Call Detail
Call for Artists: Public art commission for the Rhode Island College Horace Mann Hall
Entry Deadline: 2/20/23
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 2
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Rhode Island
Budget: $100,000 and $35,000

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

Call for Artists- Public Art Commission for the Rhode Island College

Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, Horace Mann Hall

600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence 02908

Budget: Two artworks will be commissioned: an exterior work at $100,000 and an interior work(s) at $35,000.

Application Deadline: Extended: February 20, 2023 11:59 pm

Eligibility: This Call is open to all professional artists. The exterior commission is open nationally, while the interior commission is reserved for Rhode Island artists only.  Please select the category for which you are submitting from the drop-down menu in the application. Those currently enrolled in undergraduate or secondary-level programs are not eligible to apply.

Artwork for the Rhode Island College Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, Horace Mann Hall, will be commissioned through Rhode Island’s Public Art Law, which mandates that 1% of all state capital construction and renovation funds be allocated to the purchase and maintenance of public art.  Through this program, the State recognizes that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens”. 

About Rhode Island College

Rhode Island College is the first public institution of higher education in the state of Rhode Island. Rhode Island Normal School opened its doors on May 29, 1854 in the same former church hall that was used previously for private normal school instruction.  It was the eighth normal school opened in America. Its goal was to provide teacher preparation to young people from Rhode Island. 

Rhode Island College came from these humble origins, providing opportunities for self-transformation in order to meet the changing needs of the people of Rhode Island – a commitment that continues to this day. This commitment to the education of teachers and public service is still the backbone of the institution.

Today, Rhode Island College is a regional comprehensive public college that serves approximately 5,800 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students through its five schools: the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, the School of Business, the Zvart Onanian School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work.

From its website, the College’s mission statement reads:

As a leading regional public college, Rhode Island College personalizes higher education of the finest quality for undergraduate and graduate students. We offer vibrant programs in arts and sciences, business, and professional disciplines within a supportive, respectful, and diverse community. Dedicated faculty engage students in learning, research, and career attainment, and our innovative curricula and co-curricula foster intellectual curiosity and prepare an educated citizenry for responsible leadership.

Rhode Island College is additionally guided by core values of Excellence and Innovation, Access and Opportunity.

 About the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD)

The Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD), so named because of a generous gift from education philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein in 1997, is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing programs that prepare professional personnel for educator and counseling roles in schools and social service agencies that serve the needs of the diverse communities of Rhode Island. The FSEHD administers and coordinates all professional education programs at Rhode Island College and serves as the college's liaison with the Rhode Island Department of Education and local school systems.

The mission of the Rhode Island College Feinstein School of Education and Human Development (FSEHD) is to prepare education and human service professionals to be highly effective, reflective, engaged, and deeply committed to the values of equity, diversity, and social advocacy; and to provide expertise in educational policy, research, and professional development to schools, agencies, and communities.

Rhode Island College’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development trains over 60% of all teachers serving the state of Rhode Island.

About Horace Mann Hall

The 46,000-square-foot home Horace Mann Hall received a masterful makeover in 2022. The building’s three-story tower has been renovated to include six classrooms, three new seminar rooms and a reconfigured computer lab. RIC, which prepares the largest number of teacher candidates for certification in Rhode Island, equipped Horace Mann classrooms to be more amenable for video coaching, a best practice that allows teacher candidates to evaluate with faculty mentors, full-time teacher mentors and one another for continuous improvement. Horace Mann Hall will be the home to the departments of Elementary EducationSpecial Education and Educational Studies.

About Rhode Island College’s Public Art Master Plan

In 2017, with multiple new construction and renovation projects on the horizon, President Sánchez tasked the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to work with the faculty and staff of the college in creating a public art master plan for the campus. RISCA staff worked closely with the Steering Committee, conducting numerous listening sessions with faculty, staff, and students on campus.

Of note, the plan places emphasis on artworks that convey “freshness”, “newness” and “vitality”; that improve engagement, connectedness, and community on campus; that align with Rhode Island College’s mission; that offer opportunities for all to participate by placing art in accessible locations; and meets sustainability goals.


The RI State Council on the Arts and Rhode Island College will commission artwork for the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development, Horace Mann Hall. Two separate artworks will be commissioned; an exterior artwork with a budget of $100,000, and an interior artwork or artworks with a budget of $35,000.

The selection panel met in October 2022 and determined that the building presents excellent opportunities for artwork to be incorporated both inside and out.

For the exterior commission, artwork might:

  • Serve as a gateway piece, heralding the school’s presence
  • Create a gathering space, a focal point, or be intentionally functional
  • Be sited on the patio outside the front entrance or at the Southwest corner facing College Road
  • Be lit for visibility at night as well as during the day
  • create a connection with the dichroic glass facade

The interior commission might:

  • Enliven the community spaces on the first, second and/or third floors.
  • Create a welcoming atmosphere, increase collaborative space and sense of community
  • Might be a series of works uniting various spaces and floors throughout; or a single large work

For both works, artwork might:

  • Evoke learning, play, childhood, knowledge, intellectual growth, teaching;
  • Be celebratory, welcoming, inclusive; reflect RIC’s diversity or its central geographic urban location;
  • Reflect the goals and values of RIC’s public art master plan
  • While not required, projects that engage, employ, or share skills with RIC students are welcome.

Both budgets are all-inclusive, including but not limited to all artist’s fees, materials, fabrication, engineer fees, insurance, permits, installation, lighting, wiring, support, bases, etc. 

Intent of this Call and Scope of the Work:

Please note: This Call for Artists is the first step in the RISCA/RIC public art selection process. It is not considered best practice for an agency to ask an artist to craft a proposal without financial compensation. Therefore, RISCA will conduct the Public Art application process online, with all materials submitted in digital format through CaFÉ (see below). This first step will review the suitability of the artist and their work for this project; invited finalists will receive a stipend to create a site-specific proposal. There is no charge to the artist to apply or to submit digital images.  Two informational sessions will be held on-site for applicants to learn more about the project (dates TBD), ask questions, and receive technical assistance with their application.

At this preliminary selection stage, we request submissions from artists or art teams consisting of six (6) images representing work completed within the past ten years, and a written statement, narrative or resume that describes the applicant’s relevant experience, connection to or interest in the project. Applications must be submitted via the CaFÉ web site (

Three finalists for each project will be selected from the pool of initial applicants. Finalists will be invited to craft a detailed proposal including an itemized budget, scale models and/or renderings, and an in-depth project description. For this they will each be paid a stipend for their work. This stipend includes all travel expenses: hotel, transportation, mileage, etc., for both the site visit and the subsequent presentation meeting. Finalists will not be reimbursed separately for any travel costs. Due to the changing conditions of COVID-19, meetings, presentations, and site visits may be held through video conferencing, TBD.


Drop in hours to learn more about this opportunity, ask questions, or get technical help with applications:

February 6 4-6 pm

February 9 4-6pm 

At Horace Mann Hall, College Road within the RIC Campus, parking available in Lot K.

February 20, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. (E.S.T.) Deadline for submissions

February/March (TBD), 2023 panel meeting for review and selection of semifinalists

April 2023 (TBD): Finalist site visits

May-June 2023 (TBD): Finalist presentations to selection panel; work selected

June 2023, Final approval by RISCA Council and RIC President’s Executive Council.

TBD with artist: Contract signed. Engineering and fabrication begins.

TBD with artist: Work installed and completed. Building construction is already complete.

According to law, recommendations of the selection panel will be presented to the governing council of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts who will have final approval of the public art selection.

Finalist’s site-specific proposals should convey artist’s ideas and plans through designs, renderings and/or scale models with a statement that describes the project's intent, proposed materials, fabrication and installation methods, and an itemized budget including 10% contingency fee. Finalists will also be asked to explain how their artwork will be sourced and fabricated.  The finalists will be supplied with plans, photographs, and specific information about the building and the campus. A site visit to include a meeting with campus planning and members of the selection panel will be scheduled. It is strongly recommended that finalists visit the site in person.  A stipend will be paid to finalists for their proposals. The proposals will remain the property of the artist; however RISCA reserves the right to retain proposals for up to one year for display purposes and the right to reproduce final proposals for documentation and public information.

The Public Art Selection Panel reserves the right to determine which proposal will be funded and the extent of funding. The panel also reserves the right not to accept any proposal submitted. If the recommendations of the Public Art Selection Panel are approved by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and RIC, the selected artist/s will enter into a contract with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and RIC for the commission. The commissioned artwork will be owned by the State of Rhode Island.

Selection Criteria:

The panel will select the artist based on the following criteria:

  1. Artistic Vibrancy and Relevance
  2. Responsiveness to the Request for Qualifications
  3. Permanence and Durability
  4. Value
  5. Collaborative spirit
  6. Capacity to Succeed

If you have questions about this opportunity, email Molly Dickinson,  If you require technical support for CAFÉ, please email

Application Requirements

6 images representative of an artist's work relevant to this Call; One paragraph statement and narrative biography, resume or artist's CV.

IMPORTANT: if you would like to be considered for both opportunities, please submit two separate applications, one for "Exterior" and one for "Interior". 

Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility: This Call is open to professional artists. The exterior commission is open nationally, while the interior commission is reserved for Rhode Island artists only.  Please select the category for which you are submitting from the drop-down menu in the application. Those currently enrolled in undergraduate or secondary-level programs are not eligible to apply.

 Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, gender nonconforming persons, LGBTQIA+ community members and people with differing physical abilities are highly encouraged to apply. Artists living across Rhode Island are highly encouraged to apply. The panel will not discriminate against any applicant artist on the basis of age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin or physical challenges. Excluded from participation are RISCA Council members, staff and their family members as well as Public Art Selection Panel members and their families.

For the purposes of this application, a Rhode Island resident is defined as someone who files their income taxes in RI. An emerging artist is defined as someone who has not yet received an artwork commission at or sold an artwork for $75,000 or more.