Call for Artists: 7 Locations for Public Art on Private Property Along the Gowanus Canal Esplanade- Brooklyn, NY

  • Commissioning Entity

    Arts Gowanus

  • Application Open Date


  • Application Deadline Date


  • Minimum Budget

    $75000 Per work of art

  • Maximum Budget

    $400000 Per work of art

  • Location of Commission

    Brooklyn, New York, United States

  • Geographic Eligibilty


  • Contact Name

    David Kutz

  • Contact Email

    [email protected]

  • Contact Phone

  • Commission Document

    View Link Document

  • Brief Description

    To enable the application form for this opportunity, please be sure you are registered and logged in to a CODAworx account.

    The goal of this call is to identify artists interested in and capable of creating culturally meaningful sculptural works in the newly created Waterfront Public Access Areas (WPAA) and other potential locations within the Gowanus Neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.The public art installed in the Gowanus neighborhood should relate in a creative manner to an aspect of the neighborhood’s history, culture and geography in order to inform and enhance the public’s experience. Further, the intent is that through the process defined in this document, artists will be linked to private property owners who will select the short list of artists, underwrite the provisioning of a more detailed Request for Proposals (RFP) and then underwrite the selected works through final design, fabrication, and installation.

    The selection process will be coordinated and led by Arts Gowanus, collaboratively with the Gowanus Neighborhood Art Advisory Committee (GNAAC) and the Gowanus Oversight Taskforce (GOTF).

    Rendering View the forthcoming Gowanus Canal Esplanade at 300 Nevins Street. Image Courtesy of Fogarty Finger
    Arts Gowanus is a nonprofit organization working to support, promote, and advocate for local artists and a sustainable arts community in Brooklyn. It nurtures relationships among individual artists, arts organizations, local businesses, and the community. The organization produces open studio events, professional development workshops, public art works, artistic collaborations and exhibitions. Its mission is to ensure artists remain a crucial part of the neighborhood and its identity. Arts Gowanus believes that supporting the diverse creativity of local artists contributes to the singularly vibrant cultural life and energy of New York City and that it is critical not only for the artists, but also our society that the arts continue to thrive in Gowanus. We are committed to utilizing art as a catalyst to build deeper community relationships and a more equitable neighborhood.
    Rendering image courtesy of Fogarty Finger
    Desired Artist Qualifications: Individual professional artist or artist teams who demonstrate the ability to complete a project of this scope may apply.
    • Artist and all members of an artist team must be at least 18-years-old and be permitted to work in the United States.
    • Artists that live and/or work in New York State or have created a significant public work of art in Brooklyn, NY within the past 5 years are preferred but local residency is not a requirement.
    • Artists from underserved backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
    • If artists choose to submit material as a team - one member of the team must be designated as the lead and this role may not change if selected for the short-list. Team changes after the short list is declared must be approved by the Review Panel.
    • Artists must demonstrate a strong understanding of and passion for the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn.
    • The artwork and all major components must be manufactured in the United States.
    • Artists who live and/or work in the Greater Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn are strongly encouraged to apply.

    See owner’s budget ranges in Exhibit A of the commission document. Budgets will vary based on the property owner’s desires and the number and nature of the works at each site. The budget provided by artists for "optional" new works of art shall be all inclusive, including all fees associated with the design, fabrication, and installation of the artwork.


    Gowanus Neighborhood Plan Background:
    A key and prominent feature of the Gowanus neighborhood is the historic Gowanus Canal. As part of the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan, the Gowanus Canal Waterfront Access Plan (WAP) established special regulations for the design of Waterfront Public Access Areas (WPAAs), which are required by property owners who are building alongside the canal. The WAP includes incentives for developers to go above and beyond the basic requirements by providing amenities that reflect community priorities. To incentivize public art and historic interpretation elements in WPAA designs, a planting area reduction is available. Click here for information on the planting area reduction public art incentive.


    This Open Call seeks artists for seven sites: Five public artworks at Nevins Landing North and Nevins Landing South (aka 300 Nevins Street) with a budget of between $75,000 and $400,000 for each work of art is under development by Charney Companies and Tavros Holdings. Two public artworks at 267 Bond Street with a budget of between $100,000 and $150,000 for each work of art is under development by PMG.


    For more background on the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan from the NYC Department of City Planning: Click Here


    For a review of the canal's history, community interactions and art opportunities, please click here for Arts Gowanus' Public Art Framework

    Phase One Application Requirements and instructions:
    Artists who would like to be considered for a commission must submit responses on this webpage by July 22, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT. Information required will include:
    • Name(s), home street address, studio street address, email address and telephone numbers.
    • Artist Statement not to exceed 800 words. (required)
    • Optional: Statement of Interest and/or concept for specific site or group of sites. Please include an estimate of the all-in cost that includes artists fees and the cost of required non-artist consultants, materials, fabrication and installation. Please submit this optional response as a single PDF document not to exceed 100MBs.
    • A resume, a brief biography of each artist, and a list of three professional references, include their name, title, phone number and email address. (professional references will not be contacted during this phase). These materials are to be submitted as a PDF not exceeding 3-pages.
    Rendering image courtesy of Fogarty Finger
    • Check Box: Do you or key members of your artist group live and/or work in the Greater Gowanus neighborhood and/or have a direct and meaningful connection to the Greater Gowanus creative community. Y/N. Please provide information regarding your relationship to the Gowanus neighborhood. Not to exceed 100 words.
    • Do you consider yourself to be a member of an underserved community group? Y/N. If yes, and if this impacts your creative approach and/or artistic process, please include a statement to that effect in your 'Artist's Statement'
    • Examples or samples of previous work: Provide a minimum of five (5) and maximum of eight (8) work samples. Include title, context, location, materials, dimensions, completion date, commissioning body and the all-in cost for public art projects submitted for review.
    • File naming: files MUST NOT include the name of the artist or artist group and must be formatted as follows: Artist or art group initials, title of work, year of completion. Example: JT_bloodred_2024.jpg. All submissions must be .jpeg or .jpg and not greater than 2000 pixels on the long side. Preferred color space: RGBs. Any image not submitted following these rules will cause the entire application to be rejected.
    • OPTIONAL: Artist may include a list of social media handles, websites, video links, or other demonstrated work as additional support.

    Phase One Judging Criteria:

    • 30 points- Quality of art samples
    • 20 points- Professional experience in working on commission projects of this scope
    • 20 points- Demonstrated ability to compelete similar projects on time and on budget
    • 20 points- Ability to communicate design ideas
    • 5 points- Professional references related to public art
    • 5 points- Currently lives and/or works in the Greater Gowanus neighborhood and/or has a direct and meaningful connection to the Greater Gowanus creative community
    Phase Two- Short List:
    The most highly scored artists (or teams) will be submitted to the property owners. They will select the artist they prefer to be short-listed. Prior to a public release, this group of artists will be presented to GNAAC for review and comment.   Professional references from the Phase One application may be contacted and video conference interviews may be scheduled. The owners will then select artist from this short-list that they would like to provide a preliminary site-specific RFP. Those artists will be paid a fee for the submission of the site-specific RFP of $1500 and must submit their plans by 11:59pm EDT October 15, 2024.


    Please see the commission document for this opportunity for full project information and application instructions. To apply, be sure you are signed in to a CODAworx account and click the "APPLY TO OPEN CALL" button in the upper right hand corner of this page.