REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS Project: Chihuahuan Desert Habitat, El Paso Zoo Budget: $300,000 Deadline to Apply: 5:00pm (MST), September 30, 2015
CALL TO ARTISTS The City of El Paso’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) Public Art Program and the El Paso Zoo is pleased to invite professional artists/teams living in the United States to submit qualifications for a percent-for-art commission for the Chihuahaun Desert Habitat at the El Paso Zoo that addresses the themes of connection and wonder. The project is seeking an artist who will work with the design team and the El Paso Zoo to identify appropriate sites and applications for public art and to subsequently design, fabricate and install artwork at the site.
PUBLIC ART PROGRAM The City of El Paso’s Public Art Ordinance was adopted by City Council April 4, 2006, to promote and encourage private and public programs to further the development and public awareness of, and interest in, the fine arts and cultural properties, to increase employment opportunities in the arts, to encourage the integration of art into the architecture of municipal structures for the City of El Paso and to provide for the citizens of the City high quality, publicly accessible works of art, which contribute to the urban landscape and symbolize the City’s sense of place.
The Public Art Program Goals are to: • Enhance the quality of life of residents, • Support creative and professional growth of the arts community, • Support economic growth, • Enhance the experience visitors have of El Paso, and • Promote images of El Paso as a unique place, community, and destination.
PROJECT DESCRIPTION In 2012, the El Paso Zoo began work on developing a new master plan that would provide a framework for moving the Zoo forward in a positive direction. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo celebrates the value of animals and natural resources and creates opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. The 36-Acre Zoo can be generally viewed as divided into several primary zones: Entry, Africa, Americas, Asia and Service Area. A large portion of the Americas area will be replaced with a new Chihuahuan Desert experience.
This project will highlight the flora and fauna of the region surrounding El Paso and interpret the effects of an arroyo. These vastly important naturally occurring environmental features are often overlooked and unseen by a majority of the El Paso population.
Public art can support the mission and programming of the El Paso Zoo in several ways. Overall goals include: – Support the El Paso Zoo mission to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. – Provide an additional layer to the appreciation and understanding to the animal exhibits and the ecosystems and cultural contexts that they represent through the artwork in different styles and media. – Support the overall experience of movement through the zoo by providing elements that mark entries, transitions and gathering places.
PUBLIC ART OPPORTUNITY The Public Art Program will commission an artist who will work collaboratively with members of the respective architectural/exhibition design team to define the specific art opportunity in the context of the broader design project, as well as the broader visual environment, circulation patterns and exhibition features in the Zoo. This approach will allow for creative collaboration and produce distinctive artworks, while focusing on the goal of creating memorable gateways and gathering places that support the mission of the Zoo.
Theming • The entire Chihuahuan Desert Habitat is to be themed as an immersive and diverse desert experience. Featuring an arroyo exhibit/flash flood interactive area, desert trails and landscaping native to this setting. All buildings and structures are to be themed and colored to resemble the desert vernacular architecture; mixtures of rock, plaster, and adobe; isolate the public buildings from view, and provide the Southwest theme. • All the various habitat types shall replicate the native region and ecosystem associated with the species being exhibited. • The proposed aesthetic overtone is a run-down overhead railroad bridge that could also serve as an overhead animal transfer. The Chihuahuan Desert, which is considered by the World Wide Fund for Nature to be the most diverse, is especially unique in its dramatic mountain ranges surrounding lower elevation washes and basins, which unlike many other deserts include rivers.
Project Goals Public art will support the mission and programming of the Parks and Recreation Department El Paso Zoo by targeting the overall goals to include: • Support the El Paso Zoo mission to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. • Provide an additional layer to the appreciation and understanding to the animal exhibits and the ecosystems and cultural contexts that they represent through artwork in different styles and media.
Scope of Work The selected artist will work closely with the design team. Specifically, the artist will: • Contract with City of El Paso to fulfill the artist’s services. • Collaborate with the design team to generate artwork proposal(s). • Conduct research, which includes examining the site, reviewing pertinent documents, meeting with City staff, members of the community, etc. • Prepare verbal, written and visual presentations to show schematic and final artwork proposal(s) to stakeholders. Presentations should include: o A preliminary depiction of the proposed artwork(s) in the form of a to scale drawing accompanied by either a three-dimensional rendering or a three dimensional model, if applicable. A narrative description of the sources and methodology used to develop the proposal(s) which may include research, findings and/or input from the community and key stakeholders plus information about the scale, location, context, relationship of components, materials, operation requirements, maintenance requirements, and fabrication and installation methods. A site plan. A photographic survey of the site and other images depiction the site context. Material samples, if available. An outline of the anticipated budget for full design, fabrication, installation, maintenance and operation expenses • Participate in in-person meetings/presentations with stakeholders and respond to feedback. • Engage subcontractors, if necessary. • Create and submit engineer-approved construction documents. • Perform site preparation, if necessary. • Fabricate, transport and install artwork(s) • Submit documentation images and a maintenance/operations report • Participate in ribbon-cutting ceremony and/or outreach to press, if requested. • Coordinate with City Staff, as required.
BUDGET The funds for this project are derived from the 2% for public art portion of the City of El Paso Quality of Life Bond Issuance. The total award for an artist contract is $300,000, inclusive of stakeholder collaboration, design, fabrication and installation of artwork (including shipping expenses and insurance), travel, and all other project related costs.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS This project is open competition to all artists working or living in the United States. Artists applying for this project must have previous public art experience and have successfully completed works of similar scope, scale, budget and complexity, or articulate how the artist(s) would be able to bring necessary artistic technical skills to this project.
ALLIED ARTIST The selected artist or artist team will have a local artist assist with the aforementioned projects. The City of El Paso Allied Artist Program provides local artists the opportunity to assist experienced artists commissioned for major projects by the Public Art Program, in order to gain the technical and administrative expertise needed to compete within the field of public art. Allied Artists are selected by the commissioned artists based on their level of experience, artistic medium and general interests. Local artists who are chosen for a specific project will be compensated for their service as an Allied Artist funded separately by the Public Art Program. The responsibilities of Allied Artists include, but are not limited to, coordination and attending community and agency meetings, conducting research regarding materials, design issues, and building codes; assisting in the coordination and installation of artworks; writing reports, and any other duties requested by the commissioned artist that relate to the design, fabrication and installation of the artwork.
TO APPLY If interested in this particular project, applications must be submitted using the Call for Entry (CAFÉ) online application system managed by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). Artists will be required to create a username and password and set up a personal account, free of charge, at www.callforentry.org. Following successful set up, all interested applicants will be granted full access to our detailed application; simply click on “Apply to Calls” and click on “City of El Paso Chihuahuan Desert Habitat”
SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS • Letter of Interest: briefly describe your interest and qualifications for this project. • Current Resume: outline your experience as an artist. Artist teams must submit a resume for each member. • Six (6) images of completed past artworks. Including: title of work, dimensions, medium, year of completion, a three (3) sentence description, and value or budget amount for works of art for insurance purposes. If applying as a team, only six (6) images can be submitted to CAFÉ. o Images must be sized to the following dimensions (as required by the CAFÉ online application system) Dimensions: 1920 pixels horizontal or vertical, i.e. 1320 x 1920 pixels File Format: Baseline JPEG (do not use progressive JPEG format) Compression: Please size each image to be no more than 1.8 MB in file size. On average, each image will be roughly 1.2 MB. Larger is not necessarily better. JPEG images cannot be saved as progressive JPEG files. Progressive JPEG files will appear on the CAFÉ web site, but will not display properly during the jury process. Media: Internet submissions only File Name: CAFÉ will automatically rename files.
SELECTION PROCESS Applications will be reviewed by an Artist Selection Panel (ASP), which may be comprised of a representative from the Zoological Community, architectural consultant, a visual artist, Zoo representative and a member of the Public Art Committee. The ASP will review all complete, eligible applications received by the deadline shown on the schedule. • Artist or Artist team will be selected on the basis of their qualifications as demonstrated by their application materials. • The following individuals may not apply: City employees and employees of MCAD, the project architect and/or other project personnel, members of the PAC, members of the ASP and the immediate family members and business partners of all of the above
REVIEW CRITERIA • Meets the definition of Artist, as defined in the Public Art Master Plan and Guidelines. • Demonstrates artistic excellence, innovation and originality as represented in past work and supporting materials. • Demonstrates capacity for working in media and with concepts that are appropriate to the project goals and site. • Demonstrates interest and capability in creating public artworks in collaboration with the City, MCAD, the design team (if applicable) and other project partners. • Demonstrates interest and capability in engaging community representatives in a project. • Demonstrates the ability to communicate effectively and elicit the ideas of team members; flexibility and problem-solving skills; and ability to work with architectural drawings and construction documents. • Demonstrates experience in successfully completing works of similar scope, scale, budget and complexity, or articulates how he or she would be able to bring the necessary artistic and technical skills to this project. • Is available to perform the scope of the work in a timely and professional manner. • Builds the diversity of the City’s public art collection.
TIMELINE/SCHEDULE September 30, 2015 RFQ Application Deadline October 2015 Artist Selection for Site Visit and Interviews November 2015 Commission awarded *Timelines are tentative and subject to change. FOR QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS, PLEASE CONTACT: Public Art CIP Associate/Aidee Guevara City of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department 915.212.0110 | Guevaraia@elpasotexas.gov