Call Detail
Memorial to the People Enslaved at Ashland
Visit Organization Website
Contact Email: nzamarron@lexarts.org
Contact Phone:
Entry Deadline: 2/28/23
Days remaining to deadline: 25
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 5
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 5
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 5
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 5
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Kentucky
Budget: 250,000

Request for Qualifications

Public Artwork to be commissioned for the

Memorial for the People Enslaved at Ashland

Lexington, Kentucky

 

Project Description

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation owns and operates Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, a 17-acre historic green space in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky. Its centerpiece is an 8,000 square foot Italianate mansion, along with a grounds keeper’s cottage, smokehouse, and other outbuildings. During Henry Clay’s time as state legislator, U.S. Senator, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and U.S. Secretary of State, the mansion, crops, and livestock were tended by enslaved persons.

 The Foundation, in partnership with LexArts, seeks an artist or artist team to create an artwork that engages Ashland’s descendant community by incorporating stories passed down through families and community lore—a history too long marginalized within public memory.

This artwork will be a visual marker on the estate. Our goal is to commission proposals by three experienced public artists for the site, with the expectation of realizing one of the proposals by June 2025.  There is no application fee to enter.

This project will be a significant element of the Foundation’s contribution to Lexington’s 250th anniversary in 2025, the Nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026, and the Foundation’s 100th anniversary. also in 2026.

Project Details

·        The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization.

  • Location: Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Rd. Lexington KY 40502. The exact location TBD, with areas of interest based on archeological findings.
  • About the site: Ashland is Kentucky’s first National Historic Landmark, one of three in Fayette County.  The grounds are also accredited as a Level I Arboretum, and some trees pre-date Henry Clay.
  • Physical scale to be determined by artist and should be site-specific and scaled with sensitivity to the historic landscape.
  • Media: any media, with additional interest in augmented reality and new media. The artwork will be outdoors and should have a physical presence on the site.

Project Budget

The project budget is $250,000.  The budget is negotiable but must include travel, research, design, execution, insurance, taxes, site preparation, and materials. The Foundation will confirm the feasibility of completing the project within the estimated project budget during preliminary design.

Timeline

  • Post RFQ to http://www.callforentry.org : January 5, 2023
  • Call closes: February 28, 2023
  • Selection of finalists and notification: March 21, 2023
  • Site visit for artists (optional but encouraged; hotel will be provided for two nights): May 2023
  • Proposals due: June 30, 2023
  • Final notification: August 30, 2023
  • Fabrication and installation complete: June 2025

Eligibility

We are committed to a policy of providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate based on race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or physical disability.

Selection Process

 The submitted qualifications will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of artists, arts professionals, and community leaders. The committee will identify three or more finalists.   The finalists will have the opportunity to visit the site to meet with Henry Clay Memorial Foundation staff and community representatives.  Finalists will be paid $2,500 to develop a design and deliver a proposal of composition, concept statement, and process.  A review of the final design will be conducted by the selection committee. One artist or artist team will be selected to realize their proposal by June 2025.

Critical Selection Factors

• Resonance with the project description

• Artistic distinction

• Public safety

• Low maintenance/durability

• Contextual integration into the site and its intrinsic character

The strength of the submitted images of past artworks demonstrating the ability of the artist(s) to complete similar or related projects will be considered critical selection factors. In addition, the selection committee is interested in a wide variety of creative solutions to the challenges of outdoor public artwork. 

Phase 1: Request for Qualifications

Application Guidelines

·        Apply online through http://www.callforentry.org

·        A current resume

·        5 digital images of past public artwork in .jpg format, video file, or link.  Each file must be named with the artist's surname and image number.

·        A one-page artist statement describing public art experience and interest in the project (encouraged, but optional)

·        For more information, please contact Nathan Zamarron, LexArts Community Arts Director at nzamarron@lexarts.org 

Phase 2: Commissioned Proposals from Finalists

Successful proposals will be expected to provide:

  • A working familiarity with Lexington and the Henry Clay Estate
  • A written document expressing the conceptual framework and artistic point of view that will guide development of the project
  • One or more drawings/3D renderings of the proposed work of art; models are optional. Drawings and/or models should illustrate the conceptual relationships between the artwork and its environment
  • A timeline and budget (not to exceed $250,000) for production and installation
  • A detailed list of materials and construction requirements, with attention to issues of durability, maintenance, and public safety

Mission Statement

The Foundation, through the preservation of Ashland and initiatives to educate the public, interprets Henry Clay’s legacy from many perspectives to understand the complex history of his era and address its continued relevance for a more perfect Union.

 

Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate

Ashland occupies an important position as a historic place in that it is defined both by the issue of slavery and as a place of enslavement. This relationship, and the importance of Henry Clay as a seminal figure in American history, position Ashland ideally to lead conversations about slavery and its place in the historical development of the country. Slavery is inextricably intertwined in all aspects of Clay’s life: his political career, his personal wealth, and the estate he built with it. As one of the leading political figures in the United States during the first half of the nineteenth century, Clay dealt with the issue as a matter of public policy and often directed the nation’s governmental response to it. Clay became known as The Great Compromiser because he forged three compromises aimed at avoiding conflict, secession, and disunion. Two of them dealt directly with the issue of slavery and sought to avoid conflict over the matter by dealing with symptoms of the problem while avoiding solutions to the problem itself. Clay enslaved at least 122 people over the course of his life and built great wealth and personal comfort from the labor of the people he enslaved. Slavery remained central to Ashland even after Clay’s death. James and Susan Clay enslaved people here through the Civil War and enslaved people built the new Ashland when James tore down his father’s house and replaced it with his while using four enslaved people as collateral for the mortgage. Given these facts, it is obvious that telling the story of Ashland fully and accurately can only be done when the story of slavery and the people enslaved at Ashland is told. Further, enslaved people deserve to have their stories told. They worked and suffered for the benefit of the Clays and deserve to have their labor and lives understood and acknowledged. These stories are moving, powerful, and inspiring. They are also part of the larger story of race and inequality in the United States.  When these stories are told they can create greater understanding of our shared history and current events, both local and national.

Clay’s life and legacy can be considered from the vantage point of profound disjunction, an irony for a man oftentimes called The Great Compromiser capable of holding disparate groups together through sheer force of will and eloquence of argument.  While he labored mightily within the halls of the Capitol to hold the Union together, he foresaw no American future where people of different racial backgrounds could live in harmony together.  His American System sought to interconnect the interests and economies of North and South, urban and rural, agrarian and industrial, creating a more perfect civic union in the process.  Yet his “gradual emancipation” ideology expressed itself primarily in the deeply compromised form of the American Colonization Society, which aimed to remove freed people of African descent from the United States and resettle them in Liberia.  He saw no racial union, no cultural integration, in the Union he dedicated his life to preserving.

 

Research Links

The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation • https://henryclay.org/

https://henryclay.org/mansion-grounds/enslaved-people-at-ashland/

Additional Info:

Lexington History Museum • https://www.lexhistory.org

Kentucky Historical Society • https://history.ky.gov

Lexington, KY • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexington,_Kentucky

 

·        Apply online through http://www.callforentry.org

·        A current resume

·        5 digital images of past public artwork in .jpg format, video file, or link.  Each file must be named with the artist's surname and image number.

·        A one-page artist statement describing public art experience and interest in the project (encouraged, but optional)

·        For more information, please contact Nathan Zamarron, LexArts Community Arts Director at nzamarron@lexarts.org 

Any artist can apply. Must be 18 years or older and a professional artist with previous experience making public art.  

We are committed to a policy of providing opportunities to people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate based on race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, veteran status, or physical disability.