Call Detail
Bryan Crough Memorial Artwork
Traverse City Arts Commission
400 Boardman Avenue
Traverse City MI 49684

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Michigan
Entry Deadline: 6/17/16
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 20
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 20
The Traverse City Arts Commission is seeking to commission a new work of art to be placed in downtown Traverse City in honor and recognition of the late DDA Executive Director Bryan Crough. Bryan served our community with passion and flair for over 30 years. The memorial art will reflect Bryan's life, spirit, and passion for downtown Traverse City.

The Arts Commission wants to inspire residents and visitors with a provocative work of art that Bryan would love. He was a knowledgeable art collector, and we are looking for a thoughtful centerpiece work that honors his serious love of art; something beyond a conventional bronze statue (Traverse City is already home to several such works). It should integrate well with the site while retaining its own integrity as a work of art. Sculptures created with commercial molds, patterns, kits, or copies are ineligible. It must have a sense of movement and dynamism that reflects the active, energetic community leader that Bryan was. It should be interactive, and make those who view it think, “Wow!” We need a work that is durable and can stand up to the elements of Northern Michigan. It needs to be produced and maintained within our current $50,000 budget, and by our installation deadline of June 13, 2017.

Submitted qualifications will be judged by the Art Commission-appointed Art Selection Panel. The panel will select finalists who will produce maquettes and make formal presentations to the panel. The panel will then make a recommendation on artist and artwork to the Traverse City Arts Commission. After the Arts Commission approves artist and work, they will oversee completion of the project.

To commission a sculpture that will be unveiled in a public ceremony scheduled for June 13, 2017. The sculpture will celebrate the spirit of Bryan Crough, be a destination and a landmark in Traverse City, and live, in perpetuity, in downtown Traverse City, the community that Bryan embraced, served, and transformed.

The memorial art will reflect the remarkable spirit and personality of a great community leader:
  • Bryan was extremely dynamic, and physically, he was always moving. 
  • Bryan was a consensus builder, a facilitator, a mediator, and a shepherd. He moved Traverse City forward by seeking out people on opposite sides of issues, listening to them, and bringing them together with his wit and his stories.
  • He was a bit unconventional, but far from radical. He saw value in tradition and the old ways, and had a dynamic vision for the vibrant, healthy, livable downtown that he helped to shape and create.
  • He was theatrical and had great flair. He acted, sang, and danced, and had deep roots in community theater.
  • He was social and fun. He worked hard and played hard.
  • Service and volunteerism were central to who Bryan was as a citizen and a leader.
  • He had a sincere enthusiasm for Traverse City and civic life, tempered by a healthy irreverence.
  • He was always ready to jump in for the community, emceeing events and championing causes, giving his all without counting the personal costs.
  • Bryan was a guy in a suit. But a few seconds after meeting him, he was able to communicate with charm and sheer force of personality that he wasn’t in any way constrained by that suit.
BRYAN J. CROUGH (1954-2013)
The Bryan Crough memorial sculpture honors a dynamic visionary who transformed downtown Traverse City through brilliant leadership and tireless commitment. With keen intellect, strategic collaboration, and incredible sense of humor, Bryan Crough steered Traverse City through a period of economic setbacks and helped make the City the envy of every downtown.

Hailing from Salina, Kansas, Bryan adopted Traverse City in 1980. He was a turnaround expert, putting the Arts Council and the Old Town Playhouse on firm financial and organizational footing. He served on the Traverse City Commission and as Mayor, furthering the commission's role as a model for good city government, and was recruited for the position of executive director of the newly merged Downtown Development Authority and Downtown Traverse City Association.

In his 23 years leading the DDA, Bryan fought for a better downtown, focusing on downtown development, volunteerism, and preservation. He recruited small business owners, nurtured redevelopment of contaminated brownfield properties into new residential and commercial buildings, and championed the revitalization of historic buildings. 

Virtually every Traverse City landmark and institution has benefitted from Bryan’s passion, intelligence and wit. He was instrumental in preventing the bankruptcy of the Park Place Hotel in the late 1980s, and in the success of the City Opera House, State Theatre, Bijou by the Bay, History Center, downtown's parking decks, a renewed Clinch Park, Friday Night Live, and the warehouse district.

Bryan Crough's impact on Traverse City as a leader, coach, cheerleader, visionary, teacher, and friend is the stuff of legend. Traverse City would not be what it is today without him.

In 2014, the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) raised $25,000 in private funds to match a $25,000 gift from Rotary Charities of Traverse City for creation and installation of the Bryan Crough memorial artwork.

The $50,000 budget for the project will include, but is not limited to, all expenses for project completion, site preparation, artist fees, materials, fabrication costs, documentation, transportation, installation, and travel.
The sculpture will be installed at Lay Park, a .69 acre city park in Old Town neighborhood at 311 S. Union Street, downtown Traverse City. The artwork is envisioned to stand in the center of the park on a circular concrete pad measuring 8’-10’ in diameter within a circular brick plaza that will include park bench seating and be bordered by perennial landscaping measuring 25’-30’ in diameter.  The park site is a relatively open grassy area with several mature trees, adjacent to Union Street, sidewalks, parking, a small brick office building and Union Street Damn Park. Lay Park is slated for improvements including pathways, seating and landscaping during spring 2017. This work which will be implemented to complement and coexists with the Bryan Crough Memorial. Due to concurrent planning with park improvements, there may be flexibility to modify sculpture location and/or diameter of pad if needed, depending on accepted proposal.

The sculpture will be installed and remain outside and uncovered. Therefore, it must be sufficiently durable to withstand exposure to Northern Michigan weather conditions. 

The sculpture will be open to the public and will not be protected by a barricade, fence, or enclosure, nor patrolled by staff or personnel.

A plaque will be placed near the Bryan Crough memorial artwork, bearing a likeness of Bryan and a description of his importance to Traverse City. Rotary Charities will cover the costs of the creation and installation of this plaque, outside of the project budget. 

The City of Traverse City and the Arts Commission may choose to relocate the sculpture to a comparable downtown site in the future, should projects such as a Civic Square or other public spaces be implemented and advisable for relocation and/or directed by the City Commission.

For complete site details and photos, artists should download and review the RFQ posted on our website:

The Arts Commission seeks a sculpture with affordable maintenance costs. Maintenance considerations are to be detailed in maquette proposals. Maintenance costs should be covered by the project budget for a period of years and include a plan for costs when the budgeted funds expire, or indicate that maintenance costs should be addressed by stakeholders.

All dates but the application deadline are subject to change:
May 20, 2016: Request for Qualifications issued
June 17, 2016 at 5:00 PM (Eastern Time): Deadline for applications
June 20-29, 2016: Art selection panel review of applications
June 30, 2016: Selection and notification of finalists
July 1-14, 2016: Phone follow-up with finalists
July 15, 2016: Informational site review session for finalists 
September 16, 2016: Deadline for maquette proposals from finalists
September 19, 2016: Art Selection Panel review of finalists
September 21, 2016: Arts Commission determination 
June 13, 2017: Bryan Crough memorial sculpture dedication ceremony

The project is open to all qualified artists age 18 and over. Teams of artists are welcome to apply.

The finalist shall enter into a contract with the City of Traverse City upon acceptance of proposal. Michigan law shall apply to the contract and agreement between artist and the City of Traverse City.

Title to and ownership of the artwork passes to the City of Traverse City upon written acceptance of and payment for the work.

Copyright belongs to and remains with the artist. The artist retains all rights under the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC Section 101) as the sole author of the work for the duration of the copyright. The duration of copyright in the United States is currently the life of the author plus seventy (70) years.

The City of Traverse City retains the right to reproduce the artwork in any and all forms, and will include credit to the artist and notice of copyright on all reproductions.

The Arts Commission recognizes some changes may occur during the process of creating the finished sculpture. If, in the reasonable judgment and opinion of the commission, the finished sculpture is materially different than the concept presented and accepted during the selection process, the commission reserves the right to request revisions to, or recreation of the sculpture. It is the responsibility of the artist to discuss with the Traverse City Arts Commission any changes during the creative process that could be considered materially different.

The sculpture must be installed in a workmanlike manner with sufficient anchoring to prevent the sculpture from being removed, tipped, broken, or overturned. The sculpture and installation will be completed so that the artwork does not create any known risk to the public. The commission will review the artist's proposed installation plans and to modify them to address safety concerns of the City of Traverse City.

The City of Traverse City and the Arts Commission reserve the right to relocate the sculpture to a comparable downtown site at the direction of the City Commission, should future City projects necessitate a change.

The City of Traverse City requires that the selected artist carry Liability Insurance in the amount of $2,000,000 (two million dollars) per incident during the production of the artwork, with an endorsement naming the City of Traverse City as additional insured.

The artist and the City of Traverse City shall and hereby agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless each other against any liability that arises out of the other Party’s negligent or willful behavior.

Artists will be disqualified if they owe taxes to the City of Traverse City.

Artists are required to read through the RFQ posted on our website:

When uploading images, be sure to include examples of representative work history in the past five years, with emphasis on recent work. We are interested in the artwork title, date of work, medium, size, location if appropriate, and the commission budget for the work, if applicable.

Contact: Katelyn Zeits at 231-922-4480,

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