Call Detail
RISCA- Rush Barry Simpson

Entry Deadline: 10/19/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Rhode Island
Event Dates: 9/17/19 - 10/20/19

Request For Qualifications For Public Art For the Lobbies of the Rush/Barry/Simpson Buildings, Pastore Complex, Cranston, RI

Budget: $145,000.

Application deadline: October 19, 2019

Artwork for the Barry, Rush and Simpson Building lobbies, located in the Pastore Complex, Cranston, Rhode Island will be commissioned by the Rhode Island State Council On the Arts, (RISCA), through the state’s Public Art Law, which mandates that 1% of all state capital construction and renovation funds be allocated to the purchase and maintenance of public art.  Through this program the State recognizes that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens.”  

RISCA is committed to helping fine artists gain a foothold in the field of public art. Some excellent national resources on best practices include: the Public Art Network, the Public Art Archive, and Forecast Public Art.

The use of the Rush, Barry and Simpson Buildings is under review and may change, however, one of the main functions of the Pastore Complex is to house prisoners in the care, custody and control of the RI Department of Corrections (RIDOC). 

The selection panel attended 2 site visits in spring and summer 2019 and determined that a teaching artist should be commissioned to work with the prison population to create artwork that could  then be incorporated into designs for walls, floors, windows, columns,  interior or exterior handrails, or artwork that would be suspended from ceilings. 

Durability and sustainability of the work is vital, thus designs with elaborate maintenance requirements would need to be avoided. 

The commissioned artist will be a creative thinker and collaborator  and shall agree to abide by all RIDOC facility security rules and regulations, including a criminal background check. This individual must also attend the RIDOC New Employee Orientation (NEO). ,. Therefore, an even, mature temperament is important. The artist would need to undergo special training to work in the prisons and would need to budget more time and effort, particularly as materials must be brought in and out each time. 

This is a national call for permanent work.

The budget may be used in its entirety in one of the 3 buildings or it can be split. This decision is solely at the discretion of the selection panel and the Rhode Island State Council On the Arts.

Other Considerations

The selected artist(s) should be prepared to engage with the community of those who work in the buildings and the RI community at large.

The scope of the project will include all labor and materials related to the artist’s installation, drawings, permitting and permit fees, equipment, supervision, testing services, procurement of a Rhode Island engineer’s stamp, and all other costs incurred in the delivery of the finished installation.

The final commissioned work must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act:

Submission Requirements

Please note: This Request for Qualifications is the first step in the public art selection process.  YOU ARE NOT BEING ASKED TO SUBMIT A SPECIFIC PROPOSAL. This is a Request For Qualifications, (RFQ), not a Request For Proposals, (RFP).

RISCA will conduct the application process online, with all materials submitted in digital format through CaFÉ (see below). There is no charge to the artist for applying or for submitting digital images. At this preliminary selection stage, we are requesting submissions from artists or artist teams consisting of six (6) images representing current work (completed within the past ten years) and resumes.

If an artist wants to apply as an individual as well as part of a team, two separate CaFÉ profiles and two separate CaFÉ applications must be completed (i.e., one application submission for you and one for your team). 

Applications will be reviewed by the Public Art Selection Panel to assess the quality and appropriateness of the artist's work and the artist’s ability to carry out a substantial public art commission. The RFQ process is mainly about the panel’s initial response to the artist’s images. 

If selected as a finalist, artists will craft detailed proposals including an itemized budget, scale models and renderings, and an in-depth project description. For this they will each be paid an honorarium of $2,500. This stipend includes all travel expenses: hotel, transportation, mileage, etc., for both a site visit and the subsequent presentation meeting. Finalists will not be reimbursed separately for travel costs.

No slides or hard copy materials will be accepted for this call. First time CaFÉ applicants must allow enough time to prepare their CaFÉ formatted digital images and electronic submission prior to the deadline. 

Each application must be submitted via the CaFÉ (tm) web site ( and must include:

  1. A current resume for each artist. If you are applying as a team, include all team member resumes within one document.  
  2. Six digital images of relevant artwork. In the Description of Image, accompanying image annotation must list media, size, title, date of completion and a brief description of the artwork if necessary.  Please do not present more than one view of artwork per image.  If you wish to show a "detail", include it within the six (6) artwork images.

Estimated Timeline

October 19, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) Deadline for submissions
Early November 2019: panel meeting for selection of finalists; artist notification
Early-to-mid-November 2019: Finalist site visits
December 2019: Finalist presentations to selection panel
January 2020: Final approval by RISCA Council
Tbd: Contract signed
Tbd: Work installed

According to law, the final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts who will have the final vote on the commission.

Finalists’ site-specific proposals should convey artist’s ideas and plans through designs, renderings and/or scale models with a statement that describes the project's intent, proposed materials, fabrication and installation methods, and an itemized budget. Finalists are also asked to explain how their artwork will be sourced and fabricated.  They will be supplied with plans, images, and specific information about the buildings and the campus. 

A site visit will be scheduled for the finalists.  The honorarium of $2,500 will be awarded to the finalists following presentation of their proposals. The proposals will remain the property of the artist. However, RISCA reserves the right to retain proposals for up to one year for display purposes and the right to reproduce final proposals for documentation and public information purposes. 

The Public Art Selection Panel reserves the right to determine which proposal will be funded and the extent of funding. The panel also reserves the right to not accept any final proposal. If the Public Art Selection Panel’s recommendations are approved, the selected artist/s will enter into contract with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for the commission. The accepted artwork will be owned and maintained by the State of Rhode Island.

Selection Criteria

The panel will select the artist based on the following criteria:

  1. High artistic quality and suitability of the final proposal in relation to the project description, program goals and site descriptions.
  2. Ability of the Artist’s Team: The artist's ability to carry out the commission, to keep the project within budget, and to complete and install the work on schedule.
  3. Value: The quality and scope of the proposed completed work in relation to the commission and fees paid to the artist’s team. 
  4. Permanence and durability of materials for this heavily used public facility: It is the artist’s responsibility to ensure that all artwork meets safety standards, adheres to building codes and other state regulations. Artworks must be durable and require minimal maintenance.
  5. Collaborative Spirit: Willingness of the artist to consult with the building’s employees, architects, landscape architects, civil engineers, general contractors and building staff (or designated representatives) to assure smooth integration of the artwork into the site and to make necessary adjustments in relation to building codes and other construction issues.

If you have questions about this RFQ, please email Elizabeth Keithline:    If you require technical support for CAFÉ, please email


Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria