Call Detail
Martin Luther King & Veronica S. Shoemaker Blvd. Gateway Public Artwork

Entry Deadline: 10/28/21
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: Florida
Budget: 100,000



Name: Martin Luther King & Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevards Gateway Public Artwork

Budget: $100,000

Deadline: Submissions must be received no later than Thursday, October 28, 2021, Midnight EST to be considered


In collaboration with the City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency and the Lee County Black History Society, the Fort Myers Public Art Committee is requesting artists to submit qualifications for a public art project at the intersection of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevards. The intersection is a critical gateway connecting the historic Dunbar Community1 (once referred to as Safety Hill2) to downtown Fort Myers. The intersection bears the names of a local historical figure, Veronica S. Shoemaker, and universal luminary, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For many members of our community, this intersection is “too important to be left to the vagaries of generic roadside strip development.3 This intersection deserves a prominent cultural landmark.” Accordingly, the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA), Lee County Black History Society, and Public Art Committee of the City of Fort Myers seek qualified artists or artist teams to design, construct and install a public art piece that will commemorate local culture expressed through a general but a well-informed theme that incorporates the concepts of Dreams, Hope and Civil Rights. 

The CRA was created in 1984 by the City of Fort Myers to formulate a plan and strategy for revitalizing the most blighted areas and communities within the City of Palms. The CRA encourages and oversees five community redevelopment plans implemented across a total of sixteen (16) sub-areas within the Fort Myers city limits.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard redevelopment area, comprised of four sub-areas, positioned east of the Downtown redevelopment area and south of the East Fort Myers redevelopment area, is a vital corridor with unique attributes.

  1. History Overview Document: Paul Laurence Dunbar, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Veronica S. Shoemaker.
  2. History Overview Document: City of Fort Myers, Safety Hill / the Dunbar Community / the 1930s to present day.
  3. As cited in 2018 Dr. MLK Jr/ VSSB Revitalization Plan, Action Step #7 Page 5.21


The site for the artwork is an open, grassy area located to the south of Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, one of the City’s main east-west thoroughfares, and between the north and southbound lanes of Veronica S. Shoemaker Boulevard. The site for the artwork is approximately 70 feet from Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard and will be framed by landscaping that has recently been added to the site. As the site does not encourage or accommodate either pedestrian or bicycle traffic or interaction, the size, scale, scope, color(s), and other features of the artwork must enable it to stand out from the landscaping and be readily viewable by passing motorists. There is no electrical service on-site. Artists wishing to add a lighting component to their design so that the artwork is viewable after dark will need to utilize outdoor solar lighting options. Within these parameters, the CRA/LCBHS/PAC is looking for an iconic gateway artwork that commemorates local culture and expresses the themes of Dreams, Hope, and Civil Rights in an inspiring, uplifting and memorable way.





Funding is provided by the City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency. A total budget of $100,000 covers all costs associated with the project, as follows:

  • $1,500: three finalists will be paid a design fee of $500 each to develop a virtual proposal for final consideration by the Selection Committee (see below); and
  • $98,500: to be paid to the artist/artist team selected for this project, to cover materials including solar lighting (if any), engineering, fabrication, permitting, transportation, travel, installation, insurance, documentation, contingencies, and the artist’s/artist team’s fee.


Midnight EST, Thursday, October 28, 2021. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted; however, the City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency, Lee County Black History Society, and Public Art Committee reserve the right to extend this deadline, if necessary.


  • Deadline for Submissions: midnight EST Thursday, October 28, 2021
  • Evaluation of Submissions/Selection of Finalists: Tuesday, November 16, 2021
  • Virtual Presentation of Designs by Finalists/Selection of Winner: Tuesday, January 18, 2022
  • Approval by CRA Board of Commissioners: February 2, 2022
  • Delivery/Execution of Public Art Agreement: on or before February 28, 2022
  • Installation: April 1- June 30, 2022


The application and selection process will be managed by the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee, which includes arts professionals and community representatives. In addition to the PAC’s members (both voting and alternates), the Selection Committee for this project will include a designee of the Community Redevelopment Agency, a member of the Lee County Black History Society, and an at-large member of the Dunbar community. Applications not meeting the submission guidelines will not be considered. All others will be evaluated by the Selection Committee in public session based upon the following criteria:

1.     The artist/artist team’s process and prior work are compelling and relevant.

2.     The artist/artist team’s professional experience demonstrates a developed and successful body of site-specific public art projects of similar scope and scale or the ability to understand site-specific design as demonstrated by visual documentation.

3.     The artist/artist team is capable of producing an artwork that is compatible with the landscaping that has been installed at the site and will be of a size, scale, and scope that will be stand out in contrast to the landscaping and be readily viewable by motorists stopped at traffic lights or driving by the site.

4.     The artist/artist team possesses professional experience in completing public art projects within the timeline and budget, as well as the sustainability of the project.

5.     The artist/artist team is capable of producing an artwork that is resistant to theft and vandalism and will be durable notwithstanding the rigors of Southwest Florida’s subtropical climate, which is characterized by intense UV sunlight, high humidity, copious rainfall, and periodic tropical storms and hurricanes. Preference will be given, therefore, to artists/artist teams that demonstrate a body of work that requires minimal periodic maintenance and consists of materials and components that are readily available if conservation or restoration is necessary. The artwork will be required to comply with Florida Building Code provisions, particularly those that address hurricane-force winds. The finished artwork may not require disassembly in adverse weather.

6.     The artist/artist team’s body of work reflects diversity in style, scale, media, and traditional and contemporary art forms


From the submittals received, the Selection Committee will select up to three finalists. Each finalist will be paid a $500 design fee and will be given between six (6) and eight (8) weeks to produce an electronic proposal for virtual presentation to the Committee in open session, together with a prefabrication review that identifies the materials the artist intends to use, expected longevity, fabrication techniques, installation methods, and long-term preventative maintenance strategies.

Stakeholders who live and work in the surrounding community will be invited to attend the presentations and voice their preferences and concerns. Thereupon, the Committee will select the winning design based upon:


A.   artistic merit;

B.    how well the design incorporates the desired themes (Dreams, Hope, Civil Rights);

C.    suitability of the design to the site (including scale and visibility from adjoining roads);

D.   suitability of materials given Southwest Florida’s harsh subtropical climate;

E.    anticipated durability and longevity of the proposed artwork;

F.     the artwork’s annual maintenance requirements;

G.   artist’s/artist team’s experience incorporating artwork into the built environment; and

H.   artist/artist team’s demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.


The Fort Myers Public Art Committee will present the winning artist/artist team and design to the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board for confirmation. If the CRA Advisory Board concurs with the Selection Committee’s decision, it will recommend adoption of the decision and approval of the artist/artist team and design to the CRA Board of Commissioners for final approval. Both the CRA Advisory Board and CRA Board of Commissioners reserve the right to accept or reject the artist/artist team and design chosen by the Selection Committee. If the CRA Board of Commissioners accepts the artist/artist team and design, a Public Art Agreement will be prepared by the City’s legal department for submittal to and execution by the artist/artist team. That contract will provide that the artist/artist team will retain all reproduction rights under the Copyright Act of 1976 (17 USC sections 101 et.seq.) However, the artist/artist team will be required to contractually agree not to make an exact duplicate or a duplicate that is substantially similar to the artwork or permit others to do so without the written permission of the CRA and PAC, which may be withheld with or without cause The artist/artist team will also be required to grants permission to the CRA, PAC and the City of Fort Myers to make photographs or other two-dimensional reproductions of the artwork for non-commercial purposes, including but not limited to reproductions to be used in promotional materials, catalogs or media publicity, provided these rights are exercised in a tasteful and professional manner. The artist/artist team will also be required to record audio describing their design and artwork that will be included on the City’s free mobile phone app, Otocast.

If either the CRA Advisory Board or the CRA Board of Commissioners rejects the winning artist/artist team and design or the City of Fort Myers/CRA and the winning artist/artist team are unable to come to terms in a mutually acceptable contract, the CRA, LCBHS, and PAC reserve the right to choose instead the second-place finalist followed by the third-place finalist, or start the submittal process over again.




In addition to the foregoing, The CRA and PAC reserve the right to withhold the commission award if the Selection Committee, CRA, LCBHS, or PAC fails to find a satisfactory artwork; the CRA, LCBHS, and Public Art Committee also reserve the right to increase or decrease the budget based upon the submission of the chosen artist.



All decisions by the City of Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency, Lee County Black History Society, Fort Myers Public Art Committee, and Selection Committee are final. Persons responding to this Call to Artists/RFQ do so at their sole expense and risk. No artist/artist team responding to this Call/RFQ is guaranteed the award of a commission or agreement as a result of submitting the items specified above under Submission Requirements or by virtue of being chosen as a finalist or the winning design.



The Lee County, Black History Society, is a unifying organization that instills in all generations hope and pride in Black culture. Its mission is to preserve and commemorate the cultural and educational contributions of both locally and nationally known Black people. The Society traces its origins to The Black Film Society, which concluded in 1990 that a news organization focusing on local Black history and culture was needed. Operating the Williams Academy Black History Museum, LCBHS LCBHS continues to collect local histories and memorabilia throughout the community. Its research archive serves as a resource base for citizens seeking historical information pertaining to Lee County Black citizens and their histories. LCBHS annually sponsors traditional, cultural, and historic activities during Black History Month.



The City of Fort Myers’ public art program is administered by a 9-member Public Art Committee, which consists of 7 voting members and two (2) alternates. Members serve for three-year terms, are not compensated, and must either be a resident of the City, work in the City, or be a member of an artboard or Committee that is located in the City. The Public Art Committee oversees the commissioning, review, installation, and maintenance of public art within the City. The Committee is advised and served by a Public Art Consultant, who functions as an independent contractor.



For further information about this project or the City’s public art program, please visit (including Exterior Artworks). Fort Myers City Hall is located at 2200 Second Street, 4th Floor, Fort Myers, FL 33901. For assistance, please contact Donna Lovejoy, Public Art Liaison, Administrator Services Manager, Public Works, by telephoning 239-321-7217 or emailing Questions may be directed to Thomas Hall, City of Fort Myers Public Art Consultant, at 239-691-2292 or


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Community and Historical References


Application Requirements


Artists must meet at least two of the following criteria in order to have their submissions considered:

  • Completed other public art commissions of a similar scale
  • Received awards, grants, or fellowships
  • Had works included in major private, corporate, or museum collections
  • Had at least one solo exhibition at an American Association of Museum’s accredited institution within the past five years


Your submission must include:

  • Letter of Interest: Brief letter of interest to include how your prior work relates to or qualifies you for this project.
  • Images: Up to 10 digital images of prior work and projects with a similar budget. [For example, please do not include images of a $2,500 or $500,000 artwork since such examples are not similar to or responsive to the budget for this project.]
  • Image List: A description of each image that includes title, date of completion, material(s), size, and project budget.
  • Resume: A current resume of no more than three pages with an emphasis on public art experience. Please include your contact information.

You are to submit the foregoing on the CAFÉ’ site ( at no charge. This online application process requires that all images and materials be submitted in digital format. For digital image requirements, please visit CAFÉ’s Image Prep section. [Because the Selection Committee will be given access to the information uploaded to CAFÉ’ in the course of the Selection Process described below, it is not possible to accommodate requests for alternative methods to make submissions for the Committee’s consideration.]

Eligibility Criteria


Artists who reside in the United States and US territories are eligible to apply. All applicants will be considered regardless of race, gender, gender variance, sexual orientation, national origin, age, religion, marital status, political opinion or affiliation, or mental or physical ability. We encourage minority artists living in the United States and US territories to apply.