Artists: RFQ $325,000 Public Art Commission due Jul. 13

July 6, 2015


RFQ Submission Deadline extended to July 13, 2015
Cambridge Arts in Cambridge, MA is seeking qualifications from artists and designers interested in creating temporary site-responsive public artwork(s) of variable duration. The site will be a newly constructed King Open Elementary and Cambridge Street Upper Schools in East Cambridge, to be completed by 2019. The City seeks artists and designers with public art experience and encourages artist-led interdisciplinary teams. The $325,000 commission will cover all services from design through final installation/implementation, including artist fee, travel, community meetings, fabrication, insurance, transportation, installation, and coordination with City staff.

From this RFQ, four finalists will be invited and paid to submit concept proposals. All finalists will attend a site visit and meet with City staff and project architects before proposal development. Final selection of one artist or team will be made by a Site Committee based on in-person proposal presentations and interviews.

The Site:
The King Open Elementary (JK- grade 5) and Cambridge Street Upper Schools (grades 6-8) are currently housed in one building at 850 Cambridge Street, situated within the city block bound by Cambridge, Berkshire, Willow, and York Streets. Also within this block are the Valente Branch Library (including the Manuel Rogers, Sr. Center for Portuguese Culture), Goldstar Mothers Pool, Frisoli Youth Center, a large playing field, and playgrounds. While all together these public facilities comprise a hub of extensive informal and formal learning and recreational amenities, the overall new construction project will include only the schools, library, and pool programs. The physical configuration or degree of integration of these three programs has not yet been determined, but it is anticipated that the new public art project will focus on the schools, each of which are anticipated to have separate entrances and identities. The original King Open School was named after Martin Luther King, Jr. and both current school programs are guided by a mission of social justice, inclusivity of all learning styles, and connection to community. The neighborhood in which these programs are situated is a combination of dense residential streets and a vibrant, eclectic commercial avenue of many independent businesses.

The Artist Selection Process:
Artists/teams submit qualifications in the form of images of previous work and biographical information online (see below)
An Art Jury will select 4 finalists who will be paid $2,000 each to create a proposal
Finalists visit Cambridge for a site visit with architects, community members, and City staff
Finalists develop proposals
Finalists present proposals to the Site Committee, which will select one artist/team to be awarded the $325,000 commission

July 13, 2015                                        All Electronic Submissions due
Mid August 2015                               Notifications of finalists sent
Late August 2015                               Finalists site visit with architects and City staff
September 2015-January 2016   Proposal development by finalists
Late January 2016                            Finalists present proposals to Site Committee
Early February 2016                         Announcement of final selection
2016 – 2019                                          Artwork Development and Implementation
Summer 2019                                     Artwork Installation

How to Submit:
Submit images of past work and biographical information at
Registration is free and easy – upload digital files of work samples and complete a form of information.  Upon registration you will be considered for the King Open Elementary and Cambridge Street Upper School Project as well as all future public art commissions administered by the City of Cambridge.

For more information about Cambridge Arts programs please visit www.  Fortechnical support using Slideroom, please e-mail  For other questions please contact Cambridge Public Art Administrator, Jeremy Gaucher at; 617-349-4388.

Cambridge Arts is a city agency that funds, promotes, and presents high-quality, community-based arts programs for the benefit of artists, residents, and visitors in Cambridge. Active since 1974, Cambridge Arts is one of the most dynamic local arts agencies in the country. As a public nonprofit, Cambridge Arts receives funding from local government, private foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors. The Cambridge Arts Council exists to ensure that the arts remain vital for people living, working and visiting Cambridge.

Connect with Cambridge Arts –, 617-349-4380 or TTY/617-349-4621,,

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