Call Detail
Utah Public Art- School for the Deaf and Blind- Salt Lake City
Utah Public Art Program
Rio Grande Depot
300 S Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Utah
Entry Deadline: 4/25/17
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 6
Utah Arts & Museums Public Art Program Requests Artists Qualifications
nfor the Utah School for the Deaf & Blind, Salt Lake City, Utah
nRequest for qualifications from artists and/or artist teams interested in creating site specific artwork(s) for the new Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind facility that will provide a full-time pre-school, clinical/therapeutic facilities, and administration space as well as a facility to host community events such as junior high performances, high school basketball games, elementary aged life skills programs, and executive board meetings.

nThe new facility is currently envisioned to be both a hub for the USDB as well as a hub for the local deaf community and blind community.  By day the building will function with a full-time pre-school, clinical/therapeutic facilities, and administration space; by night and weekend the building will host community events such as junior high performances, high school basketball games, elementary aged life skills programs, and executive board meetings.  To facilitate this multi-functional usage, the program illustrates the requirements for a highly flexible arrangement of spaces that offer a diverse set of resources for both the academic, educational and community functionality. 

nUSDB has the responsibility and legal obligation as a state education agency to provide educational services to students with hearing and vision loss. Unlike traditional public schools, USDB’s age range mandate is birth through age 22.
nServices for infants and toddlers (0-3) are currently provided primarily in the home, in conjunction with the Department of Health Baby Watch with the exception of bi-monthly toddler and parent group meetings and consultations.  Preschool children (3-5) are served in USDB facilities or in hosted classrooms in local school districts.  Current spaces provided in hosted classrooms do not have the specialized accommodations needed by children who are deaf, blind, or deafblind.
nThe Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind had the critical need to construct permanent, appropriate classroom and therapy space immediately to address the growing demands of our student population in the Salt Lake service area. Young children who are blind or visually impaired and children who are deaf or hard of hearing in the listening and spoken language program are routinely dislocated from the classrooms in area school districts. As a result of shifting (and growing) demographic trends in the area, some of the remaining occupied classroom space currently donated by local districts for USDB programs in the Salt Lake area were becoming unavailable.
nAdministrative and related services space is currently being leased. Without additional space USDB would have been unable to provide educational services to students in the Salt Lake area. A State constructed and maintained building will eliminate the movement of USDB classrooms and office space which currently occurs as local school districts determine their space needs.
nBecause of USDB’s special student needs, including those with multiple disabilities, the typical class size is limited to a maximum of 8 or 9 children; however, they are entering into an agreement with the University of Utah to provide practicum sites for university students in special education for the deaf and the blind, occupational therapy, physical therapy, communicative disorders, early childhood special education, and audiology. Based on their agreement with the University and applicable special education law, future classrooms will need to accommodate about 6-8 children with disabilities and another 6-8 typical children, resulting in the need for classrooms that accommodate 12-16 total children as well as their adult service providers. Additionally, USDB’s infant and toddler programs also require appropriately adapted space for toddler group interventions, therapy rooms, and support services such as low vision, orientation and mobility, pre-braille instruction, and audiology.
nFortunately, the new USDB Salt Lake Center will decrease future costs by allowing the permanent relocation of their leased administrative offices from the inadequate Highland location to the new permanent building. The proposed facility will be located on the grounds of the USDB Salt Lake Campus on the excess field space of the Jean Massieu School  for the Deaf (JMS). The JMS campus is a USDB school building currently filled to capacity with students in the USDB American Sign Language program. The JMS is primarily an ASL deaf school, but houses a small LSL program, an audiology suite, some blind classrooms, as well as an auditorium space.

nThe 50,000 square foot facility at 1655 E. 3300 South in Salt Lake City will be home to a diverse list of functions containing:  A full size gymnasium with indoor/outdoor performing arts capability; Orientation & mobility area including climbing walls, ball pits, monkey bars, overhead balance swings, ballet bars, and balance beams; Indoor clubhouses containing physical and occupational therapy training; Multi-functional kitchen for vocational and life skills training, children’s dining area, and event concessions; Early childhood classrooms customized for sensory disabilities; Snoezelen room (Sensory/light room); Enclosed courtyard with children’s playground and sensory / exploration gardens; Video conferencing rooms; Board room and advisory council area overlooking gymnasium from above with adjacent roof garden access: and storage.
nProviding navigational points of reference and clear way-finding, in and out of the building, became a necessary design concept when developing the form and selecting materials. An overall canvas of light colored mass is highlighted with high contrast accents of bright illuminated Red features to create landmarks throughout. The building will be a bright, fun, playful place for the full range of occupants including children, parents, faculty, staff, administration, researchers, and clinicians alike.
nSite features for the project include sensory gardens, tactile playgrounds, new parking areas, van drop off areas, miniature amphitheater, new pedestrian connections to the existing building, as well as a turf play field and reconfigured existing playground structures.
nThe Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (USDB) has been serving students with sensory impairments throughout Utah for over 100 years! The schools began in 1884 by the Territorial Legislature after a message from Governor Eli Murray which emphasized the need for a school for the deaf.  Twelve years later in 1896, as Utah attained statehood, the members of the Constitutional Convention created the school for the blind. Recognizing the appropriateness of services for both visually and hearing impaired individuals, Utah's first lawmakers established the "Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind." USDB was given their first home at Ogden's old Territorial Reform School.
nThe courageous spirit that provided a national model for deaf and blind education in 1884 is still forging the way in teaching the deaf and the blind to be self-reliant and contributing citizens of their communities. Outreach and mainstreaming efforts offer students an educational programs whereby each individual can progress toward his or her highest potential.
nOver the years, services provided by the USDB have continued to meet the changing needs of students and families through modern technology and teaching strategies. The commitment of the schools to high quality services for deaf and blind children is as great as it ever was.
nToday, the Schools for the Deaf and the Blind stand as a proud symbol of Utah's Educational heritage and enthusiastically contemplate the challenges and rewards that lie ahead in their second century!

nThis new facility has been carefully and deliberately designed to serve the needs of Deaf, Blind and Deaf-Blind students in a variety of activities, ranging from preschool learning to high school fine arts and sports. Directional cues, contrasting materials, light, and colored masses all contribute to create a comfortable and inspiring “sense of place.”  The building will serve the students, their families and staff members, and will also host occasional community events. The art selection committee is searching for artists who will honor and incorporate the mission of the schools in their vision for the project. Proposed works should acknowledge and celebrate these diverse communities and contribute to the beauty and unique themes of life and education for Deaf, Blind and Deaf-Blind children and their families.

nGenerally, the art should consider the scale of the building, being especially thoughtful about the spatial experience and the size and needs of the various students. While the selection committee is willing to consider additional placements envisioned by artist proposals, the following anticipated locations and display areas have been identified as the most likely potential sites for public artwork, as indicated on the attached plan (AE1-31):
n●        {C}Two areas under the 2nd floor walkway that are part of the main corridor lobby and are the figurative “gateways” into the areas for blind students into the North wing and deaf students into the South wing.
n●        {C}The formal entry at the south of the building and the adjacent plaza / planting area to the west.  The plan is shown with planter boxes to be coordinated with the site plan features currently in construction.
n●        {C}Two entrance areas into the exterior courtyard. This courtyard has been carefully designed for the needs of the deaf and blind and any engagement with this space would need to carefully consider these conditions.
n●        {C}The courtyard is bordered on the north, south and west with glass corridors

nThe Committee may select one or more artists for this commission.

n$105,000 is available for all related expenses of this Public Art commission(s) including (but not limited to) artist fees, fabrication, insurance, shipping, travel, installation, documentation, etc.

nAmerican or legal resident artists / artist teams are encouraged to apply.  Deaf and/or blind artists are encouraged to apply. Art Selection Committee members, staff and Board of Utah Arts & Museums and Jacoby Architects are not eligible to apply for this commission.  All Art Selection Committee members will declare any conflict of interest and recuse themselves from the vote when reviewing artist applications.

nInterested artists may submit applications EITHER online or by compact disc/DVD.  The deadline is the same for both methods and is not a postmark deadline.  Please do not include supplemental materials beyond the requirements listed below:
nRegister at and follow the directions for registration and submitting material for this Public Art Request for Qualifications. This online application process will prompt you for all necessary documents.  
nMovie files cannot be submitted via the online method. If your work cannot be documented well with still images you may submit movie files via the “Compact Disc or DVD Method” listed below.  

nA PC compatible CD labeled with applicant's name, and contact information containing:n
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  • A letter of interest of not more than two typewritten pages in pdf format. This letter should include the artist’s reasons for interest in this project in particular.  In doing so, the artist should also describe how his/her work and/or experience relates to the project. 
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  • Up to six (6) images maximum of previous site-specific public work. All images must be in JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size. The image files should be named so that the list sorts in the order of the image listing.
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  • A pdf document indentifying each image to include title, year, medium, dimensions.
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  • A professional resume in pdf format​
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nIf you are submitting a movie file, a DVD (of no more than 3 minutes) may be submitted as documentation of artist’s projects.  Please note only one media, movie file or images, can be presented to the committee per artist in this preliminary phase.
nIf the artist wishes the material returned, an addressed and stamped envelope of ample size and postage for return of the CD or DVD should be included. Material that is not accompanied by a stamped envelope cannot be returned.
nUtah Arts & Museums will not be responsible for applications delayed or lost in transit.  While all reasonable care will be taken in the handling of materials, neither the Utah Division of Arts & Museums nor the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind Art Selection Committee will be liable for late, lost or damaged materials or electronic files.  Faxed or e-mailed applications cannot be accepted.
nThe Utah School for the Deaf and Blind Art Selection Committee reserves the right to withhold the award of a commission or re-release the call for entries.  
nComplete application packages must be RECEIVED on or before April 25, 2016 by 5 p.m. (THIS IS NOT A POSTMARK DEADLINE) if submitting via hard copy or completed at by midnight MST. Applications that do not include the materials requested may not be reveiwed.  

nFor hard copy submittals, please send, deliver or courier compact disc method applications to:
nJim Glenn, Utah Public Art Program
nAttention: Utah School for the Deaf & Blind
nUtah Arts & Museums
n300 S Rio Grande
nSalt Lake City, UT 84101

nThe Selection Committee will review all material properly submitted. Finalists will be selected from the first phase of applicants submitting qualifications. Selection of the commissioned artist(s) will be based on proposals presented to the Selection Committee on July 18, 2016.

nOnce selected as a finalist we will work to provide as much information and access as possible to assist in the artist’s research while developing their proposal.

nAn honorarium will be offered to the finalists to assist with the costs associated with the preparation of a proposal and travel. This honorarium will be applied toward the commission amount for the artist(s) awarded the commission.

nApril 25, 2016 - Deadline for receipt of preliminary materials
nMay 12, 2016 - Committee Review
nJuly 18, 2016 - Finalists presentations
nAugust 2016 – Construction substantial completion
nArt commisson timeline to be determined in consultation with the artist and Selection Committee.

nJoel Coleman - Superintendent, Utah School for the Deaf and Blind
nDavid McKay - Utah Division of Facilities Construction & Management
nGay Cookson - Director, Utah Division of Arts & Museums
nMichelle Tanner - Utah School for the Deaf and Blind
nCarolyn Lasater - Utah School for the Deaf and Blind
nRoni Thomas - Manager, Salt Lake City Arts Council Public Art Program
nJoe Jacoby - Jacoby Architects, Inc.
nIf you have any questions about this or other projects information is available at:
nOr contact:  Jim Glenn at 801-245-7271 or e-mail at:
nFelicia Baca at 801-245-7272 or
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