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City of Grants Pass Press Releases

Posted on: December 20, 2019

City Seeking Artists for Alley Beautification Project

City Press Releases Downtown

GRANTS PASS – The City of Grants Pass is seeking artists who wish to participate in the city’s Alley Beautification project. This initial call is a request for artist qualifications only. Once qualified artists have applied and have been identified, a request for design proposals may be issued to selected candidates.

The City of Grants Pass is investing in the transformation of select alleyways downtown into usable and enjoyed public spaces. The Alley Beautification project furthers the city’s goal of creating a vibrant commercial district by enhancing downtown activities and safe spaces. In this project, the selected artist will have the support of the city’s Committee on Public Arts (CoPA) to survey key stakeholders and design site-specific art installation(s) for the selected alleyway.

The artist will be asked to create work(s) that create a sense of play and invoke interaction from the public, while also respecting placement within the city’s Historic District. The Alley Beautification project is commissioned by the City of Grants Pass with a budget of $20,000. Deadline for this Call for Artists is March 6, 2020. While local creators may be given preference, there is no geographic eligibility requirement to apply.

The Alley Beautification project is a commission of new work(s), where the artist is the creator.  The artist will have the support of CoPA to design and create one or more works of public art for the Osprey Alley. The project will be overseen by CoPA with final authority given to City Council. Key stakeholders include business owners adjacent to the alley and the city’s Historic Building & Sites Commission. The Osprey Alley is the first in a series of alleyways to be developed.

The Osprey Alley is located between 6th and 5th streets and parallel to H and I streets. As this site is within the city’s Historic District, no permanent changes can be made to surrounding buildings, and color palette may be limited (i.e. No neon colors). There is some existing landscaping in the alley, as well as one existing lamppost and temporary hanging lights. Vehicles bringing supplies to adjacent businesses intermittently need access to a portion of the alley.

The Osprey Alley is open to the public and can be used as a corridor between 6th street and the Osprey parking lot, a public parking lot which itself features a public art work of a nested osprey.  This alley, most central of alleys under consideration for the Alley Beautification project, is adjacent to many trendy restaurants, bars and venues that draw heavy foot traffic. While the alley is lightly landscaped, the city has found the landscaping insufficient to draw the attention and use of the space by the public.

The Alley can be described as made of two sections: 1) a non-vehicle accessible portion (closer to 6th Street) containing light landscaping and insulated on either side by the brick siding of neighboring businesses, 2) a vehicle accessible portion (closer to 5th Street) with business on one side and open on the other.

For the Osprey Alley, CoPA is looking for work(s) that “create a sense of play and cause the public to interact with the space and/or others, while also respecting placement within the City’s Historic District.”

“Specifically, we are looking for work(s) that cause the public to pause, enter and look deeply at the space; engage and/or play in the space; and record their presence in the space with a unique image or ‘selfie,’” said Susan Seereiter, business advocate for the City of Grants Pass.

Local artists, artist teams, as well as students are encouraged to apply. Application requirements include an email or mailed letter with the following contents:

- Statement of Interest: In 800 words or less, introduce yourself and describe your specific interest in the project, your potential approach to the project or creating public art, and any past relevant experience.

- Resume or short biography

- Visual Support Materials: 3-10 images depicting previous work. Visual support materials can include digital images, slides, videos, CDs, or prints.

- Annotated List: The annotated list allows you to describe the visual support material and should include description, material, location, budget, client or commissioning organization, and any other relevant project information.

All applications must be received by 3:00 P.M. on March 6, 2020. Applications received after this date cannot be guaranteed review.  Applications will be reviewed by CoPA. Please submit all required application materials by emailing sseereiter@grantspassoregon.gov, with the subject line Alley Beautification Application, or mail to: C/O Susan Seereiter, Business Advocate, City of Grants Pass, 101 NW A Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526.

After initial review of applications up to four finalists will be selected and may be requested to interview with CoPA or a subset of its members. Travel expenses are not covered for finalists selected to interview, and a teleconference can be provided. Final selection will receive approval by the City Council upon CoPA's recommendation.

Selection criteria includes evidence of innovative thinking in designing spaces for public art, ability to work with community members and respond to their concerns, and ability to work within the constraints of city codes and requirements.

For questions, contact Seereiter at (541) 450-6014 or sseereiter@grantspassoregon.gov

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