Call Detail
Ennis Welcome Center Public Art Competition
Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates, LLC
P.O Box 25312
Dallas, Texas 75225


Contact Email: Russell@russelltether.com
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Texas
Entry Deadline: 2/28/19
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 2

REQUIREMENTS:
Media
Images - Minimum: 3, Maximum: 15
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 15
The City of Ennis Texas is accepting qualified proposals from artists for a Public Art installation in the new Ennis Welcome Center. The new center will function as a prominent point of entry and source of the first impression for thousands of visitors  traveling to Ennis to see the unique sights and experiences available nowhere else.

Ennis is seeking a Public Art commission to be installed within the new Welcome Center that · Creates a visual and an emotional connection with all who experience it. · Represents our identity as authentic “Small Town Americana” · Embodies the Ennis “Bluebonnet Spirit of Texas” · Provides insight into the history and legacy of the city ·  Welcomes and inspires the visiting public to explore the city and landscape ·  Recognized nationally as a major public artwork.  

This art competition seeks to commission an artist or artist group to create an installation that will be the focal point of the new Welcome Center. The artwork should engage visitors as it portrays best assets of Ennis. In short, create a “WOW” factor for significance and beauty.

Overarching themes in the artwork should encompass as many of the objectives stated above as possible. However, the quality of the artwork, relevance to the City and ability to engage the public interest are foremost in this initiative. 

The artists must also consider that the Welcome Center atrium is an active, multipurpose public area, and as such any installation must take these factors into account.

Since the building is not completed, the artists(s) have the option to integrate the ceiling, available walls and floor into their design. In fact, the floor and ceiling may be preferred locations for the art to be placed.

Below is the RFP content.

Invitation

 The City of Ennis Texas is accepting qualified proposals from artists for a Public Art installation in the new Ennis Welcome Center. The new center will function as a prominent point of entry and source of the first impression for thousands of visitors  traveling to Ennis to see the unique sights and experiences available nowhere else. 

 The City of Ennis wishes to commission a work of art that will create a visual and emotional connection to all who experience it.  This commission should represent, display and communicate to visitors and guests the “Bluebonnet Spirit of Texas” (see below) and that Ennis is an authentic example of “Small Town Americana”.

Ennis recently completed its branding campaign, a link to which is below:

·         link to brand video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eQkPIpWMlg&t=48s

Key elements, or truths, of this branding campaign are:

Small town Texas values are part of the charm and allure of Ennis. 
Neighbor helping neighbor
Genuine appreciation of our history and ancestors
Stewardship of the land and environment

 Founded in 1872, Ennis is an historic city surrounded by lush natural landscapes. It is particularly well known for the incredible fields of bluebonnets and other wildflowers that bloom every spring. It has become an international, national and regional destination for people throughout the southwest to come and experience the beauty and wonder of our natural surroundings and historic town.

 The old Ennis Convention & Visitors Bureau often hosts over a thousand people a day each Spring. The current restoration and development of the old downtown area, coupled with tourism and the increasing growth in population of those seeking to reclaim a sense of community and belonging, made it necessary for Ennis to commission a new Welcome Center several times larger than the previous one, and within it, an exceptional artistic installation that portrays the beauty and importance of the city.

 The new Welcome Center is an historic building that is being completely renovated to honor the surrounding historic architecture yet provides opportunities and experiences for visitors and residents alike through interactive displays, a small theatre and information services housed within the building. Additional information about the Welcome Center and supporting images are presented later in this RFP under location.

 Artists are asked to create a design and proposal for fabrication and installation of a major public artwork to be installed within the Welcome Center as described later in this RFP.

 Downtown Master Plan

 The Downtown Master Plan is the canvas upon which the future of our city is painted. 

 Goals, Themes and Objectives of the Ennis Welcome Center Art Competition

Ennis is seeking a Public Art commission to be installed within the new Welcome Center that:

 Creates a visual and an emotional connection with all who experience it.

Represents our identity as authentic “Small Town Americana”
Embodies the Ennis “Bluebonnet Spirit of Texas”
Provides insight into the history and legacy of the city
 Welcomes and inspires the visiting public to explore the city and landscape
Recognized nationally as a major public artwork.
Overarching themes in the artwork should encompass as many of the objectives stated above as possible. However, the quality of the artwork, relevance to the City and ability to engage the public interest are foremost in this initiative.

Budget

 The budget for this project is tiered so that all qualified artists may provide a proposal and can identify the funding requirement most appropriate for their concept.  The budget tiers established are:

 Tier 1:  $75,000

Tier 2:  $105,000

 The tiered structure allows the Jury Committee to evaluate submissions of all artists in an objective manner, thus ensuring their decisions and recommendations are in the best interest of the City of Ennis, both aesthetically and financially.

 Up to three (3) artists (hereinafter called semi-finalists) will be selected to conduct a site visit, develop/refine a proposal, and return for interviews. Semi-finalists must confirm the tier(s) best suited to their proposal(s). Semi-finalists may submit a proposal for each and/or every tier, if they desire.

Each of the semi-finalists will be offered a $3,000 honorarium to help cover costs associated with the site visit and proposal. After the Committee reviews the semi-finalists’ proposals, a finalist will be selected and offered an additional $3,000 honorarium to help cover costs associated with preparing a final design model, presentations to the City of Ennis and travel associated thereto.

Introduction to The City of Ennis, Texas

History

The area that now comprises the city of Ennis was first inhabited by the Tonkawa Native Americans. The area was also the hunting grounds of several Native American tribes including the WacoBidaiAnadarko, and Kickapoo tribes. These tribes frequented the area until Anglo pioneers arrived in the early-to-mid 19th century. When Ellis County was established and organized in 1850, much of the area was sparsely inhabited by isolated farmsteads as the nearby city of Dallas was in its infancy at the time.

The City of Ennis was established in 1872 as the northern terminus of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad and named for Cornelius Ennis, an early official of the H&TC Railroad.

 The expansion of the cotton industry supplemented by the railroad provided access to foreign and domestic markets through the port of Houston. By 1920, a total of 152,601 bales of cotton were ginned and shipped from Ellis County, the most of any county in America. The Ennis Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan 'Where Railroads and Cotton Fields Meet." These two industries - trade and cotton production - produced immense wealth for the community that could be seen in the residential development of the city. Lawyers, doctors, businessmen, and other wealthy residents built churches of many different denominations and numerous fraternal organizations met regularly. Elegant houses along “the Avenue” and north were accompanied by dozens of Folk Victorian houses and Craftsman style bungalows.[5] These Victorian houses and Craftsman bungalows in the northwestern part of the city would eventually become a part of the Templeton-McCanless Residential Historic District.

By the mid-20th century Ennis had become a modern community with schools, three movie theaters, several drugstores, banks and automobile dealerships. The sons and daughters of early settlers had developed new traditions like the National Polka Festival and the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail. Moreover, the city was connected to Dallas to the north and Houston to the South by Interstate Highway 45. Since then, citizens of Ennis have been able to experience the best of two worlds, participation in the attractions of a large, dynamic city and the familiar street-scape of a unique, nurturing community.  

Ennis Tomorrow

 Recently the City of Ennis adopted a master plan designed to revitalize the downtown area, encourage growth within the community and advance the city as a tourist destination.


Location and Design of the New Ennis Welcome Center

The new Welcome Center will be located at 201 NW Main Street, Ennis Texas. This new location is at the entrance to historic downtown Ennis and will serve to greet and guide the public.

The Welcome Center area comprises a space that is 48 ft. wide and 72ft. in length. Ceilings are approximately 20ft. in height. The 72ft. exterior wall has windows that rise approximately 15 ft., allowing filtered light to fill the large public atrium. Visitors enter via the main corner doors and once in, find the atrium provides an information kiosk near the front right side of the space and a small theater in the rear of the area.

The balance of the area is for visitors to relax, or perhaps enjoy a current display or exhibition.

 Art Competition and Artist Commission

This art competition seeks to commission an artist or artist group to create an installation that will be the focal point of the new Welcome Center. The artwork should engage visitors as it portrays best assets of Ennis. In short, create a “WOW” factor for significance and beauty.

 

The artists must also consider that the Welcome Center atrium is an active, multipurpose public area, and as such any installation must take these factors into account.

 Since the building is not completed, the artists(s) have the option to integrate the ceiling, available walls and floor into their design. In fact, the floor and ceiling may be preferred locations for the art to be placed.

 The space is generally divided into six (6) 24ft x 24ft quadrants.  Each quadrant is approximately 576 square feet with the total area of approximately 3,456 square feet.  There are two (2) vertical columns that remain and will be covered with historic cast iron fluted coverings.  The steel pole in the foreground is temporary and will be removed with the construction of the entrance and clock tower.

 

 RFQ Requirements

 Qualification Process

 A shortlist of up to three (3) (hereinafter called semi-finalists) will be selected by a jury of independent, experienced museum curators and architects.  Criteria includes interest, suitability and relevance to the City and its goals for the project. Semi-finalists will have an opportunity to discuss details of their submission with members of the Committee during a Skype interview. Semi-finalists will have approximately one (1) month to prepare a final concept for consideration. Semi-finalists will be offered a $3,000 honorarium to help cover costs associated with the proposal, including travel.   

After review of the proposals, the Finalist will be invited for an interview. The Finalist will be required to present a PowerPoint presentation, samples of materials, timeline, budget and a narrative describing the inspiration for the design, the fabrication process and installation. The Finalist will also submit maintenance requirements for their design. The Finalist will be offered a $3,000 honorarium to help cover costs associated with the detailed proposal (described above) including travel. The Jury will present the Finalist’s submission to the appropriate officials for confirmation. Upon completion, the Finalist will enter into a contract with the City of Ennis regarding coordination, fabrication, installation, payment schedule, and final acceptance by the City.

 Artists must submit the following:

·         A curriculum vitae (CV), and 

·         Up to five (5) images of at least three (3) comparable projects with a project description of each, including budget, and

·         A summarization of achievement of the goals of their prior project, and 

·         A description of any collaboration. 

·         Minimum of three (3) references with contact information.

·         Other supporting materials.

Artists may submit their entries through the following means:

www.callforentry.org

www.codaworx.com

www.russelltehterfineart.com

Or they may mail a minimum of one (1) hard copy of the qualifications and one (1) electronic copy (email or CD/flash drive) of the qualifications to the following address:

Russell Tether Fine Arts Associates, LLC, PO Box 25312, Dallas, Texas. 75225

 Questions

 Questions must be submitted electronically to:

 http://bit.ly/ennisartQA   

 Schedule

 January 18, 2019                              Request for Proposal (Available / Posted) 

 February 22, 2019                            Final date for submission of questions

 February 28, 2019                            Responses due

 March 11-15, 2019   (3 weeks)        Shortlisted Artists notified (tentative)

 The complete RFQ may be viewed at RussellTetherFineArts.com or the City of Ennis website under Public Art.

 

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