It’s always a conundrum trying to decide whether to apply for a public art call. Virtually all of the requests for qualifications (RFQ’s) require the artist to have experience with public art installations, or at the very least commissions that are of a similar monetary value. Considering most of these calls are for artwork installations with budgets starting around $50,000, that is easier said than done.
The catch-22: no experience means you’re not qualified, but you can get the experience until you have won a commission.
What to do? Talk about your experiences in a related capacity, like managing a classroom full of kids, ordering supplies and inventory management, or even remodeling a house might work if you can figure out how to write about the trials and tribulations from a creative yet businesslike perspective.
In my case, I have a slight advantage because I have worked with large projects as an architect, but it is still a conundrum because technically, I still don’t qualify based on most RFQs minimum requirements. My first major installation, completed in 2010, the Middleton Courthouse and Police Station also had this requirement. And to this day I am grateful for my background in architecture and to the arts committee for looking at that architectural experience in helping make their decision to award me the contract.
The Middleton commission was 4 large window groups, each with eight panels ranging in size from 18 ½” x 18 ½” to 50 ½” x 18 ½”: the Majestic Oak, the Stream, and the Prairie Path (interior and exterior), and the Woods.