Call Detail
Request for Qualifications: Mosaic/Mural Public Art Installation Frankfort, KY
Entry Deadline: 11/9/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 12
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 4, Maximum:Max. 12
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Kentucky
Budget: $70,000


This project is part of a multi-year public art initiative, installing sculptures and murals throughout the city in an effort to make Frankfort the “Public Art Capital of Kentucky.”  Eye-catching art has transformed empty walls and infrastructure into public canvases, showcasing what’s unique about Frankfort. This artwork provides a sense of place, inviting people to slow down and appreciate the city's cultural heritage and history. For a sense of existing public art in the community, visit:

Frankfort, located between the state’s two largest cities, Lexington and Louisville, is the capital of Kentucky.  It is a small historic town with a population of 28,000 in the city and 52,000 in Franklin County. It lies in a verdant landscape of bluegrass fields and forested hills and sits within a double curve of the Kentucky River, which has carved a sharply defined geography winding through limestone palisades.

The project is a collaboration between the City of Frankfort and Josephine Sculpture Park (JSP) which manages and curates the project. JSP is a 30 public sculpture park open to visitors for free from dawn until dusk 365 days per year with the mission of connecting people to each other and the land through the arts. JSP will serve as the main point of contact for all aspects of this project.


JSP is seeking an installation that is inspired by the Kentucky River. The KY River is a tributary of the Ohio River, meandering 260 miles through much of the central region of KY and directly through Frankfort.  It is a freshwater river that supplies drinking water to 700,000 people and a wide range of agricultural lands. Steamboat traffic arrived in Frankfort around 1817, and Frankfort quickly became a hub for transporting resources, such as timber, tobacco, and hemp and passenger traffic, although the river’s modern use is primarily recreational.

Its slow current allows for many species to use the river as a safe source of water. The KY River also feeds many smaller streams and creeks, making it important to local flora and fauna.  Although there are no endangered or vulnerable species that make the KY River, and its terrestrial borders, their home, there are more than 400 species of plant, bird, fish, mammal, amphibian and reptile found in and around the KY River area.


Mosaic Tile and Painted Mural: A large portion of the installation should be completed in mosaic tile with paint used to accent and enhance the mosaic work. 


The transit center and parking garage is under construction in the quadrant surrounded by Clinton St, Wilkinson St., Mero St and St. Clair in downtown Frankfort. This area formerly contained a convention center, office tower, and shopping area that have all been demolished. The transit center will be adjacent to the existing 10 story Capital Plaza hotel and is a key element of the city’s Downtown Frankfort Masterplan. The new transit center will include a 300-space parking garage and a 5,000 sq foot enclosed ground level building for the Frankfort Transit administrative offices and transit user public space.

The stairwell is at the center of this new transit center and parking garage and will face south, overlooking Clinton St. It is approx. 50 feet tall and 24 feet wide. The front and side walls of the stairwell will be clear glass, providing views of the installation from all angles.  The stairwell is unconditioned space and will be lit at night. The back wall, which is the location of the mosaic/mural installation, will be constructed of concrete and CMU (concrete masonry unit). The 2 materials will be flush with each other but will have different surface textures. 

Please review the included site location PDF for additional details.


Phase 1: Request for Qualifications.  Artists are invited to submit their qualifications for consideration. All submissions must be made on or before the Nov. 9, 2023 deadline via the CaFÉ website ( Three to five artists/artist teams will be selected to move on to Phase 2. 

Phase 2: Request for Proposals. Selected artists/artist teams will prepare and submit a site specific proposal to be considered. An honorarium of $500 will be provided to each artist/artist team returning a completed proposal, which will be in addition to the all-inclusive mural budget. Upon completion of this phase, one artist/artist team will be commissioned to design, create, and install the artwork. 


Sept 29, 2023Request for Qualifications issued (Phase 1).
Nov 9, 2023Request for Qualifications due.
Nov 10-28, 2023Applications reviewed/Phase 2 artists selected and notified.
Jan 5, 2024  Phase 2 Proposals from selected artists due.
Jan 8 - Feb 9, 2024Proposals reviewed and artist selected and notified.
Feb – April 2024Selected artist/team will collaborate with project team to provide color recommendations for stairwell features such as the doors, door frames, metal stairs, stringers and railings that will complement the design.
May – Dec 2024Dated TBD in collaboration with artist and building completion. Installation with artist participating in at least one “Meet the Artist” type event. 


Artist/artist team must be able to adhere to the above project timeline, although installation dates are flexible and can be scheduled around selected artist availability. The building is currently scheduled for completion in April 2024. If building construction experiences major delays, installation will need to be adjusted accordingly, potentially into 2025, based on building completion and artist availability. The selected artist/artist team will coordinate install dates with JSP and the City of Frankfort. 


The all-inclusive budget for the installation is up to $70,000, depending on the size and complexity of the work. Artists selected for Phase 2 will be asked to provide an itemized budget as part of the proposal submission.

The all-inclusive budget includes all artist fees and costs associated with the design and fabrication of the installation. This may include but is not limited to: materials, travel, lodging, transportation to the site, site preparation, worker’s compensation and liability insurance, permits, shipping and transportation of materials to the site, any equipment needed for installation as well as transportation for such equipment, applicable taxes,licenses, time spent in progress meetings including making color recommendations for stairwell features, and any other costs incurred by the artist for this project. Artists will be required to participate in one “Meet the Artist” type event, which can likely be scheduled while the artist is in town.

Payments will be made directly to the artist(s) using the following suggested schedule, although selected artist and JSP will finalize payment schedule together, based on artist timeline, fabrication and installation plans.

  • 35% of total agreed upon fee is paid when contract is signed.
  • 40% of total agreed upon fee is paid after the on-site work is initiated.
  • 25% of the total agreed upon fee is paid upon completion.


Artist submissions will be reviewed by a selection committee comprised of art and design professionals, community members, and property owners using the following criteria:

Artistic Excellence: The artist’s work reflects artistic excellence, innovation, and originality as evidenced by quality of craftsmanship and mastery of skills and techniques; demonstrates professional approaches to processes and presentation; and/or communicates a unique vision or perspective.

Professional Experience: The artist’s professional experience is adequate to meet the demands of the project, including a proven ability to meet project budgets, deadlines, and to perform work in a timely and professional manner. Public art experience is required. 

Experience working on a project of similar scale and/or similar theme:  Previous work that can specifically demonstrate the successful completion of projects that include partnering with stakeholders for the purpose of creating public art of this size/scale. Experience with public engagement.

Application Requirements


1. Current CV/resume. Teams must submit one resume/CV per team member. PDF Preferred.

2. Letter of Interest and description of approach:  Applicants should briefly describe their interest specifically in this project in Frankfort. Applicants should include a detailed description of their approach to this installation, including intended proposed materials for the work itself, sample timeline for fabrication and installation, and expected longevity of the installation. Applicant should provide an approximate % of the installation that will be completed with mosaic and % completed with paint. PDF Preferred.  

3.   Artist Statement. Limited to 2000 characters including spaces.

4. Up to 12 images of previously completed work that demonstrates an ability to design, create, and install large scale mixed-media mosaic/murals. We suggest providing images of 3-5 different artworks with 2-3 distinctive views of each piece, including one wide shot and one detail shot of each artwork. Do not collage multiple images into one image. Please review and follow the printable image preparation guide on the CaFÉ website. Please provide work sample details as outlined in CaFÉ upload process including: title, media, dimensions, date, etc.

5. Three (3) professional references. Please include name, title, address, affiliation, phone number, and email address. PDF Preferred.

6. Optional. Artists may include up to three (3) selections of support materials such as reviews, news articles, and other related information. 

Eligibility Criteria

This call is open to artists and teams of artists with professional experience in public art mosaics and murals. JSP is seeking experienced artists with a strong point of view and the ability to create complex, engaging designs. Kentucky/Regional artists and/or Artists of Color are strongly encouraged to apply. Artists must have liability insurance.