Call Detail
Courthouse Square Outdoor Event Space - Morganton, NC
Entry Deadline: 4/29/19
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:

The City of Morganton Main Street Department, the Burke County Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council are seeking qualifications from artists or artist teams to work directly with landscape architects, architects and designers in the creation of a new, outdoor multi-purpose event space in downtown Morganton. The City of Morganton is currently interviewing architectural teams for this space and is interested in engaging an artist(s) to integrate public art and artistic elements in the building plans.  This space will be connected to the most iconic building and green space in the County, the Historic Burke County Courthouse and Square.

The goals of this project are to:
· To create a cohesive design that incorporates art in the facility and landscape plans of the new public space. The artwork will be integrated into the final construction plan documents. 
· To activate and enhance the cultural connectivity and economic vitality in downtown Morganton through engaging artwork and creative placemaking.
· Reflect the strong arts and cultural identity of the community as well as the natural and historic location.


Project Background:

Morganton is one of the North Carolina Arts Council’s eight SmART communities, demonstrating how the arts transform downtowns and build sustainable economic development. The City of Morganton Main Street Department is focused on revitalizing downtown Morganton and surrounding neighborhoods through creative placemaking.

In recent years, the City of Morganton has experienced a great resurgence in downtown. The City recently completed its second comprehensive Downtown Masterplan in January of 2018 with the previous plan having been completed in 1997. Both the 1997 and 2018 Downtown Masterplans recommended a redesign of the Historic Courthouse Square as a multi-purpose outdoor event space as a top priority for the city. This redesigned “space” will be the single largest transformation that Morganton will see for many years. It is the heart, not only of the downtown and City, but Burke County as well. The square is of great importance statewide as one of only three places in the state the North Carolina Supreme Court holds court. While this space is primarily used for City events, it is also used for other public and civic events and has become an everyday open space for the community to enjoy. Artists interested in submitting qualifications should review the 1997 and 2018 Downtown Masterplans and other current planning documents of the City. Both Masterplans address public multi-purpose space in very different fashions. The re-design of the space will consider the recommendations of all Masterplans keeping flexibility of the space at the forefront of the design.


Community Profile:

The City of Morganton sits on the Catawba River in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Morganton is blessed with scenic rural landscapes, abundant outdoor adventure venues, shopping and dining opportunities, and a thriving downtown music and art scene. The City of Morganton’s municipal auditorium hosts a variety of performing arts events that attract visitors from across the region.

Hailed as “Nature’s Playground,” Morganton hosts hiking, biking and history trails.  Morganton is one of the featured sites on the Blue Ridge Music Trail, and was home to Etta Baker, a National Heritage Award winner and renowned Piedmont Blues guitarist. Visual artists from the region are celebrated through a collection of contemporary public art murals and artful benches throughout downtown.

Home to nearly 17,000 people, Morganton will welcome the first class of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics - Western Campus in 2021, and significantly add to the city’s population.  The students will live in the developing Broughton District, a public-private partnership to re-imagine the 800-acre tract campus of Broughton Hospital. The Broughton district includes plans for a greenway, two hotels and single-family and multi-family housing.


Selection Process and Schedule:

The selection committee will invite a short list of artists to come to Morganton for a site visit and in-depth interview. These artists will receive a $500 honorarium plus travel and lodging for the interview appointment. The Committee will then select the final artist for the collaborative design process with the architectural design team and key stakeholders in the community as well as artwork fabrication and installation.

March 22, 2019
Request for Qualifications Launch

April 29, 2019
Deadline for RFQ Submissions

May 2019
Final Artist Selection

May 2019
Finalists visit Morganton

June 2019
Selected Project Artist Notified

July/August 2019
Begin Design & Community Engagement

Fabrication and Installation will follow construction schedule. The Morganton SmART team reserves the right to change the project timeline.


Community Engagement:

The selected artist will return to Morganton for up to four times for site visits, community engagement events, and meetings with the designers as well as various project stakeholders.

Artist’s Responsibilities:

1. Research the community, meet with key stakeholders, and engage in planning efforts with community members and architectural design team to integrate the artwork into the design of the new event space.

2. Based on the first activity, provide the Selection Committee with a final concept and budget for an artwork that is integrated into the design of the project.


Submittals & Eligibility: 

Local, regional and national professional artists and artist teams are invited to submit applications electronically through CaFE. Applications and all materials must be received by April 29, 2019 no later than 11:59 pm to be considered. 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

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 (no more than 2 pages): 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.
· Experience with planning and collaboration with multiple stakeholders, working on design teams, and with projects in urban settings.
· Demonstrated ability to create artwork that reflects the distinctive characteristics of the place and community.
· Demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.

Artist Selection Committee:

The committee is comprised of leaders from the Morganton SmART 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: $20,000

The total project budget will be $20,000 for design development with the selected landscape architects, architects and designers, and for the completion of at least one final concept with accompanying budget for artwork at project site. This amount includes travel and accommodations during design phase as well as any other costs incurred by the artist.


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

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria