The Commissioned Art Timeline
Why You Need to Start Early
Commissioned art is increasingly used as a powerful branding and messaging element for high-value building projects. Development and design professional are finding themselves in the position of having to secure great art for their clients through well-executed commissioning processes. CODAworx has identified key success factors for this work. Working a realistic timeline into your planning process is the first one to get right.
The commissioning process can take from as little as five months, to three or more years so it’s never too early for you to start considering art. Compelling, site-specific installations require collaboration between commissioners, artists, designers, and industry resources to be successful. Artists are being brought in during early-stage project planning to realize the highest impact between art and design, and to make sure the building or site can support the art.
The above Commissioned Art Timeline (Click to see enlarged version) is the result of our experience helping architects, developers, and interior designers hire artists. We use a more detailed version in our CODAworx Concierge Service where we handle the RFQ/RFP process for commissioners from start to artist selection. We’ve simplified the scenarios here into three categories based on price range. The bulleted examples are from four projects that were created through our Concierge Service. You can find out more about these individual projects through our past CODAflash case studies: Isthmus Wall Art, Cascade Chandelier, Waterfall Mural, and Rotary Centennial Interactive Sculpture.
The timeline works for the majority of commissioned art projects created by CODAworx artist members. It is not limited to just the CODAworx Concierge Service projects. The Commissioned Art Timeline is intended as a guide for all commissioners as you plan for future projects — an outline to begin the discussion early with your team.
The Phases of the Commissioned Art Process
When to start commissioned art? Your team needs to determine the budget and broad project requirements before starting the process. Requirements include identifying the space for the art and the general guidelines on what you’d like the art to accomplish. Is it purely aesthetic or should it be interactive? Does it need to tell a story? Communicate a message about a brand or mission? Once you know your budget and the goal of the piece, you can start your journey to finding an artist.
Phase 1: Create RFQ/RFP
You identify who is going to be on the artist selection committee, which refines the details of your project and put them in writing. The document your team writes is called the RFQ — Request for Qualifications. Like the name suggests, you ask artists to submit their qualifications such as resume, letter of interest, and images of their past work.
Phase 2: Open for Qualifications
During Phase 2 your project is open for applications. You post and advertise the opportunity in hopes that you receive a large number of qualified applicants that are interested in the project. The longer the timeframe you can have here the better to give artists and designers an opportunity to apply. Another reason to start the process early.
Phase 3: Proposals and Artist Selection
After the deadline for applications, your committee can begin narrowing down the artist pool. Phase 3 can take one month for smaller projects or six months for larger projects. During this time period your committee needs to evaluate the responses, select semi-finalists, conduct interviews, receive design proposals, and select a finalist.
Phase 4: Build and Install
After you’ve selected and hired your artist or designer, it’s time to let them build the commissioned piece. This final phase is affected by many artwork variables, including scale, complexity, materials, and access to the site; as well as external variables, such as construction permits, the architect’s timeline, the availability of industry collaborators, and the weather. These variables are sometimes unpredictable, and because of how collaborative the commissioned art process is today, it’s increasingly important to start considering art early.
Are you behind on your timeline? Ready to get started? Or, want to learn more about the steps that go into commissioning art? Reach out to our RFP Specialists.
About the CODAworx Concierge Service
The Concierge Service was created to simplify the RFQ/RFP process from start to finish. CODAworx helps commissioners of art expand their expertise and extend their reach. Our RFP Specialists will work closely with key decision makers to write custom Request for Qualifications. From there, our specialists handle everything from contacting artists and designers, managing the application process, scheduling interviews, and more. CODAworx can help commissioners reach over 17,000 experienced artists and designers around the world. Contact us at email@example.com, or via phone at 608-467-3040, to begin your next commissioned art project today.