Call Detail
Utah State University Life Sciences - Utah Public Art Program
Utah Public Art Program
Attn: USU Clinical Sciences
300 S Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Utah
Entry Deadline: 7/21/17
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 6
Utah Arts & Museums Public Art Program and
Utah State University, Life Sciences Building in Logan, Utah

Request for qualifications from artists and/or artist teams interested in creating site specific artwork(s) for the new Utah State University Life Sciences facility in Logan, Utah.  

USU's College of Science strives to fulfill student goals by providing critical, gateway courses in biology, chemistry and other disciplines that enable students in all of the university's colleges to reach higher and achieve growing benchmarks of excellence.

The new Life Sciences Building at Utah State, will be the new center for student achievement in the life sciences and beyond. This building signals one of USU's most historic investments in the sciences. The facility will add:
•    13 teaching laboratories
•    Five lecture halls and classrooms
•    Four research laboratory suites
•    Collaboration and student study spaces

The Dean of the College of Science, Maura Hagan, writes: “In a time of unprecedented scientific discovery, the College of Science seeks to advance the educational experience of future scientists. Our faculty's commitment to providing students with hands-on research opportunities creates an inspired atmosphere of learning and discovery.”

Through a range of learning opportunities and degree programs, our college opens new doors to undergraduates and graduate students alike as they step beyond the classroom and participate in advanced research in the lab, field and even outer space. Utah State's mentorship of pre-professional students ranks among the best in the nation, with medical, dental and graduate school acceptance rates for USU graduates exceeding national averages.

This new Life Sciences Building at Utah State University (Logan, Utah) has been imagined as a living breathing organism, much like the specimens that the building's faculty and students will study.  

The building's lungs (mechanical air handlers) and arteries (electrical distribution) have been placed right in the center core of the facility where these systems can easily be distributed to its extremities.  

The skin of the building has been configured so that it can easily collect daylight from orientations that can modulate the detrimental effects of the sun more effectively.  

The building's footprint is informed by the centrally located lecture hall that splays out to enhance the student sightlines and room acoustics.  The rest of the building spaces surround the lecture hall are similarly splayed like a waves in a pond.

The building has been divided into three portions; laboratory spaces, common spaces, and classroom / offices.  This division has been done primarily to separate the spaces because they utilize different mechanical systems.  The laboratory spaces are in a five-story tower to the north.  The classroom and offices are located in a three-story volume to the south.  Between the north and south wings is a central glazed beacon that contains the building's social / public spaces that knit the building together.  The common space volume includes a lobby, lecture hall, student study spaces and a café and forms a figurative bridge that links one side to the other.  This division (with the punctuated glass center) gives the building its characteristic form.   

The building's west edge parallels and defines the busiest student thoroughfare on the campus.  This important pedestrian oriented edge of the facility was envisioned as a stone canyon wall, a phenomenon prevalent throughout the entire state of Utah.  One can imagine the various types of life-forms that will ultimately inhabit the crevices and ledges of the formation.  The stone-like skin of the west facade is made of a GFRC (glass-fiber-reinforced concrete) configured into horizontal striations much like the layers of sandstone deposited and cut by forces of wind and water.

The beacon that centers the building is made of glass surrounded by a metallic zinc frame.  Zinc is a natural earth element that never requires paint or upkeep and will naturally patina over the building's lifetime.

Logan is nestled at the foot of the nearly 10,000-foot high Bear River Range. Residents consider Logan Canyon a 40-mile community park that leads to 18-mile long Bear Lake, called the Rocky Mountain Caribbean for its azure blue waters. Logan boasts of outstanding fishing, biking, hiking, skiing, and golfing.  

The top-notch research university that is Utah State University, Logan hosts a strong agricultural base - Cache County is Utah's leading agricultural producer. With a heritage dating back over 150 years, the cultural offerings are excellent with a resident opera company, repertory theatre, several dance companies, renowned artists, and outstanding facilities to show them off.

Logan's physical aspects and its quality of life are phenomenal, but what truly defines Logan is its people. Ultimately, it is people who make a community. Hardy pioneer stock, immigrants from the four corners of the globe, students who loved the city so much they couldn't leave, and many others have blended to make wonderful neighborhoods and a great small city. What attracts and keeps most people here is "home". 

The USU College of Sciences and the Selection Committee knows this Life Sciences Building will be a stunning addition to the beautiful USU campus and wants to incorporate an artist’s voice and interpretation into this important project.  This facility, and the art integral to it, will allow students to experiment, discover and share world-changing ideas.

The building will revolutionize the way that foundational biology courses are taught on our campus with student advancement at the heart of the plans for a facility that includes 13 teaching laboratories, a lecture hall, 11 research labs and a state-of-the-art active learning classroom, along with a café and ample study, lounge and work spaces. 

The architecture and interior space encourages collaboration and discovery-based instruction and is designed to facilitate student-student and student-faculty interaction. Research has shown us it is through these interactions that meaningful learning occurs.

The following areas have been identified as potential sites for an artist’s contribution / integration but the Committee is open to other areas that may be of interest to and suggested the artist(s).
1.    The exterior northwest plaza
2.    The floor one to two 30’ vertical space of the interior atrium and/or the 10' x 20' x 60' of stairwell.
3.    Glass banisters at second floor opening of the atrium
4.    The north facing wall surfaces of the atrium
5.    All of the “plenum” space between floors facing the atrium

$313,000 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. The Committee may commission more than one artist.

Resident US citizen or legal resident artists / artist teams. Utah artists are strongly encouraged to apply.  Art Selection Committee members, staff and Board of Utah Arts & Museums, Jacobsen Construction and VCBO Architects are not eligible to apply for this commission.  All Art Selection Committee members agree to declare any conflict of interest and recuse themselves from the vote when reviewing that particular application(s.)

Interested artists may submit applications EITHER online or by USB flash drive or 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:

•    Register 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.   Movie files cannot be submitted via the online method.

•    A PC compatible USB flash drive or DVD/CD labeled with applicant's name, and contact information containing:

•    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.  

•    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.

•     A pdf document identifying each image to include title, year, medium, dimensions.

•     A professional resume in pdf format

If the work cannot be documented well with still images a movie file (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.

If the artist wishes the material returned, an addressed and stamped envelope of ample size and postage for return of the flash drive, CD or DVD should be included. Material that is not accompanied by a stamped envelope cannot be returned.

While all reasonable care will be taken in the handling of materials, neither the Utah Division of Arts & Museums nor the USU Life Sciences Art Selection Committee will be liable for late, lost or damaged materials or electronic files.  Faxed or e-mailed applications cannot be accepted. 

USU Life Sciences Art Selection Committee reserves the right to withhold the award of a commission or re-release the call for entries.  

USB flash drive, DVD or CD application packages must be RECEIVED on or before July 21, 2017 by 5 p.m. (THIS IS NOT A POSTMARK DEADLINE.) Online applications have until midnight (MST.) All supporting materials must accompany application. 

Please send, deliver or courier flash drive, CD or DVD applications to:
Mackenzie Morton, Utah Public Art Program
Attention: USU Life Sciences
Utah Arts & Museums
300 S Rio Grande
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

The 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 October 3, 2017.  

Once 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.

An 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. 

July 21, 2017 - Deadline for receipt of preliminary materials
August 8, 2017- Committee Review 
October 3, 2017 - Finalists interviews and presentations
October 2018 – Project substantial completion 

Celestia Carson, VCBO Architects
Jim Cavey, Jacobsen Construction
Kenneth Carrillo, USU Facilities Planning, Design and Construction
Maura Hagan, USU, Dean, College of Science
Darrell Hunting, Utah Division of Facilities Construction & Management 
Katie Lee-Koven, Executive Director, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art
Chris Luecke, USU, Dean College of Natural Resources
Derek Payne, VCBO Architects
Sydney Peterson, USU, Office of the President, Chief of Staff 
Tom Peterson, USU Project Manager
Lorin WilcoX, USU Project Manager, Facilities Design & Construction
Jayson Woolley, Jacobsen Construction    

If you have any questions about this or other projects information is available at:
Or contact: Mackenzie Morton at 801-245-7270 or 
or Jim Glenn at 801-245-7271 or e-mail at:

All images courtesy VCBO Architects.
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