Call Detail
Art in Roanoke Temporary Sculpture Exhibition: Reimagining Roanoke
Entry Deadline: 1/18/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 10
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 10
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Virginia
Event Dates: 5/17/21 - 4/14/23

November 5, 2020

RE:     Unsealed Request for Proposals No. 21-10-35 for “A New Life: Reimagining Roanoke” Temporary Sculpture Exhibition 

To Whom It May Concern: 

The City of Roanoke is seeking at least eight (8) artists or artist teams to exhibit sculpture in the sixth Art in Roanoke (AIR) temporary sculpture exhibition running May 17, 2021 through April 14, 2023.  

The City is accepting submissions now through January 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM Eastern for freestanding sculpture responding to the theme “A New Life: Reimagining Roanoke.” 

Artwork may incorporate interactive as well as functional elements, but must include at least 50% repurposed material.

This invitation is extended to all artists 18 and older. Innovative approaches are welcomed, including the establishment of partnerships between emerging and established artists or between artists and fabricators. Regional artists and teams with connections to Roanoke are encouraged to apply.  Both proposed work and finished pieces will be considered.   

An evaluation committee will review each proposal in accordance with the provisions demonstrated herein and the City reserves the right to issue multiple awards for such goods/services. 

Community Context

Established in 1884 in a valley of Virginia’s Blue Ridge, the city of Roanoke grew from the committed investment of local leaders—residents eager to create a thriving place at the crossing of two rail lines. Now, 137 years later, Roanoke continues stepping into the future with renewed commitment to its place and people. 

The “Magic City” of now just under 100,000 citizens stands at the center of a region of more than 300,000 people. The city continues to reassess, value and deploy the resources at hand. Old warehouses and garages from the 1900s now house local craft breweries and high-end lofts, offering residents and visitors easy access to outdoor recreation, a thriving arts and cultural community, and growing research opportunities along the Innovation Corridor. The community builds upon its assets, natural, built, institutional, and human.

Simultaneously, the community is embarking on a new 20-year comprehensive plan that emphasizes equity throughout every aspect of investment and service delivery. As the nation considers how it works better for ALL of its citizens, the City of Roanoke is acting locally, making strides and committed to a welcoming, diverse, and equitable future. 

Because the future depends upon the welcomed contributions of all, women and artists of color are especially encouraged to submit proposals.


In May 2021, concrete pads on the Elmwood Park Artwalk will be available for new artwork.  Additionally, community and neighborhood partnerships may allow for some works to be located in additional neighborhood and community spaces. 

Since being purchased by the city in 1910, Roanoke’s Elmwood Park has been a gathering place where residents and visitors attend events, enjoy the outdoors, and spend quiet time. Elmwood Park is located on both the Innovation Corridor and the Roanoke River Valley Greenway system. Today Elmwood is known as Roanoke’s premiere festival park with more than fifty annual events. The park is home to the Main Branch of the Roanoke City Public Library, the coordinating partner of the collaborative Star City Reads program which works through book and feeding programs to measurably increase the reading ability of the most vulnerable elementary age students. This was a key component of the City’s record making seventh All-America City award.

Scope of Services and Guidelines for Submitted Works

A description and/or listing of the services and/or items that the successful Offeror will be required to provide to the City under this URFP are those that are set forth in this URFP and/or below and/or referred to in any way in the sample Contract.

Offeror should carefully read and review all such items and should address such items in its proposal. However, the final description of the services and/or items to be provided to the City under this URFP is subject to negotiations with the successful Offeror(s), and final approval by the City.

In the spirit of bringing fresh perspectives on our collective journey, the Roanoke Arts Commission invites submissions of 3-D work. 

  • Concepts and finished work must directly respond to the theme: “A New Life: Reimagining Roanoke.”
  • Work can be new or proposed, but as the creative process itself works within constraints and maximizes existing resources, the work must feature at least 50% repurposed materials. 
  • Materials used might reflect: 
    • the natural world, 
    • the city's industrial and cultural history, 
    • the knowledge-based activity of the Innovation Corridor, and 
    • strides in inclusion and equity as the city reconsiders and invests in itself and this place. 
  • The use of materials will reflect the strength, resilience, imagination, aspirations, and inclusive nature of the city and its creative cultural community. 
  • The development of the work will reflect innovative and collaborative approaches that explore new ways of looking at both at the resources at hand and the processes deploying them.
  • Works must be 
    • of a scale and material suitable for outdoor display, 
    • designed to withstand an outdoor, high traffic, unmonitored environment,
    • requiring of little or no maintenance for the duration of the show,
    • original,
    • suitable for family viewing, and
    • constructed so that they can be securely anchored.  

The Art Walk includes ten pads surrounded by native plantings.  Each pad is 6’ by 6’ and can hold up to 1,500 lbs. Work cannot be over 15’ tall or 6’ wide. Anchor bolts are required and must be set at least six inches from the edges of the pads. 

Payments and Awards

There is no entry fee. Artists chosen to participate will receive a stipend of up to $4,000 per selected artwork.  


  • Costs associated with transportation of the piece, travel of the artist, insurance during travel and installation, installation and removal of the work are the responsibility of the artist. 
  • The city will provide pads and installation support as feasible.
  • Completed installation must pass city inspection, meeting all safety requirements.
  • Artists whose projects are accepted will be required to sign a loan agreement, a sample of which is posted online.
  • Works will not be insured by the city, but may be self-insured by the artist.

Entry Procedures

Each artist may submit a total of up to 3 proposed sculptures or concepts for consideration, including up to 2 additional detail images per sculpture for a maximum of 10 images.

To apply, please submit to the call as posted on the CAFÉ website. Submittals are due by 11:59 p.m. EST January 18, 2021. To apply, go to the CaFÉ homepage at, and create an artist account. CaFÉ is free to use, and there is no entry fee for this call. Under “Find Calls” search for Roanoke. Follow the instructions for submission, upload the required images and files, and submit. 

Proposals must include:

  • A brief Artist(s) Statement (300 words max) to introduce the selection panel to your artistic practice 
  • A project statement (500 words max) that describes the response for this project, demonstrates an understanding of the community, and explains how the work relates to the context and theme of “A New Life: Reimagining Roanoke.” 
  • A description of repurposed materials
  • Concept or sculpture images
  • An illustration of how the piece will be anchored to the pad.
  • An anticipated project budget, including travel, materials, etc.

For technical questions about CaFÉ, please click on Help on the CaFÉ website.


  • Application is required by January 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM. Application will be through CaFÉ.
  • Chosen artists will be notified no later than February 19, 2021
  • Installation to be completed by Monday, May 17, 2021– can be scheduled up to two weeks before May 17, 2021
  • Works to be picked up after April 14, 2023 

Selection Process

A panel representing diverse interests and expertise will review submissions and recommend at least eight artists or artist teams to the Roanoke Arts Commission. 

The following criteria will be used:

  • Quality and design of the art work or proposal
  • Responsiveness of the proposal to the call’s theme and community context
  • Appropriateness for the site, including aesthetic content and public safety
  • Feasibility given timeline and budget
  • Artist’s or team’s experience meeting deadlines in client-based projects
  • Durability – The art work’s ability to withstand weather and interaction in a highly public area over the 2 years of the exhibition
  • Diversity – The exhibition will be curated to reflect the diversity of the community and to display a diversity of approaches
  • Other criteria not outlined above may be considered as well. 

More information

Learn more about the Roanoke Arts Commission:

Find information on Learn more about the past AIR exhibitions, AIR artists, and the Roanoke Arts Commission in casual conversations recorded as part of the Fall 2020 Roanoke Artists’ Series.

See Past exhibits on the Elmwood Artwalk:

Explore The Natural City    
Explore City in Motion
Explore Roanoke Rising

Artwork Sale Opportunity

Sale of installed works will be encouraged.  Sale arrangements will be handled between the buyer and the artist. It is understood that work will remain on display for the entire exhibit. To date, the City of Roanoke has purchased five works from the five previous AIR exhibitions.

Selection and Contracting

The City may request additional information, clarification, or oral presentations from any of the Offerors. 

This URFP includes the following Attachment: 

1. Attachment A–Sample Loan Agreement 

Successful Offeror selected for this work will be required to sign an agreement similar to Attachment A, subject to any changes that may be authorized by mutual agreement of the parties. Please review the document carefully. 

The City reserves the right to immediately terminate any resultant Agreement, with or without cause, upon written notice to the Successful Offeror(s). In the event of such termination, the Successful Offeror(s) will be compensated for services rendered through the date of termination at the rate agreed to and set out in the Agreement between the parties. 

Proposals received after the specified date and time may not be accepted. 

Each Offeror who is a stock or Nonstock Corporation, Limited Liability Company, business trust, or a limited partnership or other business entity shall be authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a domestic or foreign business entity if required by law. Each such Offeror shall include in its proposal response the Identification Number issued to it by the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) and should list its business entity name as it is listed with the SCC. Any Offeror that is not required to be authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth as a domestic or foreign business entity as required by law shall include in its proposal response a statement describing why the Offeror is not required to be so authorized. (See VA Code Section 2.2-4311.2). 

Offerors will be evaluated for selection on the basis of those most qualified to meet the requirements of this RFUP. Major criteria to be considered in the evaluation may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, the items referred to above and those set forth below. 

  1. Reasonable/competitiveness of proposed fee and/or benefits to the City, although the City is not bound to select the Offeror who proposes the lowest fees or most benefits for services. The City reserves the right to negotiate fees and/or benefits to the City with the selected Offeror. 
  2. The Offeror’s responsiveness and compliance with the RFUP requirements and conditions. 
  3. Determination that the selected Offeror has no contractual relationships which would result in a conflict of interest with City’s contract. 
  4. The Offeror’s ability, capacity and skill to fully and satisfactorily provide the services or items required in this RFUP. 
  5. The quality of Offeror’s performance in comparable and/or similar projects. 
  6. Whether the Offeror can provide the services and/or items in a prompt and timely fashion. 
  7. Quality of design or artwork including the appropriateness of proposed material. 

All proposals submitted in response to this RFUP will be reviewed by the Purchasing Division or its designee for responsiveness prior to referral to a selection committee or person. A committee consisting of City personnel and/or others and/or an appropriate individual will then evaluate and rank all responsive proposals, conduct the negotiations, and make recommendations for award to the City Manager, or the City Manager’s designee, as appropriate. The award of a contract, if made, will be made to the Offeror whose proposal best furthers the interest of the City, as determined by the City Manager, or the City Manager’s designee. The City reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, to waive any informality or irregularity in the proposals received, and to make the award to the Offeror whose proposal is deemed to be in the best interest of the City. 

Proposal evaluation and award will be accomplished in accordance with this Request for Unsealed Proposals and Sections 23.2-1, et. seq. of the Code of the City of Roanoke, Virginia. General and/or technical questions regarding the Scope of Services and/or items required or procurement questions under this RFUP may be directed to


Cassandra “Nikki Switzer

Senior Buyer

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria