Tips for Applying to Public Art Commissions

Tips for Applying to Public Art Commissions

[beats] Hi, I'm Elisheba Johnson and I'm a Public Art Project Manager at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Read the call.

So, if the call says that they want something site-integrated and then you say that you're a muralist? Probably not the right call for you.

Hi, I'm Jason Huff.

I'm a Public Art Project Manager with the Office of Arts & Culture.

Don't hesitate to email or call the ProjectManager.

There are a lot of tips and a lot of helpfulinformation that you can get from the Project Manager.

Feel free to call, we're always ready to help.

My name is Deborah Paineand I'm the Curator and Collections Manager for the Office of Arts & Culture.

Beef up that résumé.

Make sure you have a few exhibitions out there.

You can have an exhibition at a cafe, you can have an exhibition at a hair salon, you can have an exhibition at a clinic, some place like that.

But beef up your résumé so it looks likeyou've actually done some installations and make sure you have gotten your workout there in the past.

Hi, I'm Sandy Esene and I'mthe Registrar for the Public Art team.

Have a mentor, friend, colleague, artist, anybody that you trust, to look over your work to make sure what is in your mind is actually on the page.

So that the panelists can understand what you're trying to communicate.

Hi, I'm Blake Haygood,Assistant Curator for the Public Art Collection.

Always start with a really strong image, and then always finish with a really strong image.

You can do the subtle stuff in between.

Hi, my name is Maija McKnight and I am a Public Art Manager for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

Do apply again.

If you weren't selected, don't despair.

There's lots of different projects that the Office of Arts & Culture offers.

And, while you weren't selected for one, that doesn't mean you won't be selected for the other.

Each project has its own unique set of circumstances and unique needs, and your art work just might be the right one for the next one.

Think about your images carefully.

This is your introduction to a selection panel.

This is a time when they're going to see if you are a good fit for this project.

Even if you have to use fewer images thanit calls for, always use the best images.

If you're not at all sure about the image,don't use it.

Because if this is like a blind date withyour panel, you only have 2 seconds per slide to show them who you are.

That initial impression of your applicationis really important.

I think the images that you submit are probably the most important part of your application.

Because keep in mind they're reading a lotof applications.

One example of this is to make sure that your images are in the proper direction.

One image per slide.

When you start collaging multiple images withina slide, it's very confusing, it's hard to read.

And it doesn't give a panel a good impression of who you are.

If they're pixelated or the color is all off we don't really know what we're seeing.

Make sure you don't take that photograph ofyour painting in the backyard with the fence in the background,things like that.

Because that's not giving anybody a clearvision of what you are doing as an artist.

[lounge music] Hi, I'm Ruri Yampolsky.

I'm the Director of the Public Art program for the Office of Arts & Culture for the City of Seattle.

We commission artists using a selection process that we call the Peer Panel Process.

This means that we get together a group of people such as: to be a part of a jury.

We also include community members, other stakeholders such as project partners, designers of the project, to be a part of this jury.

We as staff members actually only facilitate the process, we are not involved in the selections themselves.

[lounge music continues] Hi, I'm Marcia Iwasaki I'm a Public Art Project Manager.

Typically, a panel is a 2-day process.

The 1st day, the panel meets together and they are able to review 3 things by the artist applicant: Their images, which are anywhere from 8-20 images depending on the particular call.

At the end of the 1st day, the panelists have come down to decide on 3 or 4 finalists that they want to interview.

On day 2, the finalists come in.

They have roughly 45 min.

for their own personal interview.

The first 15 min.

is a presentation of any of the art work that they'd like to show.

The second 15 min.

is spent answering questions that are provided to the finalists ahead of time.

And the third 15 min.

has to do with a more informal conversation about the project itself.

[lounge music continues] Hi! I'm Kristen Ramirez and I'm part of the Public Art team.

Before the interview, definitely make time to visit the site and understand the conditions of the site: who lives there, who plays there what is it like in and around that site? It'll make you feel differently about what art you might propose to live there.

If you've been invited to come interview, and you're out of town? If you're able to come in person, I do think it makes a difference to be there in person.

You'll be given those interview questions ahead of time.

And occasionally, there's a tendency to want to take those and create your own presentation with them.

But the panelists are excited and eager to meet you.

And I think it's better to let them ask those questions of you.

Hi, I'm Tiffany Hedrick Conservator for the City of Seattle Public Art Collection.

A lot of times, suppliers are willing to provide free samples, which gives you an opportunity to test samples on materials you're going to be working with, and their interactions with other materials.

Do apply early.

Don't procrastinate.

Please, do not wait until the last minute to submit your application.

Don't, I can't say it enough times, wait till the last minute.

Because, your house is gonna be on fire, your internet's gonna go out, your kid's not gonna be sleeping.

And you know what? You're not gonna apply for that really awesome project because everything went haywire.

My final tip is to encourage all of you to keep applying.

Even the most established artists have a pile of rejection letters before they ever get one.

It's career changing.

So please don't give up! Keep trying as much as you can.

And it will change your life.

Source: Youtube