CALL FOR ARTISTS | STEPS INITIATIVE

STEPS has a call for artwork for Eglington Way BIA!

STEPS Public Art, the Eglinton Way Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the City of Toronto invite professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for public artwork(s) that will be installed at one (1) of five (5) locations along Eglinton Avenue West in 2021 and 2022.

The sculptures will be selected through an open, two-stage competition, with a total budget of approximately $50,000 (inclusive) per artwork. The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: including fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

COMMUNITY BACKGROUND

Situated at a nine-block stretch at the north end of Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood, the Eglinton Way BIA is a picturesque, pedestrian-friendly area. The neighbourhood is rich in history as it is home to the Eglinton Grand and the Eglinton Way Gateway, and character as the BIA features a wide-ranging community of boutique shops and services that make it considered to be one of Toronto’s most fashionable shopping districts.

As the BIA is situated along Eglinton Avenue West, like many other BIAs along this strip, it has been impacted over the past few years by the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. The objective of this project is to bring people back to the Eglinton Way BIA through a unique offering, public art. By partnering with the City of Toronto to commission these public artworks, the Eglinton Way BIA hopes to create a truly unique art and shopping experience outdoors, unlike anything the city has ever seen.

The commissioned art will not only support local businesses but it will also offer a cultural scene where individuals can enjoy a costless art exhibit and will support the Eglinton Way BIA’s vision of bringing additional vibrancy to the area. By creating unique public art sculptures, statues, and murals, we would be bringing people to the street and thereby driving traffic to the local businesses. Our goal over the next five (5) years is to bring twenty-five (25) of these sculptures into the neighbourhood.

PROJECT DETAILS

There are 5 sites identified for artwork within the Eglinton Way BIA catchment area:

  • Avenue Rd. & Eglinton Ave. W (Southeast side) – approx. 58 square feet
  • Elmsthorpe Ave. & Eglinton Ave. W (Southwest side) – approx. 12 square feet
  • Duncannon Dr. & Eglinton Ave. W (Southwest side) – approx. 35 square feet
  • Heddington Ave. & Eglinton Ave. W (Northeast side) – approx. 17 square feet
  • Castle Knock Rd. & Eglinton Ave. W (Northeast side) – approx. 24 square feet

Following a competitive Selection Panel process, shortlisted artists will be asked to develop a design concept for one (1) site. The sites will be assigned to each of the shortlisted artists. The sites will be described in detail in the Terms of Reference for short-listed artists.

Please note that three (3) pieces of art will be selected to be installed in 2021. The remaining two (2) artworks will be installed in 2022.

TWO-STAGE COMPETITION

This is a two-stage, open, Ontario-wide competition for professional artists.

Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions);
is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition);
has a history of public exhibitions; and/ or
has produced an independent body of work

A specially convened Selection Panel, composed of practicing arts professionals, BIA and community members, will be established for this two-stage competition.

STAGE 1: REQUEST FOR EXPRESSION OF INTEREST:
MARCH 17, 2020 – MAY 1, 2021

The Selection Panel will review all submissions and meet in early April 2021 to identify a short-list of ten (10) artists, based on artistic excellence, relevant experience and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.

STAGE 2: REQUEST FOR CONCEPTS: MAY 3 – JUNE 30, 2021

The short-listed artists will be notified shortly after the selection panel’s first meeting and invited to participate in a four (4) week concept development period, which will result in a final concept design proposal and budget. A detailed Terms of Reference document will be provided to short-listed artists, with all of the detailed information required to prepare and submit their full proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $1000.00 (inclusive) for this stage.

Each proposal will first undergo a technical review by City staff, in order to assess them for safety and maintenance concerns. Each artist will receive their technical feedback notes and have time to incorporate them into their proposals, if necessary. Proposals that are deemed not technically viable will not advance to the interview stage.

Following the technical review, shortlisted artists will attend a community Open House (virtual or in-person, depending on current Public Health Recommendations) and present their proposals to the community in late-May 2021 (date TBC). The community will provide feedback that will be consolidated and shared with the shortlisted artists and the selection panel. Each artist will have time to incorporate them into their proposals.

Technical reviews and community feedback will be circulated to the Selection Panel for consideration.

Shortlisted artists will attend an interview (virtual or in-person, depending on current Public Health Recommendations) and present their proposals to the Selection Panel in June 2021 (date TBC). The panel will choose five (5) artists whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope and intent of this project, and has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and realize a public artwork on this site.

The selected artists will be notified in early July 2021. Three (3) works will be fabricated and installed by November 2021. Two (2) works to be fabricated and installed in early 2022. Artists selected to install works in 2022 will be asked to sign a Letter of Intent.

PROJECT TIMELINE

February 18, 2020: EOI issued
March 17, 2021: EOI submissions due
Early-April 2021: Selection panel meeting
Mid-April 2021: Short-listed artists notified
Mid-May 2021: Proposal deadline
Late-May 2021: Technical Review
Late-May 2021: Open House
End of June 2021: Artist interviews and selection

SUBMISSIONS

Professional artists and artistic teams are invited to respond to this EOI by submitting a single pdf document.

This pdf document must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name_First Name_EWBIA) and include:

1. Curriculum Vitae
3-page maximum. Detail professional experience as an artist, past public art experience, and other information relevant to this EOI. If applying as an artist team, please identify all team members and include a CV for each.

2. Artistic Statement
1-page maximum. Outline your artistic experience, ability, approach and interest in this project, highlighting relevant experience. Please note any connection to or understanding of the neighbourhood in which the artworks would be installed. Please also indicate if you would prefer having artwork installed in 2021 or 2022, or if there is no preference. Do not include proposals at this stage of the competition.

3. Artistic Support Material
Maximum of ten (10) images of work. For each image provide a title and image number.

4. Support Material List
A written list that clearly outlines the Artistic Support Material (above) with corresponding titles and numbers. Include the following details in order of: Title, date, location, commissioning agent (if applicable), budget, dimensions, medium/ materials and a brief description of the works (maximum 50 words).

5. References
Names and contact information (current email and phone number) for two (2) references (preferably from recent public art projects). Please identify their role and affiliation in the project. Reference letters are not required.

Value of the Awarded Commission: Approximately $50,000 CAD (inclusive) per artwork

Submissions must be received by 11:59pm, March 17, 2021.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

Email submissions to: info@stepspublicart.org

Please use subject line: Eglinton Way BIA EOI Submission
Submissions must not exceed 20 MB total size

Questions and requests for clarification will be received by email until Sunday, March 14, 2020. Responses to all questions received will be posted on the project page. 

Contact
Alexandra Lambropoulos
Main Streets Coordinator
416-366-6565 x 1
alexandra@stepspublicart.org 

More information here.