Call Detail
2023/2024 Chicago Public Art Prequalified List
Entry Deadline: 6/12/22
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 10, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 10, Maximum:Max. 12
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Local
State: Illinois

The Chicago Public Art Program – a division of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) – invites Chicago-based professional artists, professional artist teams and nonprofit arts organizations to submit qualifications for potential inclusion in the 2023/2024 Chicago Public Art Prequalified List (the “2023/2024 List”).  

Refreshed every two years, the Chicago Public Art Prequalified List is part of DCASE’s efforts to advance public art opportunities across the City of Chicago, increase the diversity of artworks commissioned via the Chicago Public Art Program, elevate the profiles of Chicago artists, and provide equity of access to public art opportunities.

PLEASE NOTE: Artists, artist teams, and nonprofit arts organizations prequalified through previous calls must apply to this call to be considered for prequalification in 2023 and 2024.

I. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION:

The Chicago Public Art Prequalified List is a mechanism for selecting candidates for public art commission opportunities via the Percent for Art Ordinance, the Public Art Menu Program, and other special projects.

During the inaugural period of 2020-2022, artists, artist teams and nonprofit arts organizations on the Chicago Public Art Prequalified List had the opportunity to apply to 14 Requests for Proposals that totaled $245,000. Forty-one artists were commissioned to be part of these projects, six of which were Public Art Menu Program projects and eight of which were special projects of the Chicago Public Art Program. Special projects included Make Yourself Count, the Chicago Census Campaign; the VaxChi Art campaign; and artwork for public health vending machines piloted by the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Each individual artist (“Artist”), artist team (“Team”), or nonprofit arts organization (“Organization”) accepted into the 2023/2024 List will be featured in a page on the City of Chicago website.  Their name(s) will be accompanied by an image of the Artist / Team / Organization, one or two images representative of their body of work, a short statement about the Artist / Team / Organization, their primary medium and a link to their website.

Past public art experience is required. Successful applicants will meet all eligibility requirements, including but not limited to the ability to implement their design concepts in durable and/or permanent, low- or no-maintenance materials suitable for public and/or outdoor environments, while managing all resources and subcontractors involved in the completion of a public art project.

Applicant qualifications will be reviewed by a guest panel of local and national arts professionals convened by DCASE (“Panel”).  The Panel will select from among eligible applicants to create a pool of 50 prequalified Artists / Teams / Organizations, from which candidates may be selected for public art opportunities managed by the Chicago Public Art Program in 2023 and 2024.

THE CHICAGO PUBLIC ART PROGRAM: 
Through the Chicago Public Art Program, DCASE implements the Percent for Art Ordinance, administers the acclaimed Chicago Public Art Collection, and manages the Public Art Menu Program, Mural Registry, and other publicly funded, temporary and permanent special projects throughout the city.

The Chicago Public Art Collection provides the citizens of Chicago with an improved public environment and enhances city buildings and spaces with quality works of art by professional artists.  Since the passage of the ordinance in 1978, the Public Art Program has contributed significantly to the City’s collection, now numbering over 500 artworks in more than 150 public spaces and facilities, including Libraries, Police Stations, transportation facilities, and more.  Through the Public Art Program’s many public art initiatives, DCASE continues to expand the collection and advocates for a diverse public art ecosystem that includes all our city’s communities.

PUBLIC ART MENU PROGRAM: 
Through the Public Art Menu Program, the Chicago Public Art Program works collaboratively with Aldermanic offices to administer neighborhood public art commissions across the city.  Opportunities for Public Art Menu Program projects vary from year to year and are determined by factors such as community and Aldermanic office support, site availability, and available funds.  The Chicago Public Art Prequalified List is a mechanism for selecting candidates for Menu and other public art commission opportunities.

Public Art Menu Program projects are required to be accessible and/or visible to the public, and priority is given to project proposals that activate City-owned sites including vacant lots, facilities, and the public right-of-way.  Menu artworks must be constructed of durable materials suitable for outdoor use and require minimal to no maintenance.  Minimum lifespans for Menu artworks are five years for sculpture and three years for murals.

Each prequalified Applicant—whether working as an individual Artist, Team member, Organization, Organization’s lead artist, or a combination of the aforementioned—will be eligible for up to one new MENU commission for artwork through the Chicago Public Art Program in a single calendar year.

CITY OF CHICAGO MURAL REGISTRY: 
Outdoor murals commissioned via Chicago Public Art Program opportunities will be entered into the City of Chicago Mural Registry. 

II. APPLICANT ELIGIBILITY FOR 2023/2024 LIST:

  • A. This opportunity is open to individual artists (Artists) and artist teams (Teams) residing in Chicago, Illinois.
  • B. Nonprofit arts organizations (Organizations) that are resident and incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, may also apply in partnership with one specified artist or a combination of specified artists acting as the project lead artist(s).
  • C. Artist / Team / Organization must demonstrate:
    • 1.) Ability to develop and implement design concepts in durable and/or permanent materials suitable for public and/or outdoor environments, and which require minimal to no maintenance
    • 2.) Administrative capacity to responsibly and effectively manage the resources involved in completing an art installation on time, within budget, and in compliance with all applicable codes, ordinances, and contracts.  This may include but is not limited to items a.) through e.) below.  As directed in section V. Application Material Requirements, please describe applicant's administrative and managerial experience per each work sample.
      • a.)    Proposing and adhering to practicable: project budgets, timelines, production materials and installation methods
      • b.) Subcontracting to properly credentialed professionals such as structural engineers, draftsmen, fabricators, and installers
      • c.) Carrying all insurance required by applicable laws, codes, ordinances, and contracts.  NOTE: Proof of current insurance is not a requirement of this RFQ
      • d.) Securing all necessary permits and approvals
      • e.) Coordinating with all applicable City departments and stakeholders
  • D. Each artist, whether seeking prequalification as an individual Artist, as part of a Team, as a lead artist for an Organization, or a combination of the aforementioned, must be:
    • 1.) A professional artist
    • 2.) At least 18 years old
    • 3.) A United States citizen or permanent legal resident of the United States
    • 4.) A resident of the city of Chicago, Illinois
  • a.) Proof of residency is required for application.
    • i.) Only a current, valid Illinois Driver’s License, State of Illinois ID, or recent utility bill in artist’s name will be accepted.
    • ii.) P.O. boxes will not be accepted.
  • E. For the purposes of this call, a professional artist is someone who:
    • 1.) Has at least a two-year history of professional art practice
    • 2.) Has specialized training in the field (not limited to academic training)
    • 3.) Has demonstrated success in the arts through the creation of high-quality work, especially that which is well-suited for public spaces
    • 4.) Is recognized as a professional by peers (artists working in the same discipline) and experts in the field
    • 5.) Is not enrolled in an undergraduate course of study in the visual arts as of June 12, 2022.
  • F. For the purposes of this call, a professional artist team:
    • 1.) Is two or more professional artists (as defined above) collaborating in the creation of joint work* for which all team members hold copyright
    • 2.) Must demonstrate a body of joint work spanning at least 12 months prior to applying to this call (beginning June 12, 2021, or earlier)
  • G. For the purposes of this call, a nonprofit arts organization:
    • 1.) Must be a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization incorporated in the state of Illinois for at least 12 months prior to applying to this call (incorporation date must be no later than June 12, 2021
    • 2.) Must have a primary mission to create, produce, present, provide, or support arts and culture services for the public
    • 3.) Must be located and operate in the city of Chicago, with a valid Chicago Street address as its principal place of business
    • 4.) Must demonstrate a body of joint work created in collaboration between the Organization and the proposed lead artist(s) with whom it is applying

 

III. SELECTION PROCESS AND CRITERIA:

The Panel will assess all eligible Artist / Team / Organization applications based on:

  • A. Artistic excellence: Application demonstrates originality of concept and content; mastery of skills and techniques; professional quality of craftsmanship; professional approaches to process and presentation.
  • B. Professional competence: Application demonstrates activities indicating a professional practice, which may include but are not limited to specialized training in the field (not limited to academic training); previous commissions for site-specific work; exhibitions in museums, art galleries, and/or other art venues; participation in artist residency programs; and other professional activities.
  • C. Administrative capacity: Application demonstrates the organizational skills and resource management capabilities necessary to successfully develop and deliver a commissioned artwork on time, within budget, and in compliance with all applicable codes, ordinances and contracts.  
     

IV. HOW TO APPLY:

  • A. The application is accessible via callforentry.org (CaFÉ) from April 1, 2022, to June 12, 2022.
    • 1.) Interested applicants must register with CaFÉ to view the application.
    • 2.) Only applications submitted via CaFÉ will be reviewed.  Do not submit materials by email or by post.
    • 3.) For technical assistance using CaFÉ, please visit https://www.callforentry.org/artist-help-cafe/
  • B. Applicants may apply as an Artist, a Team, and/or an Organization, but may not submit more than one application in each category.
    • 1.) A unique portfolio of previous work ("Work Samples") must be provided with each application.  For example: if applying as an Artist and as a Team, the work samples you provide for your Artist application must be different from the work samples you provide for your Team application.


CHECKLIST:

See full instructions in "FORM QUESTIONS" and "CHOOSE WORK SAMPLES".

Artists and TeamsOrganizations
Letter of InterestLetter of Interest
Resume or Curriculum Vitae for each artist, submitted as one collated document.Resume or Curriculum Vitae for each lead artist, submitted as one collated document.
Eligible Work SamplesEligible work samples for all lead artists
Annotated Image ListAnnotated Image List
Proof of ResidenceProof of Residence
 

Organizational Documents:

-Principal Officer’s Driver’s License

-501c3 Determination Letter

-Organization’s 2021 Form 990

-Organizations File Detail Report 

Artist’s or Team’s website linkOrganization’s website link
Artist’s or Team’s short bio/medium/contact infoOrganization’s and each lead artist’s short bio/medium/contact info

 

V. SCHEDULE

* Dates are approximate

STAGE Timeline
Application OpensApril 1, 2022
Application ClosesJune 12, 2022, at 11:59 am CST
Technical SupportApril 26, 2022
Submission ReviewMid-June 2022-July 2022
Notify Prequalified List ArtistsLate August 2022-Early September 2022
Prequalified Designed Document ReleaseEnd of December 2022

 

APPLICATION TIMELINE:

Application Opens:  Thursday, April 1, 2022, 11:59 AM CST

Application Closes:  Sunday, June 12, 2022, 11:59 PM CST

Technical Support Session:  Tuesday, April 26, 2022
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM CST
ZOOM

  • This will be an information session for Artists / Teams / Organizations applying through the CaFÉ interface.
  • This will be a technical support session only.
    • No portfolios or other application materials will be reviewed.
    • No forthcoming public art projects will be identified.
  • Please register in advance for the Zoom meeting at 
    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEpde6spjorGdZnOPiuZ_MgDu-qmJSTNw72
    • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

 

VI. RESOURCES FOR APPLICANTS:

Chicago Public Art Program
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/provdrs/public_art_program.html

Chicago Public Art Prequalified List
https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/provdrs/public_art_program/svcs/public_art_list.html

IRS Tax Exemption Requirements for 501(c)(3) Organizations
https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501c3-organizations

Office of the Illinois Secretary of State
https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/business_services/corp.html

 

QUESTIONS?  
Contact: Maryrose Pavkovic, maryrose.pavkovic@cityofchicago.org
 

 

Each applicant must submit an entirely digital application in pdf or word doc file.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.  See above for application requirements.
 

ELIGIBILITY

This opportunity is open to individual artists (Artists) and artist teams (Teams) residing in Chicago, Illinois.

Nonprofit arts organizations (Organizations) that are resident and incorporated in Chicago, Illinois, may also apply in partnership with one specified Artist or a combination of specified Artists acting as the project lead artist(s).