Call Detail
City of Chicago:12th District Police Station Percent for Art Commission
Entry Deadline: 7/26/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 11
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Illinois

The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) invites Chicagoland-based professional artists to submit their qualifications for a public art commission on the triangle plaza directly across from the 12th District Police Station on the Near West Side, sited between Blue Island Avenue, Racine, and 14th Place.

In 1978, Chicago’s City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that require 1.33 percent of municipal construction or renovation costs to be allocated to the commissioning or purchase of on-site artworks. DCASE, through the Public Art Program, administers the Chicago Public Art Collection and implements the City’s Percent for Art Ordinance. The Collection provides the citizens of Chicago with an improved public environment and enhances city buildings and spaces with quality works of art by professional artists. The Chicago Public Art Collection includes more than 500 works of art exhibited in over 150 municipal facilities around the city, such as police stations, libraries, and CTA stations.

The 12th District Police Station Percent for Art Commission invites artists and artist teams to submit their qualifications to develop an outdoor sculpture that will activate and enhance a plaza, approximately 4,000 square feet (310 ft perimeter) located across the street from the police station.

The site underwent landscaping improvements in 2018. Building on the existing improvements, local residents and 12th District staff have voiced their desire for an artist to create a sculpture for the plaza that will create a sense of place, celebrate the rich history of the neighborhood, and promote exchange among diverse local residents.

This opportunity is open to Chicagoland-based artists and artist teams with a demonstrated history of completing large-scale, outdoor public art projects. Following the RFQ application deadline, DCASE will convene a selection panel of arts professionals, 12th District staff, elected officials and community representatives to review the applications. The committee will select 3-4 finalists, who will be commissioned to develop public art proposals. Finalists will present their design proposals to the selection committee and a final artist or artist team will be selected.

Successful public art proposals will approach the site with a bold and creative vision that is sensitive to the surrounding neighborhood and its diverse residents. Proposals will consider the existing landscaping, and maintain the accessibility and functionality of the plaza. Designs will include elements of an appropriate size, scale and orientation to engage viewing from multiple potential vantage points, including pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The artwork will be engineered to withstand the demands of its environment; only durable and resilient media will be considered.

Community members are encouraged to share this opportunity with artists they hope will apply.

History: The Triangle Plaza is nestled between several Near West Side neighborhoods: a gateway to Pilsen, Little Italy, and University Village. In addition to being sited directly across from the 12th District Police Station, the vibrant and diverse area surrounding the plaza is home to residents of ABLA Homes, Collins Apartments; Fosco Park; local elementary and high schools, and a short distance from the original site of the historic Maxwell Street Market.

The neighborhood has long served as a nexus for immigrant communities. In the 1880s, nearby cottages were home to a mix of working families, including a diverse population of immigrants.  By 1900, the area was a center for Eastern European Jewish immigrants, and by the 1940s, there were a larger number of African American residents–including musicians who worked the Maxwell Street Market.

The relocated historic South Water Market (now University Commons residences) was the central hub of Chicago’s wholesale produce industry.  South Water Street kept its name when it relocated in 1925 to West Side streets bounded by 14th St. Place just south of Maxwell Street and the 16th St, and both provided food for city residents and functioned as a forwarding market due to the city's railroad connections. Although business at the market fell into a decline by the 1950s, the market remained in operation until 2001. The market was added to the National Register of Historic Places on August 20, 2004.

Dimensions: The site for artwork is approximately 4,000 square feet, with a 310 foot perimeter.

*all dates are approximate

CAFÉ RFQ (open call + short list)

  • 6/28/19-7/26/19

Review of qualifications

  • 7/29/29-8/11/19

Committee selects 3-4 finalists

  • Week of August 12th

Notification of finalists

  • Week of August 19th

Finalists’ design development

  • 8/19/19-9/27/19

Finalists’ presentations

  • Week of 9/30/19

Finalists will be paid a $3,000 honorarium to develop proposals.

The artwork commission will be $177,000, inclusive of all costs and fees for the artist to execute the project from design, structural engineering, fabrication, site preparation, and installation.

Finalists should be aware that all disruptions to the soil in the Triangle Plaza project area require environmental monitoring. DCASE will cover costs associated with required monitoring. In addition, artists will be required to obtain structural engineering documents from structural engineer certified in Illinois.

Applicants will be shortlisted based on a competitive review of the following:

·        Artistic excellence: demonstrated skill and quality craftsmanship in examples of past work; strength and originality of concept conveyed in the letter of interest.

·        Meaningful relationship of the artwork with the site of the Triangle Plaza and/or the surrounding neighborhood and service area of the 12th District Police Station.

Each artist or artist team must submit an entirely digital application. 

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications should include:

  • Six (6) to ten (10) total images of past large-scale public art and infrastructure projects by the artist or the artist team’s lead artist(s).
  • One (1) video, edited to no more than two (2) minutes in length, may also be submitted but is not required.
  • Annotated Image List: An annotated image list that includes the title, media, year completed, dimensions, location (if site-specific) project budget (if applicable) timeline, and client or commissioning entity for each corresponding image. 
    • If a video is submitted, please include two to three (2-3) sentences to describe its context.
  • If applying as an artist team, a list of key team members and their roles/affiliations.
  • A two- (2) page resume or curriculum vitae (CV).
    • If applying as an artist team, provide one resume or CV for each team member.
  • A one- (1) page letter of interest stating why the specific site of the Triangle Plaza across from the 12th District Police Station is meaningful and appropriate for the applicant’s work, as well as initial conceptual ideas.
  • Proof of Residence: PDF copy/ies of Artist's/Team's Illinois Driver's License(s) or State of Illinois ID(s), including both the front and back sides.

Contact: Lydia Ross, Director of Public Art
(312) 744-7649