Number of Applications Allowed: 5
Images | Minimum:Min. 2, Maximum:Max. 10
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 2, Maximum:Max. 10
Commission of Original Sculpture - Reflecting on the History of Augusta's Black Medical Community
The Greater Augusta Arts Council is requesting proposals from qualified sculptors or artist teams to create a unique, durable, low-maintenance, meaningful, and beautiful sculpture to be placed in the center of the fully landscaped Twiggs Circle traffic roundabout.
The purpose of the sculpture is to create a highly visible, beautiful, and meaningful addition to the ongoing Golden Blocks public history through public art place-keeping project. The Golden Blocks project highlights the rich cultural legacy of the historically Black neighborhoods of Laney Walker and Bethlehem, in public spaces, inviting lifelong residents, newcomers, and visitors to enjoy the revitalization of the area while celebrating its past.
The GIS coordinates to pinpoint the location on Google Maps are 33.459462684591614, -81.97592131373877. The location is a traffic circle with well-maintained landscaping surrounding the center where the sculpture will stand. The Twiggs Circle roundabout is part of the Augusta Housing & Community Development Department’s Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Area.
The sculpture is intended to last for 50 years minimum in good condition, and to incorporate and interpret the theme of the History of Augusta's Black Medical Community.
Every artist who applies for this call is strongly encouraged to research the history of Augusta’s Black Medical Community. A useful book is Segregated Doctoring: Black Physicians in Augusta, Georgia, 1903-1952, by Leslie J. Pollard Sr., which is available through libraries and book stores. Artists may also visit the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, located at 1116 Phillips Street, in Augusta, GA. In depth questions about Black History in Augusta can be answered by Corey Rogers, Historian at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum, who can be reached by phone at 706-724-3576, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Selected artist will receive a stipend of $15,000 to cover all expenses associated with the envisioning, creation, transport and installation of the sculpture, and any and all other expenses the artist might encounter.
City of Augusta will provide a 4 inch high poured concrete pad, of the diameter required by the commissioned sculptor. Sculptor is responsible for providing a minimum 5 foot high base of some durable and sturdy material to elevate the sculpture above the top of the vegetation at the Twiggs Circle roundabout.
Installation: December 2022
This sculpture call is made possible by a generous grant from Georgia Rehabilitation Institute, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that serves to better the lives of persons with disabilities and the elderly population in the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). To increase access to the arts for those without easy access to indoor art installations, GRI will support the fully accessible installation of public art in Augusta, GA. This request for proposals is part of the Golden Blocks public history through public art place-keeping project, a collaboration between the Greater Augusta Arts Council, the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, and the Augusta Housing & Community Development Department.
Artists may apply up to 5 times with separate proposals. Please do not submit different concept proposals in one application. Each application must be for one, individual design. Applications that contain multiple proposal designs will be disqualified.
Golden Blocks Project:
Golden Blocks Project is a project spearheaded by the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History, the Greater Augusta Arts Council and the Augusta Housing & Community Development Department. Named the Golden Blocks Project, in reference to the historic nickname of the corridor of business and industry located on or near Campbell and Gwinnett Streets, this endeavor will create new public art that references the historical and cultural significance of these areas. Today, Campbell and Gwinnett Streets are James Brown and Laney-Walker Boulevards.
During the time of segregation, the area nicknamed the Golden Blocks was the heart of Augusta’s Black business community. Federal “Red Line” policies prevented citizens from receiving bank mortgages within certain areas that were predominantly non-white populations, and businesses elsewhere in the city were allowed to discriminate against Black patrons due to Jim Crow era laws. In the Laney Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods, Black-owned banks, insurance companies, theaters and other businesses worked to offset this discrimination and thrived, creating a strong sense of community.
A digital, audio walking tour of the Golden Blocks is available online at https://georgia-humanities.opentour.site/augusta-s-golden-blocks.
Augusta’s Black Medical Community:
During the height of Jim Crow in Augusta, the Black community became very industrious, tapping into its entrepreneurial spirit by creating a corridor of businesses known as The Golden Blocks. This attitude of assembling a robust, thriving community spilled over into other endeavors. The medical field was certainly no exception.
Starting in the 1890’s, Black leaders began to build a medical infrastructure that would be a sustaining force throughout legal segregation.
Lucy Craft Laney, the nationally-renowned educator, pioneered the development of the Lamar School of Nursing, one of the premiere nursing training facilities in the South.
Dr. George N. Stoney, an Aiken, South Carolina native and one of the leading physicians and businessmen in Augusta during the early 20th Century, ushered in a new era of Black doctors and dentists in Augusta. His motto, “To know something, to do something, to be somebody.”
Between 1902 and 1952 there were no less than 40 Black doctors and dentists, including
Dr. Thomas Walter Josey, Medical Director for the Pilgrim Health and Life Insurance Company and Medical Examiner for the “colored” schools in Augusta;
Dr. Scipio Solomon Johnson, one of the most well-known and respected physicians and business owners of his era. His house currently sits as the anchor for the Twiggs Street corridor, directly across from the Twiggs Circle Roundabout where this sculpture will stand.
There were also several Black hospitals in the Gwinnett Street corridor during the early 20th Century.
Tabernacle Baptist Church currently stands where the Lamar Hospital used to be.
Dr. A.B. Johnson opened The Bruce Hospital on 8th Street.
Dr. George Burruss opened the Burruss Sanitarium, the first hospital in Augusta owned and operated by Black citizens.
Even the famed Lenox Theater, known as the premiere entertainment center for Black Augustans, provided space for medical professions to practice, as was the case with Dr. Warren Russell.
Many years later, Dr. Paul Weston would do something similar when he opened his doctor’s office in Tabernacle Baptist Church.
It was Dr. T.W. Josey that probably said it best, “Those prepared to lead should lead. Not for self, but for others”. The remarkable story of these visionary leaders is told not just by what they were able to do, but the climate in which they forged their enduring legacies.
Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Program:
In 2008, the Augusta Commission passed legislation supporting community development in Laney Walker/Bethlehem (LW/B), overseen by Augusta Housing & Community Development (HCD). The Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Program combines two (2) historic neighborhoods in the urban core known as the Laney Walker/Bethlehem Revitalization Project. Residential options include Affordable, Workforce, and Mixed-Use Development. Six (6) targeted areas in LW/B include: 1. Laney Walker Blvd., 2.) Wrightsboro Rd., 3.) Twiggs Street, 4.) James Brown Blvd., 5.) Pine Street, and 6.) Holley Street
The Laney Walker Bethlehem Revitalization Project strives to promote quality housing, economic development, and neighborhood reinvestment. HCD believes in preserving the LW/B community through revitalization, economic development, and artistic expression.
Just in this past year, HCD has partnered with private developers to create 22 new single-family homes in various lots in the LW/B area.
HCD not only builds new construction homes but strives to preserve history within the LW/B neighborhood. The Johnson House was built in 1921 and owned by the late Dr. Scipio Johnson. Dr. Johnson was one of the first African American physicians in Southeast Georgia and served the underserved community while operating a pharmacy in his own home.
The Johnson House Historic Restoration project began in 2020. The integrity of the façade was preserved with installation of windows and doors. On the interior, each room has the original fireplace to include hearth, tile, and bricks. The home will be an affordable, duplex rental and is tentatively scheduled to debut for its grand opening in May 2022. To commemorate Dr. Johnson, a sign and plaque were placed at the front of the property. The Johnson House faces directly onto the Twiggs Circle roundabout.
And lastly, HCD strives to promote and increase economic development in the LW/B community. One effort to achieve that goal has been through the new facelift that Armstrong Galleria will soon experience. This exterior façade improvement includes new doors, windows, signage, awnings, planters, and lighting which will result in a major uptick in the small businesses that are currently located in the galleria.
Augusta, Georgia is the third largest city in the state of Georgia with approximately 200,000 residents, and around 500,000 in the larger metropolitan area, which spans both sides of the Savannah River, into South Carolina. Augusta was established as a strategic trading city along the geological “fall line” of the Savannah River.
The climate in Augusta, GA is generally lovely, ranging from an average 45 degrees in winter to 82 degrees in summer. It does reach freezing temperatures for a few days a year, and can reach the high 90s in summer. It can be humid and does receive strong thunderstorms and the occasional tropical storm winds. Any outdoor sculptures must be made to withstand the full range of weather for at least fifty years.
All individual pieces will be scored by the Public Art Advisory Panel of Augusta, and a panel of Housing & Community Development staff, Augusta Housing Authority staff, and residents of the M.M. Scott, Powell Pointe, and Allen Homes residences that surround Twiggs Circle. The top scoring proposal will be offered the project, and upon confirmation by the artist, contracts will be finalized between The Greater Augusta Arts Council and the artist. If the selected artist declines, or a contract cannot be finalized, the next highest scoring proposal by a different artist will be selected.
Selection criteria include:
- Resident of the Regional Southeast of the United States (pass/fail)
- Qualifications and Experience of the artist in creating and installing sculptures in public spaces
- Clarity and Organization of the proposal as a reflection of artist's professionalism and ease of collaboration
- Aesthetic quality of the images presented in the artist's portfolio of past work
- Aesthetic appeal of the images of the proposed sculpture
- Appropriateness of proposal vis a vis the stated subject matter: Reflecting on the History of Augusta’s Black Medical Community
- Clear plan for installation
- Feasibility of proposal in terms of scope of work in relation to project budget and timeline
- Professional references
The request for proposals is open to all professional sculptors and artist teams residing in the Southeast region of the United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Proof of residency is required; applications from outside the regional Southeast WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. All members of any team that applies must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States.
The Greater Augusta Arts Council is seeking proposals for an original sculpture in any media suitable for long-term installation in outdoor public space. All sculptures must meet the following basic requirements:
- The proposed work must be structurally sound and durable, and require little to no maintenance beyond routine cleaning.
- The proposed work must be capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions common to the Augusta River Region, including hot summers, cold winters, humidity, heavy rain, wind, thunder storms, and occasional snow.
- The proposed work must be suitable for pedestrian interaction with a low exposure to injury. The public must be protected from possible injury from materials and the work must not include sharp or easily climbable parts.
- The proposed work must give visual voice to the history of Augusta’s Black Medical Community.
- The proposed work (and any base) must exist within the following dimensional profile:
5 feet minimum base height to allow sculpture to sit above landscaping
10 feet minimum sculpture height or width or depth
15 feet maximum sculpture height or width or depth
- The proposed work must be of an aesthetic quality that would appeal to a variety of ages and cultural backgrounds.
The selected artist is responsible for transportation of their work to the site and to oversee proper installation. Installation costs regarding site preparation will be the responsibility of the Artist; however, City of Augusta will provide a 4 inch high poured concrete pad, of the diameter required by the commissioned sculptor. Sculptor is responsible for providing a minimum 5 foot high base of some durable and sturdy material to elevate the sculpture above the top of the vegetation at the Twiggs Circle roundabout..
The artist will be paid $15,000 for the commission and installation of the Twiggs Circle Roundabout Sculpture.
- First payment will be made to artist upon execution of contract with Greater Augusta Arts Council in the amount of $5,000.
- Second payment will be made to the artist upon satisfactory communication of mid-way progress in the creation of the artwork, at an agreed upon date between the artist and Greater Augusta Arts Council, in the amount of $5,000.
- Final payment will be made to artist upon satisfactory installation of the sculpture at the designated site, in the amount of $5,000.
- RFP available: April 1 – June 1, 2022
- Selection process: June 2 – July 20, 2022
- Notification to selected artist: July 25, 2022
- Contractual process: through August 5, 2022
- Installation of sculpture: by December 2022
Amendment 1 (FAQ):
May 13, 2022: In response to a question from Artist regarding height of base -- The site needs a sculpture (situated at the center of the already landscaped Twiggs Circle) that can be seen above the particular landscaping at Twiggs Circle, which rises about 5 feet from the ground. Therefore, the artwork--not the part it sits on, or rises up out of if the piece will be a continuous construction--must sit above the 5 feet from the ground mark. We recommend contemplating the ideal piece for the site, and making that artistic judgment with a keen aesthetic eye.
Artist is responsible for creating the part of the sculpture that is not seen due to the landscaping, as well as the part that is seen. That unseen part has been named the “base”. A four inch concrete pad will be poured per the load bearing needs of the commissioned artwork, based upon the recommendation of the artist, with a check by our City Engineering Department. If, however, the artist proposes a piece that s/he will partially bury in order to anchor it in place, rather than one that is tethered to a concrete base with bolts (that artist will provide as artist installs the work), then artist should be certain to mention that in the submitted proposal.
May 13, 2022: Is there any power connection in the circle for night time light? Answer: There is not.
Required to include from Cafe Portfolio: at least one image for proposed sculpture, 2-9 images of past work.
- Artist resume
- Images of past work with descriptions
- Images of Twiggs Circle Roundabout Sculpture proposal with any additional information
- Description of proposal
- Installation plan
- Proof of residency in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee
This request for proposals is open to all professional sculptors and artist teams residing in the Southeast region of the United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee). Proof of residency is required; applications from outside the regional Southeast WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. All members of any team that applies must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States.