Decatur/MARTA Overpass Mural Project Request for Qualifications

Deadline for applications is February 16. Download the application packet here.

The Decatur Arts Alliance is requesting qualifications from artist/artist teams who are interested in creating an outdoor public mural on the MARTA overpass at the intersection of West Trinity Place and Atlanta Avenue in Decatur, GA whose design captures and reflects community engagement input as part of the process of creating the mural. This request for qualifications is an open call to experienced mural artists regionally and nationally. According to the terms of the grant, the artist will be paid for the work, and the grant will also pay for supplies such as the paint and hard costs associated with installation.

Project Overview

The City of Decatur received a grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission’s inaugural Public Art Program for a community mural on the MARTA overpass at the intersection of West Trinity and Atlanta Avenue in Decatur, GA. Using this grant and matching local funds, Decatur seeks a professional artist or artist team to directly engage with the Decatur community to create this community-based mural.

Decatur is an active and vibrant city located in the metropolitan Atlanta region. Decatur is a walkable and bikeable city with an emphasis on local participation and community caring. Interested artists/artist teams are encouraged to learn more about the Decatur community at decaturga.com.

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Request for Qualifications: Decatur MARTA Overpass Mural Project

The MARTA overpass bisects several diverse Decatur communities – three affordable housing communities (two family and one senior) owned and managed by the Decatur Housing Authority; three properties in the Beacon Municipal Center: the Decatur Police Department and Municipal Court, Ebster Recreation Center including employees of the city’s Active Living & Children & Youth Services Departments, and City Schools of Decatur Administration Building; Task Force for Global Health non-profit organization; and the market-rate Swanton Hill residential neighborhood.

The overpass serves many purposes within the Decatur Community. Children wait under the overpass to catch their school bus, neighbors and employees walk and ride bikes under the overpass, numerous cars traverse the corridor daily on the way to work and school, and thousands of citizens from all over the Atlanta Region ride the Blue Line MARTA train over the overpass every day. In essence, the overpass creates a gateway to these economically and racially diverse communities and provides an opportunity for real connections through meaningful thematic local art on this broad, durable concrete canvas.

Included in the mural project is a community engagement component led by a community engagement consultant designed to bring the diverse communities together during the process to discuss interpretation of the Atlanta Regional Commission required theme “There is ample opportunity to participate in making history in our region.”

The Decatur Arts Alliance, as a stakeholder in the project, is coordinating the request for qualifications for artist/artist teams for the mural project.

This request for qualifications is an open call to experienced mural artists regionally and nationally. According to the terms of the grant, the artist will be paid $7,500 for the work. This fee does not include supplies such as the paint and hard costs associated with installation. It does, however, include any expenses related to travel and/or lodging and is the total amount
paid directly to the artist.

Community Kick-Off, December 2015

In addition to artistic interpretation, community engagement is very important. In keeping with Decatur’s focus on community engagement, several meetings were held in December 2015 to gain initial insights into local students’ and residents’ desires for the MARTA overpass mural. Participants were asked about what making history in the Decatur region meant to them, what was important about Decatur to them, and about challenges and opportunities for the mural project. Many mentioned Decatur’s diversity as a point of pride, with “so many communities, each with their own foundations” working and living together, and they wanted the mural—and the process to create it—to feel inclusive. “I would find a way to make the mural a part of the community, not just an object in it,” one participant wrote. Others suggested citizens have input in the design of the mural and a hand in creating it as a way to acknowledge the creativity and talent of Decatur’s residents.

People were interested in the artwork as a way to beautify the overpass and the area around it, to create a place that was safe, inviting, and inspiring. Since people will experience the mural whether they are traveling by foot, bicycle, car, and train, it is an opportunity to residents that the space be a memorable place that people will want to revisit often. In every conversation, it is clear that Decatur residents are proud of their city, and want this mural to be personal and purposeful, representing the rich array of things that make Decatur great.

Mural Location: West Trinity Place

The mural location is on the east and west sides of the MARTA overpass on West Trinity Place at Atlanta Avenue in Decatur, Georgia. The mural work should also encompass the pilings as well as the rail overpass.

Application Process

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the Decatur West Trinity Place MARTA overpass mural project, the artist/artist team must:
• Be 18 years of age.
• Work as a professional artist and/or professional artist team
• Live in the United States
• Be willing to adhere to all contractual obligations and adhere to the project guidelines and timeline.

Selection Criteria

The artist/artist team will be chosen based on the following criteria:
• Work of the highest caliber and effective execution.
• Experience working within the program guidelines.
• Commitment to community input process – attending a minimum of two community meetings.
• Visual impact on pedestrian and vehicle traffic
• Appropriateness of content (all audiences)
• If chosen, be able to ultimately provide a maintenance manual with a preferred maintenance schedule with a list of material specifications, where the materials were sourced, relevant fabricators, skilled tradespeople and all health and safety issues. The contract will include an agreement on professional standards relating to the work and if and how the artist wishes to be contacted regarding any repair to the art work.

Project Timeline

February 16, 2016 – Request for qualifications deadline
March 11, 2016 – Steering committee reviews RFQs and selects the artist/artist team
March, 2016 – Artist/artist team notified
April-May 2016 – Community input meetings that also include the artist and the community engagement consultant
July-Sept. 2016 – Development of mural
October 2016 – Community celebration

Compensation and Expenses

The fee for the artist is $7,500 (includes travel and/or lodging). Supply and installation equipment expenses related to the project must be authorized in advance and will be paid by the grant.

Submission Process

• Application available as last page of this packet, or at decaturartsalliance.org.
• Artist must submit qualifications and completed application to muralrfq@decaturartsalliance.org
• Professional resume or CV – no longer than three pages. Please include three references who can speak to your past artistic work.

Work Sample List

Please submit examples of murals that best represent your experience, style and ability, particularly in relation to completed murals that include a community engagement/input process. You may also submit images of other works (large scale or otherwise) that best represent your work over the past five years. Include a list of the work samples as an attachment to the application and as much information about each of the samples as possible.

Include the name/title of the work, location, medium, process, dimensions of the wall, year completed and other pertinent information. For work that included community engagement/input process, please provide the name, address, phone, and email of the client group that you worked with so that we may contact the client to discuss the success of the project with them. If you have no specific experience with a community engagement process, please provide information on how your specific skills and abilities will support a positive community engagement process.

Delivery of Submissions

All required materials must be emailed by midnight Tuesday, February 16, 2016 to muralrfq@decaturartsalliance.org

Contact Information

Angie Macon
Executive Director
Decatur Arts Alliance
muralrfq@decaturartsalliance.org
404-371-9583