Call Detail
Outdoor Public Art Markers
Entry Deadline: 4/8/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: North Carolina

Project Summary:
SmART Kinston City Project Foundation, the Kinston Community Council for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council are seeking proposals from artists or artist teams to design a system of visual art markers to connect pedestrians from downtown Kinston, NC to the scenic Riverwalk on the Neuse River.  The wayfinding series will begin at the Kinston Community Council for the Arts and continue along the designated Avenue of the Arts to the Riverwalk (Blount Street west to Pearson Park entrance). Three artists will be selected to visit the city and create a proposal. The artwork can range from a series of gateways or other sculptures, to light pole attachments, mosaics, sidewalk or wall inlays, or light installations. The selection committee is open to a variety of mediums or combination of mediums to achieve the goal of the project. Three elements will be funded through this project, but the design plan may include more interventions to be produced over time. 
The goals of this project are to:
• To increase walkability and connectivity from downtown Kinston amenities to the Riverwalk.
• To beautify and add character to the downtown, and reflect the unique characteristics and assets of Kinston
• To provide an opportunity for community engagement and ownership

Project Background: 
Kinston is one of the North Carolina Arts Council’s eight SmART communities, demonstrating how the arts transform downtowns and build sustainable economic development. In 2016, the City of Kinston, the KCCA, the SmART Kinston City Project Foundation and the North Carolina Arts Council selected SiteWorks, led by public artist Vicki Scuri, to create the SmART Kinston Vision Plan. The plan provides a roadmap for public art and creative placemaking; projects to connect downtown assets, engage artists and citizens; and enhance the pedestrian experience. The first project of the Vision plan is an exhibit of fifty-five large-scale photographs celebrating Kinston's music heritage which adorn empty storefront windows in downtown Kinston. This art marker project is the second project of the Vision Plan. 

Community Profile: 
The City of Kinston is located in the coastal plains region of the state in eastern North Carolina (NC), about 80 miles east of the capital Raleigh. It is a historic place, originally inhabited by the Neusiok people on the banks of Neuse River and later founded in 1791 as the county seat of Lenoir County. The City’s population is currently estimated at 20,509 residents, down nearly 15 percent from the 2000 Census estimate of 23,840. This population decline is largely the result of two devastating hurricanes, Floyd and Fran, in the 1990s, which caused flooding and property damage.

Kinston has proved itself to be a resilient and resourceful place that has come together to overcome these challenges. Already known for its Civil War History, the City’s reputation has evolved and expanded in recent years. City leaders, entrepreneurs, developers, and arts advocates have worked together to leverage the area’s cultural and social assets for tourism and economic development. A centerpiece of this effort on the southern edge of downtown is the Kinston Music Park, a project of the North Carolina Arts Council and the hub of The African American Music Trails of North Carolina (AAMT). The AAMT is an eight-county heritage trail that eternalizes the contributions of eastern North Carolina musicians in gospel, jazz, funk and popular music. The City is partnering with the local African American Heritage Commission to undertake a complementary project, documenting the Civil Rights History of the Kinston area.

The nonprofit SmART Kinston City Project Foundation has revitalized the historic downtown neighborhood Mitchelltown into an Arts & Cultural District, transforming more than 50 once- vacant millhouses into live/work spaces for artists.  In addition to the arts, Kinston is now well-known for its food and drink, with downtown anchors like farm-to-table restaurant Chef & the Farmer and craft brewery and distiller Mother Earth drawing visitors from out of town to once-empty historic buildings. These successful businesses have paved the way for additional private investment in and around downtown over the last few years, including new shops, restaurants, and two boutique hotels – one occupying a former bank building and the other a retro 1960s motor lodge. 

Selection Process and Schedule:
Three artists will be selected to create proposals for the project. The artists will visit Kinston and will be paid $1,500 including travel and lodging for creating a proposal due on June 14, 2019. The selection committee will reconvene to view the proposals and select a finalist.

March 12, 2019
Request for Qualifications Launch

April 8, 2019
Deadline for RFQ Submissions

April 22, 2019
First Artist Selection Meetings 

May 8-15 2019
​Three Finalists visit Kinston

June 14, 2019
Finalists’ Proposals Due

June 18, 2019
Selected Project Artist(s) Notified

July 2019
Community Engagement & Design phase

Summer 2020
Fabrication and Installation

Project organizers reserve the right to change the project timeline.

Community Engagement:
The selected artists will return to Kinston for a site visit, prior to developing the final concept design.  The artist will meet with various project stakeholders through a series of community engagement events.

Artist’s Responsibilities:
• Research the community, meet with key stakeholders, and engage in planning efforts with community members.
• Based on the site visit and community engagement, the artist will provide the selection committee with a final concept and budget for the marker system. The artist(s) will work with the City of Kinston to confirm the locations of the markers.
• Upon selection, the artist will contract with the Kinston Community Council for the Arts to fabricate and install approved design.

Submittals & Eligibility:  
Local, regional and national professional artists and artist teams are invited to submit applications. Applications and all materials must be received by April 8, 2019 no later than 11:59 pm to be considered. Mailed or physical copies will not be accepted. 

Applicants must be age 18 or older, and are eligible regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identification, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical ability.  

Submission materials must include: 
1) Statement of Interest: Artists should outline their:
• interest in this project; 
• experience working on comparable projects of size, scope and budget;
• experience working with government agencies, arts councils, neighborhood organizations, or other relevant organizations; and

2) Community Engagement: Artists should outline their experience collaborating with community members on public art projects and any proposed methods of engaging with community stakeholders and gathering input.

3) Résumé: Artists should highlight their artistic background and professional accomplishments.

4) Images: Up to ten (10) visual images of related art and design projects named and numbered to match an annotated image list; and 

5) References: Three (3) current references with current contact information, with relationship to the artist noted.  

Selection Criteria:  
The artists will be selected based on the following criteria, as evidenced in application materials and conversations with listed references:  

  • Artistic accomplishment as demonstrated by images of previously completed artwork.
  • Technical competence and comparable scale of past works.
  • Demonstrated ability to create artwork that reflects the distinctive characteristics of the place and community.
  • Experience with planning and collaboration with multiple stakeholders, working on design teams, and with streetscape projects.
  • Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.

Artist Selection Committee: 
The committee is comprised of leaders from the SmART Kinston Resource Team, which includes representatives from the public and private sector, public art experts, and stakeholders in the community as well as artists and art professionals from the area.  The selection committee will review all material properly submitted. Finalists will be selected based upon the competitiveness of the applicants’ qualifications. 

Total Project Budget: $60,000 
The total project budget will be $60,000 including fabrication, equipment rental, permits, insurance, installation, materials, travel and accommodations and any other costs incurred by the artist. 

For additional information on this project: contact Cheryl Stewart, Public Art Consultant