, Gloucester, MA

January 7, 2013

City extends RFP for HarborWalk artwork

By Times Staff
Gloucester Daily Times

---- — The city of Gloucester has issued a challenge to artists across the nation to propose, design, create and complete new public art for the new downtown designed HarborWalk.

And the city is putting up a total of $47,000 for the work.

The call has gone out for proposals from the offices of Mayor Carolyn Kirk and Harbor Development Director Sarah Garcia; all media or art forms will be considered for the final three projects.

The city will award $20,000 for one permanent project; and two additional prizes totaling $27,000 for two other works, at least one of which must be temporary. The minimum project budget is $7,500.

Deadline is Feb. 8, and only 500 proposals will be considered.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) will be evaluated by a two-stage process administered by the Gloucester Coittee for the Arts. The first stage of the decision will narrow the field of applicants to a short list at least nine semifinalists, while Stage Two will produce the three finalists who will be awarded the commissions.

All applicants must identify how their proposed project is significant to Gloucester in content and to the HarborWalk in particular. These public art projects are intended to honor and embrace Gloucester’s long and continued arts legacy and rich cultural diversity, and to celebrate artists, according to the arts committee.

The city’s HarborWalk, opened last summer, is a $1.5 million project that was funded jointly by the city and the state’s Seaport Advisory Council. The project includes a walkway that carries visitors along the Gloucester waterfront from the to of St. Peter’s Park to the city-owned I-4 C-2 property on Rogers Street, then up to and along a portion of Main Street.

Beyond the designated walkway, it also features 42 granite pilings that serve as stops to engage the walker in “story moments,” with digital videos and QR codes that tell stories of Gloucester’s heritage and the city’s people.

The story moment information and technology are in place so that a smartphone and the free app (information available in the brochure for the walk) allows the visitor to click the QR code at Stopping Station No. 2, for example, and bring up poetic summer resident T.S. Eliot’s recorded voice reading an excerpt from the “Four Quartets” from 1941.

The panel for selection of the finalists for the public arts grants will include, among others:

Andrée Bober, Landmarks Director, The University of Texas, Austin.

Trevor Smith, Curator of Contemporary Art, Peabody Essex Museum in Salem

Peter Sollogub and Chris Muskopf, architects, Cambridge Seven Associates — the company that designed the HarborWalk.

Artists interested in submitting a proposal need to visit to view or download the complete and full request for proposal, and visit “CaFEonLine” to apply.

There is no fee to apply.