The Hub at 31 Brewerytown Public Art Opportunity

By Editorial Team on November 21, 2018
Courtesy of The Hub at 31 Brewerytown.
.
Deadline: December 3, 2018
.

Application Information

Introduction
Westrum Development is seeking an artist or artist team to create public artworks in a variety of media in a new public space that is part of The Hub at 31 Brewerytown project. The commission would include at least two murals as well as elements such as sculpture, lighting and plaza design/surface treatments. The public art commission is being offered under the auspices of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Fine Arts Program, and is being facilitated by Mural Arts Philadelphia.

Goals, Design
The goals of the project are to:

  • Create a unified multi-media art concept that links murals with ground plane, sculpture and/or light
  • Enhance the aesthetics of a new public space
  • Relate to the urban design, landscape and function of the public space
  • Reinforce the plaza’s status as an amenity for the enjoyment of all people in the community
  • Engage with the history and culture of the neighborhood in a deliberate and thoughtful manner
  • Create artworks that reflect the history and culture of the neighborhood
  • Create artworks that reflect the cultural traditions of neighborhood residents

Schedule and Budget
This will be a two-step artist selection process. We expect that finalist artists/teams will be identified in early December, and that artist concepts will be reviewed in early February, and an artist/team will be selected shortly after that. The project will be open to the public in late May, 2019. Some of the artworks, such as murals and the plaza design / surface treatments, should be completed by that time, and other artworks could be installed later.

The art budget will be approximately $190,000. This budget is all-inclusive, including artist fees, artist assistant costs, artist studio costs, supplies and materials, technical consultants and installation of all artworks. If the artist creates a design for the plaza, the budget would pay for the artist design and supervision services and the costs of plaza design and materials that exceed those that are in the base plaza budget.

The Hub at 31 Brewerytown
The Hub at 31 Brewerytown is the latest phase of investments Westrum Development has been making in the western end of Brewerytown for nearly a decade.

The project is located in the block of N. 31st Street between Master and Jefferson Streets. It consists of three apartment buildings with 201 one- and two-bedroom units, parking, workshare space and amenities such as an
outdoor pool. The buildings are four and five stories tall and will be complete by summer, 2019.

The Hub follows several earlier projects by Westrum Development. The project began about a decade ago with a complex of stacked townhomes, called Brewerytown Square, at 31st Street and Thompson Street. Next came a small shopping center, at 31st Street and Girard Avenue, which now includes an Aldi’s supermarket. In the last three years, Westrum has built apartments along Thompson Street, on either side of 31st Street, and has begun converting the former Pyramid Electrical Supply warehouse, at 31st Street and Glenwood Avenue, into apartments.

Westrum Development
Westrum Development Company is an award-winning residential real estate development company in the midAtlantic region. With more than 4,000 homes and rental units constructed, more than 10,000 building lots improved, and involvement in 100 more than communities, Westrum Development capitalizes on market-driven indicators to create brands that meet housing demands and exceeds the expectations of its ever-changing demographic.

Mural Arts Philadelphia
Mural Arts Philadelphia is the nation’s largest public art program, dedicated to the belief that art ignites change.

For 30 years, Mural Arts has united artists and communities through a collaborative process, rooted in the traditions of mural-making, to create art that transforms public spaces and individual lives. Mural Arts engages
communities in nearly 100 public art projects each year, and maintains its growing collection through a restoration initiative. Core Mural Arts programs such as Art Education, Restorative Justice, and Porch Light yield unique, project-based learning opportunities for thousands of youth and adults.

In recent years, Mural Arts has evolved into a multi-disciplinary arts organization exploring the intersection of muralism, public art and contemporary art. In addition, Mural Arts has collaborated with an increasing range of community, civic, cultural and development organizations to realize projects that have expanded the city’s public art portfolio in new and exciting ways. Increasingly, Mural Arts has assisted in private organizations in commissioning artworks that engage the communities where they are working.

Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority
Philadelphia’s Redevelopment Authority launched its Percent for Art Program in March 1959, becoming the first program in the United States to make the commissioning of fine arts an integral part of the urban renewal process.

Since the inception of the Redevelopment Authority’s Fine Arts Program, nearly 400 works of public art have been installed in all areas of Philadelphia. Works of public art can be found in such diverse developments as high-rise commercial and residential towers, housing, shopping plazas, industrial plants, hotels and universities. These works of art represent some of the best works of contemporary artists of regional, national and
international reputation.

The Redevelopment Authority is committed to ensuring that all works of public art are successfully integrated into the development and surrounding community.

The Percent for Art Program is guided by the Program Director and the Fine Art Committee, a group of artists and arts professionals who help to guide all aspects of the public art selection process.

The Project
The Neighborhood
Brewerytown, in North Philadelphia, is a residential community anchored by the Girard Avenue commercial corridor. It is named for the many breweries that were located in the area a century ago because of access to the Schuylkill River and the railroad, and which thrived until Prohibition, from which the breweries never recovered. While the neighborhood was settled by German immigrants early on, it saw an influx in African-Americans during the Great Migration of the mid-twentieth century, and became a bustling working-class industrial neighborhood. As industry disappeared from the city, the neighborhood fell on hard economic times, though it has recently seen a recent influx of young urban professionals and the development of new housing addressing this market. Part of the neighborhood, including the area where this project is taking place, is part of the Brewerytown Historic District.

The Site
The Hub at 31 Brewerytown is located on the block bounded by 31st, Master, 32nd, and Jefferson Streets. Buildings will front 31st Street and Jefferson Street, with parking and a tenant swimming area behind. The site also includes a new public plaza being built on 31st halfway up the block from Master Street.

The artworks will be installed in the new public plaza and on the walls of two buildings adjacent to the plaza, with an option for including an additional mural on a building across the street from the site. The plaza will be open to the public and programmed with activities, such as performances and food vendors, intended for the enjoyment of the broader community.

The plaza is bounded on the north and south sides by residential buildings, on the east side by 31st Street, and on the west side by a private recreation area. The total area of the plaza is approximately 3,500 square feet.

Goals for Public Art
Westrum Development and Mural Arts have established the following artistic and urban design goals for this project:

  • Create a unified multi-media art concept that links murals with ground plane, sculpture and/or light
  • Enhance the aesthetics of a new public space
  • Relate to the urban design, landscape and function of the public space
  • Reinforce the plaza’s status as an amenity for the enjoyment of all people in the community
  • Engage with the history and culture of the neighborhood in a deliberate and thoughtful manner
  • Create artworks that reflect the history and culture of the neighborhood
  • Create artworks that reflect the cultural traditions of neighborhood residents

Potential Approaches for Public Art
Westrum Development is seeking a unified multi-media art concept that includes murals that face the walls of the plaza, and could also include a variety of other approaches, such as artistic treatments of the ground plane, sculpture and/or light. The artist / artist team will be encouraged to look broadly at the site to identify opportunities and work with the developer’s design team in the investigation of their concepts, with the expectation that the various artworks will relate to each other as a group and to the site overall.

Options to consider are:

  • Murals: The plaza is bounded by buildings on the north and south. On the south building, a wall space of approximately 500 s.f. has been reserved for a mural; expanding to a larger area of the wall (an additional 1,860 s.f.) could be considered. On the north side of the building, a wall space of approximately 750 s.f. has been reserved for a mural; expanding to a larger area of the wall (an additional 1,760 s.f.) could also be considered. In addition, a nearby building, with a one-story wall of approximately 3,200 s.f., is available for a mural.
  • Plaza: The developer is interested in having the artist work with the landscape architect to develop the plaza design, with the provision that the functionality of the plaza is maintained. The artist / artist team can also propose a design to be integrated into the surface of the plaza. The plaza is approximately 55 feet wide by 64 feet deep, or 3,520 s.f.
  • Sculpture: The artist / team can propose sculptural elements created specifically for the plaza site. They could be created to interact visually with the plaza murals, to reinforce landscaped edge between the plaza and the street, or otherwise integrate into the plaza site.
  • Light: The artist / team can consider incorporating light into the plaza murals or the building walls, as long as it does not detract from the residential nature of the buildings.

Artist Scope of Work
Artist/Artist Team Responsibilities
Artists/artist teams will be expected to provide the following services:

  • Artists / Artist Teams Selected for the Concept Development Phase
    • For the concept submission:
      • Conduct research as necessary to understand the site, the project, the community’s history and culture and other considerations as necessary to inform the artistic approach
      • Develop a concept for murals and other artworks on the project site
      • Present concept to Owner and Redevelopment Authority Fine Arts Committee as necessary to secure approval of the concept
  • Artists / Artist Teams Selected for the Commission
    • For production of murals:
      • Collaborate with Mural Arts production team on the completion of the murals
    • For production of all other artworks:
      • Collaborate with Westrum Development’s project management and design team to complete the artworks
      • Secure approvals, certifications and permissions as necessary for the fabrication and installation of the artworks
      • Identify and secure the services of fabricators, installers and other professionals as necessary to fulfill the artist responsibilities in the production of artworks
    • Fulfill artist responsibilities within contracted budget and schedule
    • Secure insurance necessary for artist design, fabrication and installation services
    • Participate in community engagement and education activities, to be determined

Mural Arts Responsibility
Mural Arts will play the following role in this project:

  • Coordinate reviews and permissions in regard to artist selection and concept development, with the Owner and with the Redevelopment Authority
  • For the mural component of the project, provide production support, including the provision of technical assistance, materials, supplies and labor as required
  • For other components of the project, ensure coordination with the Westrum team
  • Coordinate marketing, documentation and public engagement

Budget
The overall budget available for the artworks will be approximately $190,000. This budget will be allocated over the cost of producing two or three murals, producing sculptural or light elements, and/or designing surface elements. This budget will be allocated between the artist and Mural Arts Philadelphia, depending on the approved concept and budget breakdown.

This budget would be all-inclusive, including artist fees, artist assistant costs, artist studio costs, supplies and materials, technical consultants and installation of all artworks. For integrated elements, costs will be shared between the artist and developer. For example, if the artist creates a design for the surface of the plazas, the budget would pay for the artist design and supervision services and the costs of plaza design and materials that exceed those that are in the base plaza budget.

The owner will hold a separate contingency fund.

External costs such as marketing, documentation, security and evaluation do not need to be included in the budget.

Schedule 

  • October 24: Issue RFQ
  • December 3: RFQ closes
  • December: Present Artist short list to Redevelopment Authority
  • December-January: Research process and concept development
  • February: Present Artist concepts to Redevelopment Authority
  • February: Notice to proceed
  • March: Review with Redevelopment Authority
  • May-summer: Installation for non-time sensitive elements

Artist Selection Process
Eligibility
We are seeking artists or collaborative artist teams from Philadelphia or the mid-Atlantic region. For the purposes of this RFQ, “artist” refers to an individual artist or a collaborative team of artists.

Selection Process
This will be an open call. Artist portfolios will be solicited by Mural Arts Philadelphia on behalf of Westrum Development.

Mural Arts, Westrum Development and the Redevelopment Authority’s Fine Arts Committee will review the artist submissions and identify a short list of finalists.

Up to three artists / teams will be selected. Each will be paid a stipend of $1,000 to create a concept for murals and related artworks. Each will be invited to present their concepts to Mural Arts, Westrum Development and the Redevelopment Authority’s Fine Arts Committee.

Westrum Development will select the artist/team, based on a review of artist / team qualifications and concepts, a recommendation from Mural Arts and in consultation with the Fine Arts Committee. The decision will be based on the criteria that are listed below. Westrum Development is not required to make a selection from these submissions if, in Westrum Development’s judgment, the relevance, quality or the qualifications of the artists are not appropriate.

Qualifications and Review Criteria
The evaluation of artist / team qualifications will be based a review of completed works, works in progress, studies or proposals, or as otherwise described in curatorial writings, critiques, articles or other publications. The artists’ qualifications shall demonstrate:

  • Experience in creating permanent, durable, outdoor public artworks
  • Appreciation of architecture, urban design, landscape design and public space;
  • Ability to meld a mural with additional media such as ground plane design, sculpture and/or light
  • Interest in engaging with community in research process
  • Availability to accomplish project within the budget and timeline presented
  • Ability to create site-specific artwork that is responsive to the opportunities and constraints of the site;
  • Ability to create work that engages a wide audience.

The evaluation of artist / team concepts will be based on a review of submitted concepts, using the artistic and urban design goals outlined for the project, as well as the following criteria:

  • Feasibility within the allotted budget and timeframe

How to Apply
Preliminary Consultation
Artists who are interested in submitting their qualifications are encouraged to contact Mural Arts with any questions about the project.

Submission Requirements
Interested artists should then submit:

  • An application checklist including the names and contact information for all artists on the team, and an inventory of all material that is being submitted.
  • A CV or resume for each artist (up to 2 pages per artist).
  • A current artist statement for each artist
  • A short written response that answers each of these following questions:
    • What interests you about this site?
    • What idea(s) would you be interested in exploring at this site?
    • If an artist team, how would your collaborative process work?
    • Describe what opportunities you would like to explore at the site.
    • Discuss experience working on projects that are this far advanced in their design.
    • Discuss any other aspects of your practice that will assist us in evaluating your qualifications in the context of the goals and review criteria listed in this RFQ.
  • Up to 15 images of past completed work that you consider relevant to this project.
    Digital images must be JPEG files and must be no more than 300dpi and no larger than 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. Each image must be unlocked and downloadable for viewing.
    Each JPEG file must be titled with the artist’s name and number that corresponds to the annotated image list. File name example: JonesJane001, JonesJane002.
  • Please provide a list of images, including the following information:
    Image name
    Artist’s name
    Title of artwork, Location, Date of Completion, Public Art Budget Medium and Dimensions
    Brief description
  • Provide references of two or more recent clients, not to include Mural Arts Philadelphia. Include name, address, email address and telephone (preferably other public art clients).

Submission Instructions
Submissions will be accepted electronically by email, Drop Box or WeTransfer, sent to the following address. Mural Arts will reply with an acknowledgement of all submissions it receives.

  • Todd W. Bressi
    Interim Coordinator of Artistic Planning
    Mural Arts Philadelphia
    1727-29 Mt. Vernon Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19130
    215-292-3642
    todd.bressi@muralarts.org