Call Detail
Bleachery Heritage Project Sculpture
Entry Deadline: 9/10/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 11
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: South Carolina

CALL TO ARTISTS- Request for Qualifications (RFQ):

$30,000 Public Art Design Commission for the Bleachery Heritage Project Sculpture
Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation/Quality of Life Committee
Electronic Submissions due via CaFÉ


Submission Deadline:
September 10, 2019


Rock Hill Designs for Rock Hill Places is a program initiated by the Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation ( its Quality of Life Committee.  The goal of Rock Hill Designs is to demonstrate that locally created, locally inspired art can add value and meaning to the City’s public investments.  The first two projects were Freedom Walkway ( and Wheels in Motion at the Knowledge Park Roundabout (  Extensive community engagement was central to the design processes for both, including collaboration with the City of Rock Hill, Rock Hill Schools, Winthrop University, Clinton College, York Technical College and the Arts Council of York County.


The Bleachery Heritage Project is the third project for Rock Hill Designs.  It is a collection of interpretive elements that will enhance University Center, a former textile mill site that is designated on the National Register of Historic Places and currently being transformed into a large, urban mixed-use center.  University Center is being built on the site of, and in the remaining buildings of, the Rock Hill Printing & Finishing Company (known locally as “The Bleachery”), once the largest cloth printing and finishing plant in the world.  The redevelopment of this site will include interpretive elements to tell the stories of the Bleachery, its employees, and the role of this facility in the growth and development of Rock Hill.  The interpretive plan for the site also includes the story of the Anderson Motor Company, an early 20th Century automobile manufacturer that was the predecessor of the Bleachery on the property.  The Bleachery Heritage Project is also the name of a not-for-profit corporation organized by former Bleachery employees to support this effort.


Strong preference will be given to artists who demonstrate experience and success engaging local residents and students in the creation of locally imagined themes and spaces.



The City of Rock Hill, in partnership with Rock Hill Economic Development Corporation, has been awarded an Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for Rock Hill Designs and the Bleachery Heritage Project.  We are seeking an artist (or team of artists) to design an outdoor sculpture that will be a primary focal point at University Center.  The master plan for University Center ( includes a central pedestrian and vehicular area at the end of the property adjacent to the Lowenstein building and the Indoor Sports Arena.  There is a large grassy plaza in the center that is approximately 200 ft. long by 25 ft. wide that has been identified as the location for this sculptural work (see attached site plan).


The Bleachery Heritage Project has secured two key elements from the Bleachery that are intended to be used for inspiration and incorporated into the design of this project.  The first is a large roller print machine of the type that served as the backbone of the Bleachery operation for more than 50 years, beginning in 1929.  The available machine is not currently assembled (see attached site plan for photographs of similar machines).  The second element is a large stone archway that at one time served as the main entry to the site (see attached site plan).


We are seeking an artist who will incorporate both the machine and the archway and use them as the inspiration for a sculptural interpretation of the Bleachery, its people, the process for printing colorful patterns on cloth, and the skilled artisans who engraved these patterns on copper rollers.


The selected artist will be part of a design team including the site developer, the site’s civil engineer/landscape architect, and City staff that will work together to engage the community and to incorporate locally inspired themes into the spaces created by the project.


The goal of the project is to add richness and meaning to the design of the University Center development.  In addition to the focal point sculpture, the design team may also be working with other historical interpretive elements for the site, such as:



The commssion for the artist engagement/design portion of this project is $30,000.  This fee is intended to cover all associated costs for the visioning and design selection process, including artist and apprentice fees, materials, travel and convening expenses. The estimated maximum budget for the total project is as follows:


Estimated Direct Costs


Artist Fees (includes design materials & travel)


Community Planning/Engagement ($2,500/year)


Facility/Space Rental  


Supplies & Materials (construction) 


Site preparation (engineering & design)


Artifact preparation (transport & restoration)


Interpretive Materials (on-site signage, digital content)


Process Evaluation & Analysis 





A preliminary work program and budget will be required of finalists in advance of their community presentations.  Upon award of the contract, the chosen artist(s) will be required to submit an itemized fee proposal including but not limited to the following scope of work:

  • Community meetings with significant citizen engagement opportunities, drawings and other media presentation techniques to communicate and document proposed art installation.
  • Design development documentation with visual and written exhibits that provide a solid basis for the project’s construction drawings and specifications; a preliminary cost estimate.
  • Meeting coordination as required with the project team including engineers, design professionals, and community-based partners.
  • Periodic submission of progress drawings and budget estimates.


This budget should include all expenses associated with the design and research related labor, materials, contracted services (consultants and apprentices), meetings and travel required to complete the preliminary design.



Letter of Interest:  The letter should be no more than one page and should explain the artist’s interest in the project.

Résumé:  Limit résumés to two (2) pages per person.  If submitting as a team, submit a résumé for each individual team member.

Digital Images: Submit a minimum of five (5) and maximum of ten (10) digital images of your professional work. Images must be submitted as "High" quality JPEGs (do not use GIFs, TIFFs, PDFs or other formats).  Up to one (1) video, of no more than 10 minutes in length, may be also be submitted as additional information about your professional work.

Image List: Submit an image list corresponding to the submitted digital images. Each entry on the image list should include the following numbered list:

  1. Image number
  2. Artist’s name
  3. Title of work
  4. Medium
  5. Date of work
  6. Dimensions
  7. Project budget

Community Engagement: Submit three (3) examples of community engagement projects or workshops that were coordinated as part of prior public art projects.

Professional References: Submit at least three (3) professional references that have an intimate knowledge of the artist’s work and working methods.  The list must include complete contact information (mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address).



Statement of Intent (1-page maximum): Individuals or teams may choose to include a short written statement discussing concepts for this project.  Individuals or teams may briefly outline a specific idea for a project or may discuss a less formalized direction for a work.  Please do not include budgets, sketches, models or renderings at the preliminary stage.  NOTE: Panel members will be aware that the statement of intent is an optional component and it will not count against an artist or team not to include one.  This is provided as an option to benefit emerging artists with fewer qualifications.



In keeping with Rock Hill Design’s mission, up to three artists and/or design teams will be chosen as finalists by a juried selection panel.  The finalists will be invited to visit Rock Hill and make proposals for their design concept.  The finalists will also be asked to devise a plan to allow for significant community involvement and a one-week artist in residency program with local schools in the process of developing a final design proposal.  Each finalist will be reimbursed up to $500 for expenses related to the visit to Rock Hill to present the final proposal.


The committee is seeking artists and designers with strong communication skills and a proven history of successful public art projects that demonstrate artistic excellence.


Finalists will be encouraged to visit Rock Hill to see the University Center site, to learn more about the Bleachery and Anderson Motor Company, and to meet and have conversations with community members who are leading this projects.


Finalists will be notified of their status by phone or email no later than September 27, 2019.


Due to the extensive community engagement aspects of this project, the committee encourages proposals from artists within reasonable travel distance of Rock Hill (such as driving distance).  Please note that the $30,000 fee includes all travel and reimbursable expenses, and that additional funds to cover these costs will not be available.



July 1, 2019                NEA grant period begins

September 10, 2019    All electronic submissions due via Café

September 27, 2019  Notification sent to finalists

October 2019            Finalist site visits and meetings with staff and community

November 2019         Final proposals due; Artists present proposals to the selection committee

December 2019         Announcement of final selection

January 2020             Begin implementation of community engagement to support final design process

September 2020        Art installation begins

February 2021           Art installation complete, unveiling and community celebration

September 2021        NEA grant period ends



Submissions will be reviewed by a multi-disciplinary committee of community leaders and other key stakeholders based on the following criteria:

  • Experience, success and/or interest in creating public artworks in collaboration with architects, design teams, and diverse community members.
  • Aesthetic merit of past projects; appropriateness of artistic medium and concepts.


All responses are to be submitted via Café (  There is no cost to submit.  Responses will not be accepted once the call has closed.


For questions about this RFQ, please email Sally Baker at  If you require technical support for CaFÉ, please email

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria