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The City of Lewisville has released a Request for Proposals for artists who wish to create a public art project as a part of this year’s public art work plan. The city is interested in commissioning an artist or group of artists to enhance Lewisville’s natural beauty with an Aviary inspired outdoor sculpture that reflects the area’s robust migratory bird activity and location within significant migratory bird pathways. The sculpture will be displayed in Thrive Nature Park, one of the City of Lewisville’s newest parks. A critical priority for this project is for the artist or artist team to engage with and include the Lewisville Community - residents and visitors - in the creation process of elements of the sculpture.
This project, with its aviary inspiration and inclusion of the community to participate and contribute to elements used in the sculpture, is inspired by the work of Danish artist Thomas Dambo. Dambo uses recycled/upcycled materials to create sculptures and works with communities to contribute built or decorated “units” of thematic items that are used to build the sculptures. One of Dambo’s past projects that is particularly inspiring to the Arts Advisory Board involved asking community members to build and paint brightly colored birdhouses that were installed into sculptures like a “bird house tree” or archways filled with hung birdhouses.
This project for the city of Lewisville also has close ties to several “Big Moves” that make up the City of Lewisville’s active strategic vision plan, called Lewisville 2025. The Big Moves tied to this project include The Green Center Piece and Extending the Green, which are both integral to the City of Lewisville’s Park system expansion, redefinition and enhancement including the addition of visual art aspects to area parks and green spaces.
Background and Context
Lewisville was formed in 1847 and incorporated in 1925. Located north of Dallas along Interstate 35E in the bustling DFW Metroplex, the city currently has a culturally diverse population of about 100,000 residents and is a major retail and employment center for the region. Key features include Lewisville Lake, LLELA Nature Preserve, and historic Old Town Lewisville.
In 2014, a group of 50 resident volunteers were appointed to a committee charged with developing a vision for the kind of city they wanted Lewisville to be when it turned 100 years old in 2025. The result is a comprehensive vision plan that presents nine Big Moves, along with general and specific action steps to accomplish each of these ambitious goals.
Lewisville 2025 vision plan: https://www.cityoflewisville.com/lewisville2025
Public Art Master Plan
As a key component of the Lewisville 2025, adoption of the city’s Public Art Master Plan occurred in January 2018. The plan sets out a vision for the role that public art can play in Lewisville’s future as a successful city. The City of Lewisville views the public art program as a valuable way to express civic pride, an extension of Lewisville’s commitment to provide residents and visitors with access to arts and cultural experiences, and a means to visually make strong connections to the city’s cultural and economic diversity.
City of Lewisville Park System
The Lewisville Parks and Recreation Department manages more than 3,000 acres of open space, parks, and preserves. Thrive Nature Park, the intended location for the finished sculpture, is located on the southeast corner of South Valley Pkwy and Corporate Drive, adjacent to the new Thrive multigenerational recreation center. The 23-acre park features native Texas forest and prairie with trails and opportunities for environmental education and play.
Migratory Flight Path
More than 270 bird species can be found in Lewisville throughout the year, including some rarely seen in other parts of Texas. From the American Bittern to the Wood Thrush, the Lewisville area serves as a permanent or temporary home to many of the most beautiful and most fascinating species of birds.
Aviary Themed Art and Park Amenities
Adjacent to Thrive Nature Park is Thrive Recreation Center, which is the location of a large piece of public art titled Shared Journeys by Andy Dufford with William Seal and Chevo Studios. Inspired by the avian migratory corridor in which Lewisville sits, Shared Journeys is a 3D mural that features many of the bird species that pass through Lewisville. The mural spans several walls and changes materials to match the building materials of the associated walls. These materials include stone, glass, and wall board. Within Thrive Nature Park there is also a bird blind that was inspired by Dufford's work.
Public Art: Parameters & Goals
Specific goals and parameters have been established for this public art project with the intent of creating a unique and inspiring work of art for those who live in and visit Lewisville.
Location: The art project will be located outdoors within a City of Lewisville Park with specific placements described below under Project Scope.
Appropriate & Unique: The selection panel seeks a unique, one-of-a-kind art project that is appropriate for Lewisville and for the diverse community that will experience it. Considerations should include Lewisville’s community’s deep connection to a thriving outdoor environment and Lewisville’s location along significant migratory bird pathways. The City is interested in artists who can demonstrate experience in public art.
Materials & Media: The selection panel is open to artwork in all media and materials that meet the project objectives and expectations.
Durability & Maintenance: All public art projects in Texas are exposed to weather and physical stresses and are subject to vandalism. The artwork should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials.
Public Art: Project Scope
Lewisville’s Arts Advisory Board has been assigned by City Council to oversee this project and will serve as the artist selection panel. The Board has set the following parameters and expectations for the project.
Description of Pieces: The art project will consist of one Aviary-inspired sculpture of a material and concept determined by the artist and approved by the Arts Advisory Board. Proposals for this project should incorporate a plan for a sculpture or installation that consists of multiple parts or pieces that will be made through community participation in fabrication or finishing of these pieces. Although recycled or repurposed materials are allowed, and environmentally conscious materials are encouraged, use of these types of materials is not a requirement. Priority consideration will be given to those with an aviary theme.
Placement of Pieces: The sculpture will be placed on a pad within Thrive Nature Park. Exact placement will depend on the final approved plan, size, and scope of the selected project.
- Artistic Intent: It is the desire of the Arts Advisory Board that the sculpture celebrates and accentuates what is special about Lewisville, Texas, including but not limited to the lakefront location, landmarks, and the natural landscape. As a part of the process the Artist or Artist team will collaborate with the residents of Lewisville in the sculpture’s creation. This could include collaborating on the fabrication or finishing of the piece. Artist or Artist team will manage and provide details on the collaborative process.
Community participation element:
The selected project would be planned and overseen by the selected Artist, and final fabrication and assembly of all the community contributions would be the responsibility of the Artist. The Artist would also need to facilitate several workshops or other public events for creating/fabricating/finish components of the piece by the community.
- Proposals should provide clear details for how the Artist might go about this or reference similar experience.
In response to this RFP, applicants will be asked to submit eight digital images, a résumé, and a statement of interest no longer than 2,000 characters via www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™). From these applications, the selection panel will choose up to six semifinalists for telephone or online interview. Semifinalists will receive more specific information regarding the project site to help them prepare an art project proposal. From the interview, an artist or artist team will be selected for this commission and recommended to Lewisville City Council for approval. The selected artist or artist team for the commission will collaborate with the Arts Advisory Board and City staff on final design and placement.
Can a team apply?
Applicants may apply as a single artist or multi-person collaborative group. In the case of teams, please submit a single résumé for the whole team with 1-2 pages per team member.
The budget for this commission is up to $20,000 USD which will be allocated to a single artist or artist team. This contract amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project including, but not limited to: the artist’s design fee, materials (including those being used by the community participants for the project), other consultation fees such as structural engineering consultation, insurance, tools, fabrication, transportation, installation, travel to and from the site (minimum of 3 visits; pre-design, community engagement launch, installation/dedication), per diem expenses, project documentation, contingency to cover unexpected expenses, and any other costs.
11/18/22- Deadline for entry (via CaFÉ™ system)
December 2022- Semifinalist Selection
January 2023- Finalist Selection and Notification
April 22, 2023 – Large Art and Culture City-sponsored event, ColorPalooza, where community participation in contributing to sculpture elements will be expected. The artist will need to be in Lewisville on this date (and dates leading to as needed) for this event to facilitate an activity related to the sculpture creation.
TBD- Project Completion and Installation
This project is open nationally to all artists, regardless of race, color, creed, gender, gender variance, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical handicap. Artists working in any media are eligible to apply. Artists are not required to have previous experience in public art. Emerging artists are welcome to apply for this commission.