks – The Green Deck is in the heart of the revitalized downtown. It is a prominent structure accessible from both Front and Second Streets. The Front St. façade that is the focus of this project is a highly traversed area for both the motorists using the deck and pedestrians on the street. The site offers prominent exposure to a wide audience and is visible from State Route 8.
An artist’s scope for this project would include an exterior mural on the Front St. façade of the Green Deck. The primary mural area(s) consist of two concrete faces that are approximately 95’ in length and nearly 6’ high, or 570 sq. ft. each, totaling 1,140 sq. ft. The Green Deck is a desirable site because it is city-owned, highly visible and used, and funds have been specifically budgeted for public art projects.
Project management from the city would involve:
• Commissioning an artist or artists to create a large mural, possibly spanning the multi-level design, on the exterior concrete walls of the deck along Front St.
• Selection of an artist or artists that can develop an inclusive theme germane to the community.
• Identifying community traits and significant characteristics through public engagement processes.
Utility Boxes — There was strong interest from the community to seek out artistic enhancements of everyday infrastructure, particularly on utility boxes.
Utility boxes, traffic signal boxes, and planters are accessible spaces for public art upgrades to the streetscape that can have a broad impact. The process is simple and inexpensive, and the locations are highly visible. The fabrication and installation of vinyl wraps could be handled by local companies, so the project would be accessible to many artists and arts organizations in the region.
One goal of this project is to extend public art further out into the community through the identification of several utility box sites in various areas outside of the downtown. Submittals should incorporate the ability to wrap six (6) separate utility boxes, one each in highly visible areas of Wards 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Interactive mapping tools can be found on the city’s website HERE.
SCOPE OF WORK
The City is requiring proposals to include the following scope of work components:
1. Project work plan
2. Relevant work experience in the production and/or application of utility wraps
3. Public engagement component
4. Oversight process and deliverables
5. Schedule of proposed activities and milestones
6. Compliance with the project process and milestones outlined in the public art master plan
The City is not seeking a formal artistic proposal or creative strategy at this point, as we expect these will be developed in consultation with project stakeholders.
The City has budgeted $60,000 for this art program. Budgets must be itemized by individual art projects and administrative expenses. Individual art projects shall also be prioritized if the budget is projected to exceed any specific component.
Artists interested in this project shall forward one (1) hard set of documents and one (1) electronic proposal by 12:00 p.m. Friday, September 29, 2023, to Adam Paul, Senior Planner, City of Cuyahoga Falls (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Senior Planner will act as the initial contact for this project.
The proposal should include:
1. Letter of Interest and Resumes of personnel who will be associated with this project.
2. Response to the Scope of Work activities and Preliminary Budget considerations, separated accordingly.
3. Description of the artist’s background and breadth of work experience.
4. Experience in completing similar public art projects with at least three (but no more than five) illustrative examples of previous work.
5. At least three client references.
The review team will include a Task Force as established by the Master Plan with guidance from the Administration and Public Art Board to evaluate proposals using the following review criteria:
1. Comprehensiveness of proposal.
2. Experience in initiating and completing art projects.
3. Commitment of artist(s) with verifiable public art experience.
4. Ability to complete work within budget and in a timely fashion.
5. Interview process that exhibits connection to community and ability to meet overall project goals.
6. Strength of client recommendations.
A Task Force created by the City and PAB will aide in artist and project selection and commitment to the project timeline. The Task Force will help develop project standards, components of the public engagement processes, and coordination of project updates and milestones. The Task Force will work with the artist(s) on a coordinated effort of appropriate intervals for guidance and updates agreeable to all parties.
Please submit questions concerning this announcement to Adam Paul, Senior Planner, at email@example.com. Every effort will be made to respond in a reasonable timeframe. Please provide current contact information for updates related to the review process and future announcements.
You must register at the time of submittal to receive requested or periodic updates. You do not have to register to submit a proposal.
Applicants must submit one hard copy of all required RFP documents for file and one digital set for review and distribution by 12:00 pm (EST) Friday, September 29, 2023, to:
City of Cuyahoga Falls Community Development Department-Planning Division
2310 Second Street
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio 44221-2583
Attn: Adam Paul, Senior Planner
Summit Artspace is interested in the many ways in which BIPOC+ artists impact our communities through their art. One artist will be selected to receive a $1,000 stipend to support the creation of a solo exhibition in Summit Artspace’s Horizon Gallery. Click here to apply.