Current Public Art Opportunities for Artists
The Fredericton Playhouse Inc. is interested in incorporating a contemporary art installation that will be prominently and permanently installed in the lobby. The designated site for the artwork located at the top of feature stairs (see page 5 of Request for Qualifications) is generous in scale and will be viewed from both the interior and exterior of the building. The art installation is anticipated to be bold and visually strong.
The City of Fredericton (on behalf of the Fredericton Playhouse Inc.) is issuing this Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”) for professional artists working in the public art realm to create, fabricate and install an original site-specific public artwork for a new Performing Arts Centre. The Performing Arts Centre is planned for opening in the Fall of 2026 in downtown Fredericton. This RFQ is the first of a two-stage process.
Click here for a link to the RFQ.
An optional information meeting was held on November 7, 2023, from 2:00 - 4:00 pm (Atlantic). There was a presentation by the architect and an opportunity to post questions.
Click here to access the slide-show presentation including the architect design elements and features from the virtual information session (English only).
Fredericton Performing Arts Centre Request for Qualifications Questions & Answers
Questions relating to the Qualifications and Artistic Approach
Q. How much detail should I include in the one page ‘artistic approach’ to this opportunity’?
A. Please describe the conceptual or philosophical approach to your idea for the installation.
You are welcome to talk about who you may work with and materials you are considering.
Q. Do I need to include resumes for all specialists on my team. e.g., carpenters, electricians?
A. No, please include resumes for the artists only.
Q. Can I include reference letters from my clients?
A. No, please only include the contact’s name, phone, and email address.
Q. Can I include quotes from my clients demonstrating my record and ability to design, fabricate and install works at this scale?
Q. Can I submit projects in progress as examples of past work?
A. Three examples of past projects, ideally completed, should be submitted. The intent is to demonstrate your experience with this scale of work.
Q. How many images can I submit for the three examples of past work?
A. Please submit up to three images for each past work.
Q. Deadline to submit/respond to the RFQ?
A. December 4
Questions relating to size, depth, floor space, ceiling:
Q. Can the installation be mounted on the wall AND take up floor space?
A. No, the installation cannot take up any floor space as this is along an entrance to balcony corridor.
The artwork can have some relief but shall accommodate intentional or accidental contact due to people moving through the area. It should not cause damage to clothes or provide a risk for injury to anyone passing by.
Q. What is the allowable depth of the artwork?
A. The art piece may have a maximum depth of 90mm.
Q. Can the relief work go right down to the floor? How far off the floor should the art installation be?
A. Technically the artwork could go down to the floor, but artists should be aware of building cleaning that will occur and the risk of damage to the art.
Q. Can the installation be suspended from the ceiling in front of the wall?
Questions about materials and structural details of the art space:
Q. What is behind the designated art installation wall and is the space accessible?
A. Space is not readily accessible. At level 2 there are washrooms behind the wall. At level 3 there is a conference room.
Q. What is behind the window on the designated art installation wall?
A. Conference room. Window is not to be obstructed.
Q. Is the window glass tinted?
A. The window glass on the designated wall is not tinted.
Q. What is the load bearing capacity of the designated art installation wall?
A. TBC. Wall assembly may be adjusted for heavier installations. The artist should advise on the weight of the artwork. We would consider additional concealed supports in the wall for heavier proposals and coordinate with the structural engineer. The current wall has steel studs and plywood blocking.
Q. How will the art be anchored to the wall?
A. See above.
Q. How can a heavier art installation be attached to the wall?
A. See above. Details such as these can be discussed in in Stage 2 submissions.
Q. What is the designated art installation wall made of?
A. 3mm thick architectural plaster with striations in it.
Questions about what form the artwork could take or elements that can be incorporated.
Q. Can you imagine the artwork being blended or contrasting with the architecture and tiling in its form and material?
A. The most successful experience on the part of the architect is to have art that is unique but integrated with the architecture, programming, sense of creativity, etc. of the building. The art can be both a contrast and be integrated. It can be integrated and still be visible. There is no preconception of what the art installation should be. Integrated and not blended – are different approaches. Not looking for something to “blend in or fall away”.
Q. Can the installation include water?
Q. Will power be available for electrical elements of the commission?
A. The project will supply one 120V 15Amp circuit to the area. If additional power/data is required, requirements will need to be reviewed and approved.
Q. Can lighting be incorporated into the public art design?
A. Yes, but lighting should not distract patrons using the stairs or performances that may take place in the lobby. See electrical details above.
Q. Does the work have to be water resistant or waterproof, in consideration of the sprinkler system?
A. Work should be durable for a variety of reasons, including in consideration of the sprinkler system.
Q. Are there any materials that would be refused for this piece?
A. The materials need to be sustainable; meet safety codes; maintenance free and/or limited care provided. No living green walls will be accepted. Guidance/approval can be provided on the use of specific materials at the commencement of the next phase.
Q. Can we propose community workshops where small components created by selected publics can be incorporated into the mural.
A. Yes, but the artist would need to consider when and where this engagement work would take place and how it aligns with construction. Associated costs to be included in the budget.
Q. Will proposals for video art be considered (to be displayed on a large screen at the top of the stairs)?
Q. Can the artists complete the installation themselves or do they have to hire tradespeople with construction cards or credentials?
A. This depends on various factors and to be determined in collaboration with the Project Manager. If the anchors are provided by construction and the artist is fastening their work to the anchors that might be acceptable. Also, if the artist is qualified to perform the installations, ie. certified electrician for wiring, certified welder, carpenter etc.
Q. Clarify the location opportunities for art.
A. This RFQ specifies one designated art installation wall as described in the RFQ and drawings. The architect’s presentation referred to other locations where art will be experienced (lobby floor tile, art gallery) as background information.
Q. Can we see the Indigenous design for the lobby floor tile?
A. The Indigenous lobby floor tile design and this art installation are not connected in timeline or work plan. If the design of the Indigenous designed tile work is complete in time, the team will share it with the shortlisted artists. This information will not be available before closing of the RFQ.
Q. Are there any design elements within the lobby that may change?
A. Although the concept and features and renderings of the lobby are approved in principle, and design elements are not anticipated to change, the construction has not started.
Q. When is it possible to have an on-site visit?
A. The building has been designed but construction is not expected to begin until mid-2024 with completion in 2026. An on-site visit will not be possible before the close of this public art opportunity.
Past Public Art Calls
The City of Fredericton invites proposals from professional artists to install temporary public artworks at Phoenix Square in front of City Hall as well as at alternate city-owned locations.
The temporary public art program is meant to contribute to a welcoming and vibrant space for the community and visitors to enjoy throughout the summer and fall. Although the public art is only intended to last for a short time, designs should be well constructed, vandal-resistant, and able to withstand summer and fall weather.
Each location will have variable conditions that the artist must consider. Proposals will be reviewed through a lens that includes public safety, sturdiness, public engagement, and how well it fits with the environment, while not posing an impediment to public use of the space.
Phoenix Square in the heart of downtown Fredericton is enjoyed by tourists, locals, and office workers, many who use the nearby benches or bistro tables. Applicants should note that in addition to seating, there is a prominent water fountain, large umbrellas, garden beds, large flowerpots, and other immovable objects that will need to be considered in the design process. Applicants are advised to examine the detailed site drawing here.
Artists are to submit the following:
- a resume and biography indicating their education level, artistic practice, and body of work;
- indicate the location(s) for proposed temporary artwork(s);
- a proposed design concept including text and drawings or diagrams;
- an itemized budget to a maximum of $5,000 for all costs related to production, transport, installation, removal, and artist fees; and,
- a timeline and process for creation and installation. Phoenix Square art is to be installed by the first week of July until mid-October. Other locations to be determined.
A juried selection will take place the week following the submission deadline. Artists submitting proposals for Phoenix Square can expect to be notified by mid-May.
Proposals for other city-owned locations will be considered at this time but may require further investigation based on the project and location proposed. The City reserves the right not to accept any proposals. Artists are encouraged to send questions to the cultural development officer by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eligibility: Open to professional artists in the greater Fredericton region.
Submissions to be sent to email@example.com by May 5, 2023.