The City of Shaker Heights is requesting qualifications from artists or teams of artists interested in producing works of public art in the Van Aken District. Phase 1 of the $120M transformation of a vacant retail plaza and parking lot into a vibrant, mixed-use downtown will open in summer 2018. The Van Aken District is the transit-oriented commercial extension of historic residential neighborhoods; public art will be the connective tissue between old and new. The City’s 2016 Van Aken District Connections Plan (http://shakeronline.com/departments/planning/vanaken) specifically called for public art set within a network of bicycle and pedestrian amenities to create a vibrant downtown district. Public art will draw people into and help define the new district. This investment builds on Shaker Heights’ history of integrating the arts into its diverse community spaces and neighborhoods. The recently completed Van Aken District Public Art Action Strategy further refines community goals and vision for art in the district. To celebrate the opening of the Van Aken District, the City of Shaker Heights is seeking qualifications from artists or teams of artists interested in developing a public art project to be installed in fall 2018. The City of Shaker Heights intends this to be the first of several public art investments in the district over the next few years. Four potential locations for this artwork installation have been identified: 1. Greenspace at the NE corner of the Farnsleigh Road/ Chagrin Boulevard intersection 2. Shaker Plaza: west wall facing Farnsleigh Road 3. Parking garage: top level wall facing Warrensville Center Road 4. Lucy’s Sweet Surrender: east wall facing Warrensville Center Road PROCESS AND TIMELINE Artists’ qualifications will be reviewed by the City of Shaker Heights Public Art Committee, which is comprised of residents active in the local arts community. Through this process, it is expected that one artist will be selectedto develop an artwork proposal(s). To help refine the proposal for final approval by the Public Art Committee, the selected artist will be given a site tour, meet with the Van Aken District project team, participate in a community conversation and be provided with other background materials. TIMELINE The selection-process timeline will be as follows: • April 18: Release of Request for Qualifications (RFQ) • May 11: Submissions due • May 25: Artist selection • June 2018: Community conversation • September 2018: Artwork installation
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