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Public Art Opportunity
Deadline for Submissions November 11, 2019 Extended until November 18, 2019

On behalf of WREN (Women’s Rights & Empowerment Network) and Historic Columbia, One Columbia for Arts and Culture (a non-profit organization formed to support and promote tourism in Columbia, South Carolina) is seeking to commission an artist or artist team to design, fabricate, and install an original work of art to be located across from the South Carolina State House at the Northwest corner of Main and Gervais streets.

Project Overview
This project began locally with former South Carolina First Lady Rachel Hodges, who was inspired by a gift from her son—the original City of Women map by Rebecca Solnit. Hodges realized that the only street named for a woman in Columbia is Lady Street, which erases the name of the woman who inspired it: Martha Washington.

Columbia City of Women” is about building up, not tearing down. This initiative will add women to the landscape of our city. This map will bring awareness and sing praises of the extraordinary women who have stood along with men to shape this community—our community—for the future.” —Rachel Hodges

As of fall 2019…”In Columbia, only four percent of the city’s 145 landmarks are specifically named for women. Only one of the 41 streets in downtown Columbia is intended to recognize a woman — Lady Street — yet its name does not reflect the [actual honoree], Martha Washington. The City of Women project believes in the power of moving through a city that recognizes women’s achievements, which is why it’s bringing forward the stories of Columbia’s remarkable women.

The project aims to celebrate the accomplishments of Columbia’s women through the recognition of twelve honorees, the development of a map geographically showcasing their impact and creating other opportunities to physically denote the significant role women have played in the establishment of Columbia as the vibrant, thriving city it is today.”

Budget: $50,000
The project budget is inclusive of all project costs, including artist’s fees and expenses, taxes, materials, permit fees, travel, shipping and crating, insurance fees, design, fabrication, installation/execution and transporting of the artwork to the project site.

This competition is limited to all professional artists and teams who have a personal connection to the state of South Carolina (SC) and are legally qualified to work in the US. Personal connection could be circumstances such as: have relatives or friends who reside in SC, fond memories from having visited, or have had work commissioned, installed or exhibited in SC. Qualified Columbia artists are encouraged to apply. Artists must have successfully completed at least one significant permanent public art commission with a project budget of at least $30,000 within the past ten years. NOTE: The qualification requirements have been modified. Artists applying should have completed at least one public art project within the past 5 years.Submissions not meeting eligibility requirements will be withdrawn from consideration.

Submission Requirements
• Coversheet with the following information: Artist(s) contact information: name(s), mailing address, telephone number and email
• Credentials: CV/Resume
• Three Professional references: (names, phone numbers and email addresses)
• Letter of interest (limit one page) detailing your qualifications and relevant experience, interest and a general approach to this project
• Ten images of previous works (only one image per page, maximum total upload size 5mb)
• Annotated image list: brief descriptions with title, date, location, materials, art budget. For team application, please indicate the lead artist for each project

Evaluation Criteria
The panel will evaluate applications on the following criteria:

  • Quality and aesthetics of past work
  • Experience with public art projects of a similar size and scope
  • Ingenuity/innovation of materials
  • Demonstrated experience working with communities
  • Flexibility and approach working on public projects

Selection Process
An eight person selection panel consisting of representatives from the One Columbia’s Public Art Committee, WREN members, and Historic Columbia will review all eligible submissions.

Up to three artists will be short-listed by the selection panel. Short-listed artists will be asked to develop a concept design proposal and compensated a stipend of $500 upon presentation of their complete concept design proposal. Concept Design Proposal shall include: a project narrative explaining the general context and approach of the artist’s concept, draft budget, timeline, and visual representation or the artwork as a scaled maquette, digital rendering or scaled drawings.

The selection panel will review each Short-listed artists’ completed concept design proposals and choose one artist to award the commission.
Short listed artists will be strongly encouraged to review all aspects of the site prior to submitting a final concept design proposal.
Determination for a mandatory site-visit has not yet been established.

Submission deadline November 11, 2019 November 18, 2019
Short-listed artists notified
December 6, 2019
Selected Artist under contract
February 17, 2020
Target Installation/dedication
August, 2020

Artists’ Responsibilities
Selected artist(s) or artist team will be expected to work with One Columbia staff or their designees to develop and implement the specifications and details of the public art project.
Including the following:
• Developing the final design proposal inclusive of descriptive narrative, project budget, and project timeline
• Selecting appropriate materials for the artwork
• Attending meetings with stakeholders as necessary (virtual or in person)
• Obtaining all required permits
• Maintaining appropriate insurance for the artwork until City has accepted the artwork
• Fabrication, installation and delivery phases
• Providing detailed instructions to care for and maintain the artwork
• Providing detailed documentation on the engineering, machined parts, and other custom details including MSDS sheets

The final proposal will need to meet all public safety requirements and be suitable for all ages.

Questions regarding this solicitation must be directed in writing to

sources –


Use the online form to submit your qualifications for this opportunity