The City of Tempe invites artists to propose project ideas for a temporary art installation to be placed on the North Side of Tempe Town Lake. The site is adjacent to the multiuse path, across the lake from the Tempe Center for the Arts and can easily experienced by all who use the lake. The artwork will be placed on a slope of xeriscaped plants, making the ground uneven and full of desert plantings therefore artists will need to consider the site constraints when creating a proposal. This opportunity is specifically designed to provide an entry to the public art process for an artist new to municipal public art commissions. Artists who have an active visual art practice but who have not yet received a municipal public art commission are encouraged to apply.

This site for this commission has been reviewed for any potential utility conflicts (bluestaking) in the past and is currently the site of a temporary art piece. The current installation will be removed in January 2020 and the selected artwork will be installed in February 2020.

The commissioned artist will be asked to create a new, site specific work. Proposals may be shown as hand drawn sketches, digital renderings, or models/ maquettes. Public Art Staff advises that submitting artists visit the site ahead of time to understand the site constraints so that their proposals may take these into consideration. If selected, staff will work with the artist to ensure that the proposal can be modified as needed to accommodate any issues not addressed in the proposal however it is advisable that artists take the time to review carefully as this will help build a more successful project proposal.


This Call to Artists is open to a professional artist or artist team residing in Arizona and eligible to work the United States. Priority will be given to artists who are new to public art and have not received a municipal public art commission in the past.

Accepted artist will be required by Arizona State Law HB 2008 to sign a statement verifying that they are lawfully present in the United States. City of Tempe employees, steering committee members, and their immediate family members are excluded from participating in this project.


Up to $8,000

The current budget covering all costs associated with design, fabrication, installation, and artist fees is up to $8,000. The project budget must include all costs related to the artist’s project management fees; the artwork’s final design, attendance at meetings; subcontractor and consultant fees General Liability and other insurance required by the City, travel if necessary, and all other costs associated with the art project.

Artist Selection Process:

Applications will be pre-screened by City staff to ensure that the submissions meet the minimum qualifications as described in the eligibility section. An artist selection committee will review artists’ submissions and be asked to make a recommendation based on the strength of the visual examples submitted, the appropriateness of the artwork style for the site based on the intended audience, and ability of the artist to connect with the audience as described in the application. The steering committee is comprised of members from the community, Tempe Arts and Culture Commission representatives, arts professional(s), and associated city staff. The selected Artist will work with Tempe Public Art throughout the project.


Tempe Parks Strategically placed throughout the city so most residents are within one half mile, Tempe parks serve as the community’s backyard, providing residents and neighbors a venue to relax, learn and connect with one another and the environment.

Tempe Public Art aspires to cultivate a unique community identity that advances Tempe as a vibrant and progressive destination. Tempe’s diverse collection of permanent and temporary public art complements the natural and built environment through innovative place-making, installations and infrastructure enhancements. Tempe Public Art promotes artistic expression, bringing people together to strengthen Tempe’s sense of community and place.

We are here to help, contact: Rebecca Blume Rothman, Director of Public Art [email protected] 480-350-2827

This Call to Artist does not commit the city to enter into any agreement, to pay any costs incurred in the preparation of the proposal to this request or in subsequent negotiations, or to produce a contract for the project. The city reserves the right to reject any or all applications, reissue the Call to Artist, revise the project terms or procure any service by other means. While all reasonable care will be taken, the city is not responsible for loss of or damage to materials included with applications.


Organization/Company: City of Tempe
Location: Tempe, AZ
Deadline: October 12, 2020 Midnight (11:59 PM) Mountain Standard Time
How to Apply: Pre-Submittal Session:

Staff will present project details and the scope of work in a virtual presentation via ZOOM. In this presentation, artist Laura Spalding Best will share the methods she employs to create a winning proposal. Using her recent project RISE as an example, the piece currently located at this site, Laura will show participants how she walked through her vision to bring the selection panel along, trusting her to oversee the proposal to reality.

o September 17th 5 P.M. o

o Meeting ID: 841 6663 1271

How to Apply:

The entire submission must be completed on Submittable at . All requirements listed below must be met or the application will be removed from consideration.

o Artist Biography (250 words or less): Tell us who you are! This is your chance to introduce yourself and describe what skills you can bring to the project.

o Digital Images: Up to 3 images that best show your proposed idea and 3 images of previously created work that help to support your proposal by showing your abilities

o Image List: (Maximum 2 pages) A separate document listing information about the 6 digital images. For each proposal image submitted share the specifics that help define your visual thinking (possible materials, size, scale, install ideas if possible) For images depicting previously created works, share details such as size, scale, location where applicable, materials used, and date of completion.

o Online application: Complete the Submittable online application in full. Each applicant will need to answer the following questions (250 words or less):

1. Please share any specific skills or experiences you possess that will be valuable to this commission

2. Please describe the inspirations for your artwork. This may be specific artists, artworks, places, memories, or anything that keeps you connected to your practice.

3. Describe what excites you about creating artwork for this specific site and/or this audience

4. If recommended for this commission, what would you hope to gain from this project?

5. In what way would this commission expand your artistic process/practice?