Ends on August 1, 2019

From Parking to Plaza

A Lafitte Greenway Public Art Challenge 

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS

Announcement Date: July 1, 2019

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2019

Eligibility: Professional artists and artist teams

Maximum Budget: $17,000

project summary

Friends of Lafitte Greenway, in partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and Arts Council New Orleans, is calling on artists to submit qualifications for From Parking to Plaza, a permanent public art installation on the Lafitte Greenway.

This project seeks to activate and celebrate a public space located at a critical juncture with regard to New Orleans’ history, ecology, and bicycle and pedestrian circulation systems. First developed for boats at the historic crossroads of Bayou St. John and the former Carondelet Canal, and later for cars as the driveway to the “Brake Tag Station” for motor vehicle inspections, the project begins the transformation of this unique site at the central node of New Orleans bike network into a place for people, community, and celebration--expanding the Greenway’s role as a cultural asset. 

The project is a commemorative work, made possible by a gift from Elaine Ravich, to celebrate the life and contributions of local artist, volunteer, mother, and teacher, Deborah Vorhoff.

background

The Lafitte Greenway is a public bicycle and pedestrian path and linear park that opened in the heart of New Orleans in 2015. The Greenway transformed a 2.6-mile vacant strip of land—originally a canal and later a railroad right-of-way —into an urban park and trail. Today, the Greenway is the vibrant backbone of New Orleans’ growing bike network. Used by over 300,000 people annually on foot and on bicycle, it connects six historic and culturally rich neighborhoods and creates a green corridor from the French Quarter to Mid-City. The Greenway is designed to enhance livability, equitable access to parks and green space, environmental sustainability, public health, and to promote community-building and celebration of New Orleans culture and heritage.

The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORD) manages the Lafitte Greenway in partnership with Friends of Lafitte Greenway (Friends). The non-profit steward of the Lafitte Greenway, Friends of Lafitte Greenway is the City’s and community’s partner, working to ensure that the Lafitte Greenway is a vibrant and healthy public space that connects people to nature, their destinations, and each other. Friends of Lafitte Greenway’s mission is to build, program and promote the Lafitte Greenway as a great public space.

From Parking to Plaza is the 3rd public art installation on the Greenway in partnership with the Arts Council New Orleans (ACNO), a private, multidisciplinary, nonprofit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council’s mission is to support the cultural community of the city and demonstrate how art transforms communities.

This project is supported through a gift from Elaine Ravich in honor of her daughter, Deborah Vorhoff. Debbie was a painter and homemaker, mother of four, who passed away in 2018. As her family remembers: “We can all honor our memory of Deborah by living with optimism and humor, with curiosity and creativity, and with kindness and sweetness and love.”

project goals

Through this project, we seek to:

  • Create a lasting, innovative work of art that influences and shapes the development of this underutilized space on the Lafitte Greenway as a location for community gathering and celebration of arts and culture, that inspires curiosity and creativity.
  • Enhance the everyday lives of New Orleanians, children, and families.
  • Create a sense of place through site-specific artistic improvements of appropriate scale and design to advance future use and development of the location, activate space along the Greenway, and respond to the context of landscape and/or community through a public artwork.
  • Support the beautification of our city, and increase civic pride through public art.
  • Promote public art as a meaningful art form.
  • Leverage the investment to encourage visitation to the area.
  • Invest in artists through a large-scale commission.
  • Contribute to New Orleans’ and the Lafitte Greenway’s standing as a destination for public art.
  • Create a permanent installation as a legacy to Deborah Vorhoff.

location

Site Map

Site Description

From Parking to Plaza will be located on the Lafitte Greenway between N. Jefferson Davis Parkway and N. Lopez Street, between Lafitte Avenue and the Greenway’s bioswale. There are two potential project sites that artists may choose among, or may elect to incorporate both.

  • Option 1: Former Driveway Site - Jeff. Davis Parkway to N. Rendon

This site is composed of an asphalt pad with a mature tree canopy. The asphalt pad previously served as the driveway to the old Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (aka the “Old Brake Tag Station”), a City-owned building that is no longer in use, and is currently undergoing renovation into a community pavilion. 

Due to construction proceeding on the Hagan Lafitte Basin Drainage Project, the portion of this asphalt driveway that is available for this art installation includes the first block off of the bayou, between Jeff. Davis Pkwy and N Rendon.

Option 1: Site Photos  |  Former Driveway Site

  • Option 2: Brake Tag Station Building Site

Artists may choose a project on the exterior facades of the former Brake Tag Station building, currently undergoing renovation, detailed below. 

Option 2: Site Photos  |  Brake Tag Station Facade

Prior to its development as a motor vehicle inspection station, the location was the historical juncture of Bayou St. John and the Carondelet Canal.

This underutilized site will be integrated into the Lafitte Greenway as a location for community gathering and flexible programming. Future uses, programming and development of the location are still being developed. Potential uses include an outdoor Farmer’s Market, flexible outdoor space for festivals and events, and a pavilion building.

Artists may choose to focus on a particular section of the project site, or integrate the full location. The project must consider the scale of the site, which is at an early stage of redevelopment. This project is meant to kick off the activation of the space, lay the groundwork for the redevelopment and programming of this former parking area and auto-focused building, and to integrate it into the Lafitte Greenway public amenity.

Brake Tag Station Renovation

The City of New Orleans is currently undertaking a $1.5 million renovation of the old Brake Tag Station to convert it into a community pavilion. Construction is currently underway. The operator and uses of the building, once complete, have not yet been determined, and are subject to public input. The site will likely include a restaurant or concessions. The Parking to Plaza art installation should compliment plans for the development of the Brake Tag Station. 

Opportunities at the Site

Artists may, but are not required to, consider the following opportunities at the site:

  • Physical Opportunities:
    • Tree Canopy - Celebrate and enhance the existing tree canopy through lighting or shading.
    • Functional Artwork - Provide art that also functions as seating, tables, lighting, or gathering space, to support and promote future use of the space.
    • Building Facade - Creating a sense of place by activating the facade of the former Brake Tag Station building with artwork.
    • Light - Create durable luminary artwork that activates the site for nighttime use.
    • Interactive Play - Create opportunities for Greenway users and children to interact and play with the installation.
  • Thematic Opportunities: 
    • Creativity - Inspire creativity and curiosity, and encourage the next generation of artists.
    • Sense of Place - Help shape a sense of place and identity for this site, to be built upon with future installations and with flexible community programming that celebrates the history, geography, and culture of the area.
    • Connectivity -  Celebrate and enhance the site’s role as a hub of connectivity for bike and pedestrian circulation, water management, and New Orleans connectivity to the land and our local ecology.

budget

The selected artist(s) will receive a maximum of $17,000. The amount covers all costs associated with the project, including, but not limited to:

  • Artist Fees
  • Materials and Equipment
  • Insurance
  • Permitting
  • Fabrication and Installation
  • Travel and Lodging

Durability & Maintenance

Artists must consider the durability of the piece, to eliminate or minimize long-term maintenance needs in a highly used public space. 

artist eligibility

This call is open to professional artists or artist teams led by a professional artist. Community groups or non-professional artists must submit their application in conjunction with a professional artist who meets the eligibility requirements.

To qualify, professionals artists must:

  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Have at least 5 years of experience as professional artists.
  • Carry personal liability insurance for the duration of the project until installation is complete and accepted.
  • Meet all contractual obligations and adhere to the timeline provided.
  • If selected, be prepared to present their concept to a selection committee.

selection process & criteria

Phase I: Qualifications 

First-round submissions that meet the Request for Qualifications eligibility requirements will be evaluated by a qualified artist selection committee composed of a Greenway representative, a family member of Deborah Vorhoff’s, and professionals from the art, design, and architecture communities. Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Overall impression of the application.
  • Artistic vision of proposed preliminary project summary.
  • Artistic excellence: quality, creativity, and uniqueness of the applicant’s past work as demonstrated by the work samples.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in craftsmanship and technical knowledge of the materials and techniques in the artist’s chosen medium.
  • Local artists and projects that engage the community are viewed favorably.
  • Impact of the project on the design and development of the site: ensuring that scale and scope is appropriate for the site, and will promote future activation and development of the location as a space for gathering and future programming.
  • Longevity, durability, and maintenance plan.

Applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM (CST) on August 1, 2019.

Phase II: Conceptual Proposals

Up to three finalists will be invited to submit conceptual proposals. Finalists invited to submit a Phase II conceptual proposal will receive a $150 honorarium upon submission of the Phase II proposal. 

Finalists are required to take part in a final presentation and interview process. The Selection Committee reserves the right to reject any or all applications at its judgement, and to revise the selection process.

Artists or teams invited to submit a full conceptual proposal will be required to provide a detailed budget, including the cost of labor, materials, and logistics for the creation, execution, and installation of the artwork. The conceptual proposal will also include a preparation schedule, detailed narrative, and long-term maintenance plan.

application requirements

Applicants must prepare and submit the following requirements using this Submittable platform by the application deadline.  Incomplete applications will not be considered. Submissions must include:

  1. Artist Statement: (Max. 500 words) Include a general introduction to your work. Be sure to discuss the concepts and ideas you explore and present in your practice. Team applications should clearly describe the contribution of each collaborator.
  2. Resume: (Max. 2 pages) Tell us about your professional experience and accomplishments as an artist. If applying as a team, the team may submit a maximum of four one-page resumes.
  3. Work Samples: (Max. of 10 images) Provide digital images with corresponding titles to match the Work Sample Description list.
  4. Work Sample Description List: (Max. 2 pages) For each image submitted, list the work sample’s title, date, size, and medium. You may also list the location of works currently on exhibition in galleries and/or public spaces.
  5. Preliminary Proposal: (Max. 500 words) Tell us about your concept for the project. This is an opportunity to discuss the potential themes, subject matter, vision, and/or process for creating the work. Proposals should discuss the types of materials you intend to use in your work. Artists may choose to include a rough sketch of the design concept. Inclusion of a sketch will not impact scoring.

submission instructions

  • If you don’t have a Submittable account, you must create one to apply. Create your free account by filling out the “Create your account” form. Fill in all information and click the “Create Account and Continue” button to continue with the submission process. You can now use this account login when submitting to all future Arts Council opportunities.
  • If you already have a Submittable account, click the “Have an account? Sign-in” tab to sign-in. If you don’t remember your password, use the “Forgot?” link on the login form.
  • Click the Submit button next to the opportunity that you wish to apply for. If you are already within an opportunity, scroll down to the end of this description to begin your application.

project timeline

The project timeline is as follows. This schedule is subject to change.

Artist Selection Phase I: Request for Qualifications

  • Request for Qualifications published  July 1, 2019
  • Q&A Informational    July 17, 2019 (see meeting time and location listed below) 
  • RFQ Submission Deadline   August 1, 2019
  • Selection Committee Review   August 2 - August 8, 2019
  • Finalists Notification    August 9, 2019

Artist Selection Phase II: Concept Proposal

  • Q&A Period and Optional Site Visit  August 14 or August 20, 2019
  • Concept Proposal Submission Deadline  October 11, 2019 
  • Final Interviews & Presentations  October 17, 2019

Announcement of Winner    October 24, 2019

Design Advisory Committee (DAC) Presentation To be determined

Deadline to Complete & Install Artwork  April 17, 2020

The Q&A Informational will take place on Wednesday July 17 from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM at the Sojourner Truth Neighborhood Center, 2200 Lafitte Avenue. 

questions

Questions about the project should be addressed to:

Sophie Harris Vorhoff

Executive Director, Friends of Lafitte Greenway

sophie@lafittegreenway.org

2200 Lafitte Street, New Orleans, LA 70119