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State: New Mexico
The Bernalillo County Arts Board solicits a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for artists and artist teams to submit qualifications for an innovative, signature work of public art for Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square, the home of Bernalillo County government offices. The selected artist or artist team will create an architecturally integrated piece that is responsive to the site and that will become an iconic landmark that identifies Bernalillo County and welcomes the public to the facility. The work may be integrated into the exterior or interior architecture of the building. The work should reflect the diverse cultures and landscapes of Bernalillo County. The budget for this project is $200,000. A local selection committee of community representatives, arts and design professionals, and Bernalillo County staff has been assembled to select and recommend an artist or artist team for this project from the proposals. The winning artist or artists team will create the concept and design of the work and be responsible for installation. Eligible artists or artist teams must reside in the United States.
Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square (BC@AS), 415 Silver Avenue SW 87102, is a newly renovated eight-story building centrally located in downtown Albuquerque. The original Alvarado Square building was constructed in 1980 and is approximately 280,000 square feet. The renovated building is LEED and Fitwel certified, making Alvarado Square the first of its kind in the entire state. Alvarado Square houses approximately 800-1,000 county employees. In addition to being Bernalillo County’s flagship facility, the property accommodates many of the County’s most visited public service departments and programs.
The BC@AS building has many unique architectural features. Artists or artist teams may consider one or more of the following sites for the project as long as the project remains within the $200,000.00 budget. The recommended sites for artists and artist teams to consider for the project include but are not limited to:
- Exterior facades of the tower and atrium
- Interior of the atrium
- Vertical and horizontal walls in the building’s lobby
- Courtyards and walls near the main entrance to the building (south side of the building on Silver Avenue near Fifth Street)
- The exterior walls and underside of the second-floor bridge that connects the north and south sides of the building
- The exterior walls of the east side of the building
PLEASE NOTE: the slanted, south facing part of the building (the “Woof”) is NOT available for the public art project.
About Bernalillo County: “Bernalillo County is 1,160 square miles and is New Mexico’s most populous county with more than 674,000 residents. Bernalillo County government provides a wide range of public services to residents who live in Albuquerque, Los Ranchos and Tijeras and the 111,000 residents who live outside the village and city limits in the unincorporated areas of the county. Bernalillo County employs approximately 2,500 people and has an annual operating budget and capital investments of more than $650 million. Elected officials include five county commissioners, assessor, clerk, probate judge, sheriff and treasurer.” https://www.bernco.gov
The county has a diversity of cultures and varied landscapes including mountains that reach over 10,000 feet in elevation, volcanic escarpments lined with sacred petroglyphs, ancient volcanic cinder cones, farmlands, riverside wildlife preserves, grasslands, piñon and juniper scrublands, and part of the largest riverside cottonwood forest in the world. Bernalillo County includes lands west and east of the majestic Sandia Mountains. New Mexico’s main river, the Rio Grande, runs through the length of the county.
About Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square: In May 2017 Bernalillo County purchased the Alvarado Square property and began renovation. The renovation included the remodel of the main Alvarado Square building and the construction of a new building for the County Commission chambers -- a state-of-the-art, 12,000 square foot facility adjacent to the existing eight-story building. The new structure houses a 200-seat chambers and meeting space for the community. Bernalillo County offices moved to Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square in spring 2021.
County departments housed in the Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square center include: the Board of County Commissioners; County Manager; Economic Development; Community Services; Parks, Recreation, and Open Space; TV Production; Sheriff; County Clerk; Treasurer; Assessor; Probate Judge; Planning and Development; Indigent Services; Fire Marshal; Public Works; Internal Affairs; Information Technology; Finance; General Services; and Legal.
About the Bernalillo County Arts Board: The Arts Board is guided by the following mission: Public art has the power to inspire curiosity, encourage contemplation, facilitate dialogue, foster community engagement, and create a sense of place. Located throughout the county, the Bernalillo County public art collection enhances quality of life through the acquisition of exceptional works of art by artists at various career stages.
More information can be found here: https://www.bernco.gov/publicart
The intent of the project is to visually enhance the facility, to create an architecturally integrated artwork that is responsive to the site and that will represent the diversity of the cultures and landscapes of Bernalillo County, and that will enrich the experience of citizens that visit Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square. Additionally, Bernalillo County’s goals for the artwork include:
- To provide a significant artistic expression within Bernalillo County;
- To contribute to the local, regional and national coversation on contemporary public art;
- To complement the architecture and operations of Bernalillo County @ Alvarado Square; and
- To enrich and diversify Bernalillo County's public art collection.
The Arts Board is considering proposals by artists working in various media, including but not limited to sculpture, mural art, mosaic, and light and digital projection. The work may be integrated into the exterior or interior architecture of the building. The Arts Board is seeking a work of art that will become an iconic landmark that identifies Bernalillo County to passersby and that serves to welcome the public to the facility.
$200,000.00 is available to commission the artwork from 1% for the Arts, from voter approved general obligation bonds. This amount includes all fees and expenses associated with the project, e.g., materials, equipment, labor, permits, travel, installation, and written and professional photographic documentation of the completed project.
Timeframe (subject to change): The call is open until January 20, 2023. From the submissions, three finalists will be chosen by the selection committee to prepare a detailed concept and design to present to the selection committee in a public meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- Request for Qualifications opens: December 9, 2023
- Request for Qualifications closes: January 20, 2023
- Selection committee meetings and community comment period: February through June 2023
- Three semi-finalists announced: July 2023
- Artist selected: September 2023
- Planning and design: Fall 2023
- Completion: Fall 2024
In response to this RFQ, applicants will be asked to submit the following via www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™).
- Artist Statement
- Statement of Interest
- Examples of previously completed works
- Images - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 10
- Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 1
- Total Media - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 10
- Annotated Image List
Please log in to www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™) for complete application requirements.
There is no application fee for the project or to create an account on the system. Please note that all materials must be submitted according to the specifications outlined on the CaFÉ website.
All word and quantity limits must be followed.
Eligible artist or artist teams must reside in the United States and demonstrate:
- An understanding of Bernalillo County and its history and population.
- Successful design of projects of a similar scope and budget;
- Demonstrated ability to effectively engage with design professionals, community stakeholders and user groups;
- Artistic merit and superior craftsmanship of body of work;
- Strong conceptual skills with innovative approach to other creative projects;
- Ability to design artwork that is sensitive to social, environmental, historical and/or other relevant contexts;
- Ability to translate artistic concepts into materials that are appropriate for public space, with consideration for maintenance, safety and longevity;
- Ability and willingness to collaborate with Bernalillo County staff and New Mexico based design, fabrication and engineering professionals, project stakeholders and contractors;
- And effective communication and organizational skills.
Artist's Responsibility: It will be the artist’s responsibility to design and install the project.
This online process requires that all application images and materials be submitted in digital format. For digital image requirements please visit the “Image Prep” section at www.callforentry.org (CaFÉ™).
Eligible artist or artist teams must reside in the United States.
No previous public art experience is required to apply. New Mexico based artists are strongly encouraged to apply.