Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cincinnati Findlay Market Public Art RFQ + Concept


Public Art Project

Cincinnati Findlay Market

Artist’s Budget: $140,000 USD

DEADLINE: Sunday, February 15, 11:59 PM MST

Project Overview

ArtWorks, with the generous support of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation of Greater Cincinnati invite artists residing in the United States to submit qualifications including relevant past work and a site-specific conceptual sketch for a public art installation at Cincinnati’s Findlay Market, Ohio's oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati's most cherished institutions. Representing the second of a three year commitment from the Haile Foundation, this project aims to create an engaging, delightful, and memorable installation that enhances and complements the iconic nature of Findlay Market. Two to three artists or teams will be selected as finalists by a jury and paid $500 to develop full design proposals. The total budget for this public art project is $140,000.  A separate $10,000 fund will be set aside for maintenance. 

Eligibility: This RFQ is open to all professional artists and artist teams over the age of 18, who currently reside in the United States.

Application Deadline: February 15, 2015, 11:59pm MST via

 ArtWorks and The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation

Our City is a gallery. That’s the premise of ArtWorks’ public art program and award-winning mural program. ArtWorks has an excellent track record of employing artists and engaging the community through wonderful installations of public art. Since 1997, ArtWorks has helped transform Greater Cincinnati’s neighborhoods, providing inspiration for visitors and residents through the creation of 90 outdoor murals. A few examples of ArtWorks’ other public art commissions include: in 2010 ArtWorks commissioned LeFerve Studios to create bronze sidewalk in-lays in Cincinnati’s Clifton neighborhood. In 2013, ArtWorks commissioned Wowhaus Studios to create two site-specific kinetic sculptures in Cincinnati’s Pendleton neighborhood. In 2014, ArtWorks commissioned Richard Renaldi to create a large-scale, Cincinnati-specific, public installation of his photography series Touching Strangers throughout the city.

With a generous gift from The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile Jr. Foundation toward the creation of Public Art in Cincinnati, ArtWorks seeks to present permanent site specific installations in public spaces that appeal to a broad public.

Project goals 

  • Complementary – Work should stand in complement to the iconic presence of Findlay Market and enhance the patron’s affinity for Findlay Market and Love of Cincinnati.

  • Delight – Work should create a sense of charm, loveliness, or beauty for the observer. Should have the potential to elicit a smile.

  • Memorable – Work should leave a positive lasting impression on the observer.

  • Sense of arrival – Work should provide a sense of arrival at Findlay Market for pedestrians and riders of the soon-to-be-complete Streetcar.

  • Engaging – Works should ‘invite you in’ emotionally, should have a visual gravity that encourages the patron to observe the work.

  • Durable - materials should last outdoors for a minimum 10 year time period.

Site Description & Considerations

Findlay Market Overview

Findlay Market is Ohio's oldest continuously operated public market and one of Cincinnati's most cherished institutions. The Market is located just blocks from downtown in Over-the-Rhine, a dense historic neighborhood rich in 19th century architecture. Open Tuesday through Sunday, Findlay Market is home year-round to about two dozen indoor merchants selling meat, fish, poultry, produce, flowers, cheese, deli, and ethnic foods. On Saturdays and Sundays from April to November the Market also hosts a thriving farmers market, dozens of outdoor vendors, numerous street performers, and lots of special events. Findlay Market is a gathering place for people from all over the city. It routinely attracts socially, economically, racially, and ethnically diverse crowds in Cincinnati. Visitors come for the sights, sounds, and smells of an old-fashioned public market, for the great variety of fabulous fresh foods, for bargains, for people watching, and for a quintessentially urban shopping experience. The area is also undergoing increased redevelopment with the addition of a Streetcar, nearby breweries, businesses, condos and restaurants.

Western Plaza/Esplanade of Market House

The area of the market house with the greatest visibility and is the most desirable location for siting a public art work is the Western Plaza/Esplanade. The dimensions of the plaza run approximately 75’ long along Elm Street and 23 feet from sidewalk to the overhand of the Market house.

The Western Plaza is currently the second most trafficked point of entry to the market.

In 2016, the Cincinnati Street Car System will have a north-bound stop a few steps south of the Western Plaza, making this a more visible and foot-trafficked location.

This site is currently heavily populated during peak hours, programmed as a “bier-garten” with live music, tables and chairs for Market patrons during warmer months, especially on weekends as well as other special events during other seasons, like winter Christmas tree sales, thus creating a desire to preserve ground space of the plaza when possible.

Due to Findlay Market’s desire to preserve functional ground space for such programming, artists are encouraged to elevate their works via either suspension, or by a pole or column with a small footprint. If more than an approximately 3’x3’ footprint is to be occupied by the work of art in the plaza space, the art should incorporate functionality for the space.

Artists are also encouraged to look at the approximately 50’ x 7’ footprint created by seven round terra-cotta planters measuring approximately 5’ in diameter that serve as both beautification elements, but also as traffic bollards between the seating area of the plaza and the intersection of West Elder Street and Elm Street. One or more of these planters may be removed and replaced with public art.

Historic District Conservation Guidelines

Findlay Market exists within a local historic conservation district and is a historic landmark itself retaining much of the original building from 1852. Therefore, all installations must be approved by the Local Historic Conservation Board and be approved with a Certificate of Appropriateness. Each historic district or landmark has its own set of conservation guidelines, which are used to evaluate proposed work. These guidelines are intended to protect the character of an individual building and site as well as the surrounding historic district. The Historic Conservation Office staff can provide technical assistance on a project and advice on the compliance of a project with the guidelines. Preliminary reviews of the proposal are available.

Over-the-Rhine Historic District guidelines may be found here:

Images of Site

Link to Dropbox of Findlay Market site images:

Project Artist Budget

$140,000. Inclusive of:

  • Artist fee

  • Fabrication

  • Site preparation

  • Shipping and Installation of art

  • Additional travel and accommodations during project for a minimum of 2 trips: installation and dedication

$10,000, separate fund to be allocated for maintenance

Project Timeline


January 9                         Applications Open

February 15                      Application Deadline

March 15                          Finalists Notified and invited to submit full proposal

May 30                            Full Proposal Deadline

Mid-June                          Presentations of Proposals, if desired and necessary

July                                 Final Artist Selected

September 1                     Final Design, with engineering drawings due from Artist

Sept., Oct.                        Reviews and Approval from City of Cincinnati, Conservator/Planning & Buildings

Nov. – Feb. 2016                Fabrication

Spring 2016                       Installation

Submission Requirements

  • Current Resume (two page limit)

  • Artist Statement (4000 characters, approximately 900 words)

    • Describe your experience in site-specific public art

    • Describe your experience working within a historic district

    • Description of idea and approach to the Haile Findlay Market Public Art project, how you would approach the project given the budget and site considerations.

  • List of professional references (at least three): Please include name, address, phone number, and email address for each individual.

  • 6 - 10 digital images of previous work.

    • .jpg format preferred

    • Each image must be 5 megabites or less.

  • Minimum of 1 site-specific conceptual sketch of work of art that responds to the Haile / Findlay Market Public Art Project goals, site description and considerations, with description.

    • Sketch may be a pencil drawing, or in black and white.

    • Sketch should be placed in situ.

Successful Applications will:

  • Exhibit a track record of successful site-specific public art works, working within a given budget,

  • Proof of ability to be sensitive to the context of a site,

  • Understand technical demands of working within a historic district,

  • Clearly convey project goals in concept sketch and description.

Delivery of Materials and Presentation

  • All submissions should be made through

  • Proposal materials should be submitted by 11:59 MST on Sunday February 15, 2014

Any additional physical materials may be submitted to:         


ATTN: David Heyburn

20 E. Central Parkway

Cincinnati, OH 45202


ArtWorks Public Art Manager – David Heyburn


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