CALL TO ARTISTS
Courthouse and State Offices | Bennington, Vermont
Request for Qualifications: Vermont Artists ONLY
The Vermont Arts Council (Council) in association with the Vermont Department of Buildings & General Services (BGS) announces a search for an artist or artist team to oversee design, fabrication, and installation of aesthetic enhancements to the newly renovated Courthouse and State Office building in Bennington, VT. The individual(s) must be able to engage with the community and work in partnership with the Vermont Department of Buildings & General Services, architects for the project and representatives from the various agencies and offices working in the building as well as community members. The artist(s) will conceptualize and identify appropriate aesthetic treatments for proposed project elements. The “Lead Artist” will be responsible for the overall design, planning, and implementation.
The State of Vermont has renovated the Courthouse and State offices in Bennington, Vermont. The building houses not only the Family and Criminal Courts, but also the State’s Attorney’s office, Agency of Human Services, Department for Children and Families (Economic Services Division, the Family Services Division and the Office of Child Support) Department of Corrections, Department of Labor, The Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living and the Department of Buildings & General Services. The services provided by the agencies housed in this building extend to the citizens of Bennington County. The site is located in the town of Bennington, which is home to the historic Bennington Monument and has a population of approximately 15,000 (2010 Census) and is located in the southwestern corner of the state in Bennington County.
Bennington County has abundant recreational opportunities, a strong agricultural history, a vibrant arts and cultural community and a large number of scenic historic villages. One can also find the Shires of Vermont Byway named for the “…scenic region it passes through from Vermont’s southern border with Massachusetts to its northern point where it intersects with the Stone Valley Byway in the heart of Manchester. This ribbon of road, US Route 7 from Pownal to Bennington, and VT Historic Route 7A from Bennington to Manchester, is the historic stretch that has connected the communities of the north shire and south shire for centuries. Historically, a ‘shire town’ was a county seat otherwise known as the governmental center of the county.”
View of Bennington Monument as
seen through main entrance windows
The Council, in consultation with BGS has identified a Project Review Committee (Committee) which will consist of representation from BGS, the Architect, the building occupants and the local community. (The Vermont Arts Council will participate as a non-voting facilitator.) The Committee will be responsible for overseeing the selection of artists in a multi-step process:
Step 1. Artists submit their qualifications for consideration. The Committee meets to review the submissions and selects 3-5 artist “Artist Finalists” for consideration.
Step 2. “Artist Finalists” will have a project orientation and site visit of the building and begin to develop ideas for possible aesthetic treatments. Modest honorariums will be provided for Finalists.
Step 3. The Committee will then conduct interviews with the 3-5 “Artist Finalists” to select one as the “Lead Artist” for the project.
Once the “Lead Artist” is selected he/she will be asked develop design ideas to the Committee and the community for their input and work to then create a fully developed proposal with specific designs, materials, and costs (budget) to be presented to the Committee for their final approval. The Committee will then forward the final design to a Legislative Advisory Committee for their final approval before fabrication can begin.
Maclay Architects from Waitsfield, Vermont was the Architect of Record for the renovation and addition of this project. The construction project included complete demolition of the building that was built in 1978, a deep energy retrofit of the newer three story addition, constructed in 1992, and an all new three-story wing for the department of Labor and the Bennington Division Criminal and Family Courts. The portions of the old building that were retained were completely gutted. All existing materials were removed except the steel frame and concrete foundations. The interiors and building envelope are all new and the project is renewable energy ready. This project is projected to be the most energy efficient building in the States inventory. Some work on the exterior of the building still continues during occupancy. The building opened for public use in April of 2012.
The Committee has reviewed the site and identified the exterior areas nearest the main entrance as especially suitable for public art. In addition, there is also an opportunity to relate artwork at the main entrance with artistic enhancements near the exterior rear employee entrance.
Other public spaces will also be given consideration by the Committee.
When considering artistic enhancements to the building, the Committee hopes that the proposed artwork will reflect one or more of the following qualities & characteristics:
- a spirit of community, cooperation, collaboration and service;
- a sense of justice and equity;
- a sensitivity to the environment and nature;
- transformations and new beginnings.
Artist Finalists will receive a modest honorarium to assist with site visit and development of preliminary design ideas. The selected “Lead Artist” will be awarded a $5,000 planning and design contract. Under a planning and design contract, the lead artist will be responsible for working with the Architect, the Committee and the community to identify specific areas that would be appropriate for aesthetic treatments and to design artistic enhancements for those sites. $35,000 will be available for the fabrication and installation of identified aesthetic treatments.
The Committee will make its selection of the artist based upon the following criteria:
Artist Selection Criteria:
The Committee will make its selection of the artist based upon the following criteria:
1) High Artistic Quality:
•High Artistic Quality of past work;
2) Ability to Collaborate & Communicate Effectively:
•Experience and ability to work and collaborate with design professionals, engineers, community leaders, and artists;
•Ability to communicate effectively;
•Ability to collaborate and work within a team context;
•Willingness to become familiar with the community;
3) Demonstrated ability to manage projects effectively:
•Ability to attend frequent project meetings;
•Ability to develop an appropriate and realistic budget
•Ability to research client need and propose an appropriate design
•Ability to access appropriate resources when necessary;
Once selected, the Artist must design & create artwork that :
(a) is of high artistic quality;
(b) is appropriate to the project site;
(c) is of durable design and uses durable materials;
(d) requires minimal maintenance;
(e) provides maximum resistance to vandalism;
(f) reflects one or more of the qualities and characteristics identified by the Committee
Visual artists, crafts or design artists, (or artist teams) in all media, including landscape architects who are at least 18 years of age and legal residents of Vermont are eligible to apply. Local Bennington county artists are strongly encouraged to apply.
Arts Council Staff and Trustees, Department of Buildings & General Services Staff, Project Review Committee members and their family members are not eligible to apply. The Council does not discriminate against any qualified individual on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, place of birth, age, disability, sexual orientation, HIV test results, or marital status. (If selected as a Finalist, proof of Vermont residency may be required. In addition, artists must be in good standing with regard to taxes and child support payments, as well as have appropriate auto insurance and business insurance.)
July 12, 2012: Deadline for Artist Online Submissions
submitted through Slideroom ((http://vac.slideroom.com) by 11:59 MST/1:59 EST )
(The following is an estimated timeline)
Late July, 2012: Committee meets to review submissions
August, 2012: Artist Finalists selected and given project orientation/site visit.
September, 2012: Artist Finalist Interviews conducted | “Lead Artist” identified and under contract.
October, 2012: Community presentation regarding artist design ideas
November, 2012: Artist designs finalized and approved by The Legislative Advisory Committee
December 2012: Fabrication begins.
All materials must be submitted electronically. There is no submission fee. You will be asked to submit the following:
9 Digital Images – You must submit a maximum of 9 images of completed work to be considered for this project. You may also submit video to illustrate, for example, movement in kinetic sculpture.
Statement of Interest – You will be asked to respond to the following statement in your application: Describe your interest in the Court House and State Office Commission and your qualifications for undertaking such a project. Be sure to address the selection criteria. (maximum 5000 characters)
Résumé – Submit a current résumé of no more than two pages that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist.
To submit your qualifications please go to: http://vac.slideroom.com. Deadline for submissions is Thursday, July 12 2012.
If you have questions about the program or would like more information on the project and the selection process please contact:
Vermont Arts Council staff is generally available Mon – Fri 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST.