Artist Request for Qualifications for Sculpture Honoring Civil Rights Leader Frankie Muse Freeman

From the St. Louis NAACP:

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Call to Artists: Request for Qualifications St. Louis City NAACP Announces Artist Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Sculpture Honoring Civil Rights Leader Frankie Muse Freeman

The St. Louis City Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is seeking an artist or artist team to design, fabricate, and install a permanent outdoor bronze sculpture honoring the renowned St. Louis civil rights leader Frankie Muse Freeman. This sculpture will depict Ms. Freeman figuratively and will be installed as a free standing work in a designated site in downtown St. Louis. Interested artists or artist teams are invited to submit qualification by May 9, 2016.

Background: Attorney Frankie Muse FreemanFrankie Muse Freeman began her celebrated legal career when she opened her private practice in St. Louis in 1949. Ms. Freeman was lead counsel in the landmark 1954 NAACP suit against the St. Louis Housing Authority, which ended legal segregation of public housing. In 1964, Ms. Freeman became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and contributed to the momentous 1965 Voting Rights Act. With a career spanning 60 years of dedication to civil freedoms, she was inducted into the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame in 1990, the Civil Rights Walk of Fame in 2007, and the St. Louis Walk of Fame in 2015. She was the recipient of the NAACP’s prestigious Spingarn Medal in 2011.

In 2015, President Obama appointed Ms. Freeman to serve as a member of the Commission on Presidential Scholars. Frankie Muse Freeman has fearlessly fought for justice her entire life and will turn 100 in November 2016. She has been an advocate for all and it is time to publicly evoke her courage and her inspiring work in a significant, permanent way.

St. Louis City NAACPThe National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization, was founded in 1909 on the beliefs embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America. The NAACP supports democracy, dignity and freedom and has been responsible for a number of victories in the struggle for justice and equality in America. Members of the NAACP, in keeping with the charge of NAACP founders, stand against all forms of injustice. Today the NAACP has more than 500,000 members and operates through more than 1,700 branches including 120 Youth and College Divisions.

When the St. Louis City NAACP was organized in 1913, there were only 10 branches of the NAACP in the nation. The mission of the St. Louis City NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination. The vision of the St. Louis City NAACP is to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights without discrimination based on race.

The Project: The St. Louis City NAACP is seeking to commission an outdoor bronze sculpture depicting Frankie Muse Freeman figuratively. This work is to be installed in an approved site designated by the landscape architect in Kiener Plaza –a park under renovation by a civic partnership in downtown St. Louis. The site is located within the plaza at the landscaped corner of Broadway and Chestnut Street near the historic Old Courthouse. The art will be installed within an area approximately 24 feet in diameter. The sculpture will:

 Depict Ms. Freeman in a realistic and inspiring way at mid-career
 Create a means to significantly honor her many achievements in civil rights
 Be specific to the designated site and sculpted in the round
 Designed to be life-sized or slightly above in scale
 Be fabricated in bronze
 Be durable, withstand time and changing environmental conditions, and be easily maintained and conserved
 Not pose any safety risks to viewers

Budget: Funding for this project is solely through the St. Louis City NAACP. Estimated total budget is $150,000 to cover all associated costs of the project, including but not limited to design, fabrication, materials, labor, transportation, insurance, installation, signage, and lighting. The finally selected artist or artists’ team will receive a contract from the St. Louis City NAACP.

Eligibility: The RFQ is open to all artists.

Criteria for Selection include:

 Documented experience in producing bronze sculpture
 Demonstrated understanding of outdoor installations
 Excellent documentation of past works
 Articulated understanding of the goals and spirit of the project

RFQ Selection Process: The Review Committee will evaluate RFQ submittals and recommend up to four finalists. The finalist artists or artists’ teams will be invited to develop one or more preliminary concepts in a Proposal for the sculpture depicted in site. Proposals will be developed enough to provide a solid understanding of how the art will look within the context of the site. Each finalist will be asked to present their concept or concepts to the Review Committee through an interview. An honorarium of $500 will be provided to each artist or artists’ team for this phase.

Required Submission Materials for the RFQ sent via email in one PDF with FREEMAN PROJECT in subject line:

1. Letter of Interest that briefly describes your approach to the project and complete contact information
2. Statement of Qualifications
3. List of 3 References
4. Artist Resume or CV. If submitting as an Artists Team, please include CVs from each. 5. Up to 15 images of art work samples

Schedule: 

May 9, 2016                   Qualifications submission DEADLINE

Week of May 23,            2016 NAACP Review Committee selection of finalists

June 27, 2016                Finalists Proposal Deadline

Week of July 5, 2016     NAACP Review Committee interviews finalists & selects artist or artists team

July 18, 2016                 St. Louis City NAACP Contract with Artist or Artists Team finalized

October 22, 2016          Public announcement at birthday gala to honor Frankie Muse Freeman

April 2017                     Installation of Sculpture

Submission Address:

Required Submission Materials for the RFQ sent via email in one PDF with FREEMAN PROJECT in subject line to Shirley Brown, sbrown601@aol.com.

Inquiries: If you have a specific question, please contact Shirley Brown at 314-367-8739 or sbrown601@aol.com

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