Call for Proposals
East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is accepting creative design proposals from artists or artist teams for a public fountain that commemorates the first five African American students to integrate ETSU. The selected artist/team will design, fabricate, and install a permanent public fountain in Borchuck Plaza, in front of Sherrod Library, in the heart of ETSU's campus. This project will replace the fountain currently in the plaza, which was damaged in a severe weather event.
Budget: $225,000 (contingent upon a successful campaign)
Request for Qualifications Submission Deadline: September 1, 2023
Address: Borchuck Plaza, East Tennessee State University
344 JL Seehorn Jr. Rd.
Johnson City, TN 37604
The plaza is located in front of the Sherrod Library on ETSU’s main campus and is comprised of a circular plaza, benches, and a centrally located circular brick display area. The scope of public artwork shall be confined to an existing 20 ft diameter circular display area (memorial placement area) in the center of the circular plaza. The existing circular display area has water and electrical access.
The sculpture to be commissioned will be located within the brick circle and replace the current fountain (pictured above).
- Artists age 18 or older may apply as an individual or a team
- Must have experience in completing outdoor/indoor public works of similar scale
- Must be available for on-site visit to ETSU
- Applicants must reside in the United States
- There is no fee to submit to this opportunity
- The artwork must include a water feature but can also include other media. The site location does have existing underground water line access.
- Artistic interpretation may be representational or non-representational in design. Creativity is encouraged.
- The artwork must be structurally sound and safely secured.
- The artwork must be of a scale large enough to be clearly visible from a distance.
- The artwork must be capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions, including hot summers, cold winters, rain, wind, and snow.
- The artwork must have a low exposure to pedestrian injury. The public must be protected from possible injury from materials.
- The artwork must be original to the designer(s) and address the project theme of serving as a memorial to the first African American students to desegregate ETSU.
The budget is not to exceed $225,000 for the entire project. This budget is inclusive of all costs associated with the design, artist fee, planning, materials, engineering, permitting, fabrication, shipping, installation, completion of the project, and maintenance plan for the artwork. This budget is to include all travel costs and insurance. This budget does not include the costs for initial proposal design and travel outlined in Phase 2 below.
The time for the project is August 2023 - August 2024.
Path for Design Submission
Phase 1: Request for Qualifications
Phase 2: Design Phase (artists receive 3k)
Phase 3: Presentation of Final Design by Finalists
Phase 4: Design Selection, Construction Begins
Phase 5: Installation of Artwork
Phase 1 Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
All interested artists must SUBMIT RFQs as a single PDF by completing the form at the bottom of this page. RFQs must be received by end of day on September 1, 2023.
RFQ submissions should include
- Cover letter/letter of intent
- Artist bio
- Three professional references from clients/professionals, including phone/email
- Evidence of artist’s ability to produce final product
- Photograph documentation of at least three similar public art projects (minimum of 3) with various views, including the location of artwork (detailed documentation of past artworks encouraged).
Phase 2 Design Phase
The selection team will contact up to five finalists to design proposals. Finalists will visit ETSU's campus to present submissions in person to the selection committee.
- Finalists will be contacted via phone and email.
- Finalists will receive compensation of $3,000.
- Finalists are responsible for all expenses associated with a campus visit and final presentation including travel, lodging, and meals.
- Finalists will have approximately two months to develop proposals for potential designs.
Phase 3 Presentation of Final Design
Finalists will travel to ETSU's campus to make a final presentation to a selection committee at a public meeting.
Final Presentation requirements include:
- Model form or computer-generated presentation of proposed artwork (to include multiple angles).
- Artist’s statement about the proposed artwork.
- Detailed description of the proposed artwork.
- Specification of medium, materials, weight, and dimensions.
- Description and details of the fabrication process.
- Timeline for project including design, fabrication, and installation details.
- Detailed budget to include all associated costs for completion.
Phase 4 Final Selection / Construction Begins
The final artist selection and design will be determined and announced by December
Artist(s) will begin construction of artwork.
Phase 5 Installation of completed Artwork
Completed artwork will be installed August 2024.
To submit your RFQ, complete the form below and upload a PDF of your submission along with any attachments.