As the Division Manager of Cultural Arts for the City of Kettering, Ohio, Shayna McConville has worked in the creative sector for over 15 years. In her city, she oversees the Rosewood Arts Centre and the CitySites Percent for Art Program. In January 2017, she planned on issuing an RFQ for a new $250,000 site-specific public art commission.
The City of Kettering CitySites Public Art Program was seeking artists, artist teams, designers or architects to design a site‐specific public artwork to integrate into a local transit corridor. The city wanted to replace the Schantz Avenue Bridge; Shayna’s goal was to find an artist or artist team who could collaborate with the City’s Engineering Department and integrate art into the construction project.
Shayna and her Artist Selection Committee were open to a variety of artistic styles and media, as long as the final artwork would meet certain requirements relating to scale, visibility, popular appeal, relationship to the community, and structural integrity given the location in a major transit thoroughfare.
Because of the high-profile nature of the project, Shayna wanted to make sure she reached the highest caliber of artists. The artists selected for the project would need experience collaborating with other teams to create large-scale site-specific art.
Shayna saw the CODAworx RFP Toolkit as the perfect tool to manage the public art process, to reach professional artists and to accept applications. As the international authority on commissioning art, CODAworx has a pool of 17,000 artists from around the world to whom Shayna could send her RFQ document. She decided to target the opportunity to all international artists, designers, and architects on CODAworx with past experience in doing commissioned work over $50,000.
“The CODAworx platform was right because the company is connected with a high level of artists, designers, and architects, who work with these budgets, at this scale, and CODAworx members have experience integrating with engineering and capital improvement projects,” Shayna comments.
CODAworx sent the RFQ in two email blasts: once when Shayna first scheduled the email in early February and again three days before the application deadline at the end of March. Applications began coming in right away in February. The Toolkit automatically resized applicant images and organized submissions into clean portfolios. Applications were presented online in a consistent format, providing macro and micro views of project details for her committee to review.
The Artist Selection Committee was “impressed by the quality and quantity of applicants, as well as the visual template for reviewing submissions,” Shayna shares. New artists applied to this art commission that had never applied to a project in Kettering, Ohio before.
Shayna enjoyed using the application management tool built into the CODAworx RFP Toolkit. “The layout on the screen of images and information was very nice – clear and simple. The layout is much nicer [than other artist application tools]” noted Shayna.
The City of Kettering received 94 applications for the Schantz Avenue Bridge project after promoting this commissioned art opportunity through the CODAworx RFP Toolkit. Shayna was hoping for 40 applications and was pleasantly surprised to receive over 90 high-quality submissions. Did the RFP email blasts help? “The data speaks for itself. Two-thirds of the applications came right after the 3-day reminder email about the deadline,” Shayna noted.
From the submissions, four semi-finalists were paid an honorarium of $2,500 each to create proposals: Shane Albritton and Norman Lee from RE:Site, Barbara Grygutis, Joe O’Connell with Creative Machines, and Vicki Scuri. See the semi-finalists on the City of Kettering website. Congratulations to the winner of the commission, Vicki Scuri Siteworks!
Proposals will be reviewed this October, with a winning artist selected by November. The artwork is scheduled to be installed along with the bridge construction with a target completion by the end of 2019.
Following the success of managing this project with the CODAworx RFP Toolkit, when asked if she’ll use the service again to manage the public art process, Shayna says, “Oh yes! I’ll absolutely use CODAworx again!”
“We find CODAworx to be an asset to the public art community, particularly as a platform connecting top-notch public artists, designers, and architects. We recently utilized the CODAworx toolkit for a major public art commission, and were impressed by the quality and quantity of applicants, as well as the visual template for reviewing submissions.”
Shayna McConville, Division Manager of Cultural Arts, City of Kettering, Ohio
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