Gertrude Howes Park Civil Rights Tribute:
Public Art Project in Boston, MA
Request for Qualifications
Deadline: Thu, 5/25/17, 11:59pm MST (application received)
Apply online at www.callforentry.org
The Art Selection Committee of the Gertrude Howes Park Civil Rights Public Art Tribute project invites artists, also in collaboration with landscape designers, to forward public art qualifications for an innovative, permanent public art installation that will serve as a tribute to civil rights. The tribute is envisioned to be an abstract work of public art dedicated to the movement rather than a representation dedicated to individual persons or events. The selection process will lead to the identification of four artists/teams who will develop proposals.
The tribute honors the many individuals who have contributed to civil rights since its beginnings, intended as an affirmation of the struggle and celebration of citizen participation and ownership. The location of Gertrude Howes Playground, bordered by Winthrop, Fairland and Moreland Streets, has deep meaning to the residents of the surrounding Roxbury neighborhood near Dudley Square. Rev. Michael Hayes, the first African-American Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives was pastor from 1964 to 2004 at near-by Twelfth Baptist Church. As a young minister, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King preached at the church’s prior location on Shawmut Avenue in Roxbury. Many other local activists from the African-American and Caribbean communities as well as other ethnic backgrounds fought for a betterment of lives, general conditions and society during their lifetimes. The Civil Rights Public Art Tribute project is intended to recognize these efforts.
This project is a collaborative effort between the City of Boston's Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust, Boston Parks and Recreation, the Boston Art Commission (BAC); the Vine Street Community Center; the Friends of Gertrude Howes Park; the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Roxbury Path Forward; the Mount Pleasant, Forest and Vine Streets Neighborhood Association (MPFVNA); the Art Selection Committee and community members. The Urban Culture Institute is facilitating the art selection process.
Gertrude Howes Park, 68 Moreland Street, is located in the heart of the Moreland Street Historic District of Roxbury. Established in 1930, the Park is energized by a diverse neighborhood community and by the revitalization of Dudley Square. Howes Playground provides 1.8 acres of passive and active areas with a children’s playground, sprinkler plaza, gazebo, benches, and picnic tables. Formerly contained within the Weld Estate in the mid-1800s, the park is the only large open land in the area that is still intact. The center of the park highlights a display of original Roxbury puddingstone outcroppings that were once surrounded by apple and pear orchards, farmlands, and pastures.
The designated site for the Civil Rights Tribute sits on a natural pinnacle in the center of Howes Park (see attached site photos). Currently a grassy area, the location offers visual drama because it is next to an eye-catching, elevated puddingstone rock outcropping surrounded by a stand of deciduous trees. The rocks serve as a natural foundation for the planned tribute. A plaza and spray fountain south of the rock formation is framed by a semicircular retaining wall, which is occasionally used as an amphitheater stage for small performances. The park offers a rich array of outdoor events and activities for children, youth and adults, including summer festivals, a playground and a popular spray fountain, yoga and fitness classes, music, picnics and more.
The Gertrude Howes Playground received an $850,000 facelift in 2012, completed by Ray Dunetz Landscape Architecture. The park was “named for former teacher, child lover and leader in school garden work, who made playground possible.” (Tribute Paid Late Gertrude Howes at Dedication of New Playground. Boston Globe, May 27, 1932). During World War II she established a Victory Garden at the Hemenway School, which provided fresh vegetables for school lunches. Many of her students later served in the military. Ms. Howes lived at 104 Winthrop Street.
Preference will be given to local and regional applications. Applicants are expected to have completed prior outdoor art or landscape projects or, temporary installations. Teams of artists and landscape designers are encouraged to apply. Artists and designers of diverse backgrounds with knowledge of African-American culture and history are also encouraged to apply.
The project is anticipated to be funded in part by the Edward Ingersoll Browne Trust Fund, a public charitable trust administered by the City of Boston Trust Office. The total anticipated all-inclusive budget for design, fabrication and installation is $200,000-250,000. The Art Selection Committee is committed to raising funds for the project. Up to four shortlisted finalists will receive a $2,500 honorarium each for initial concept development and presentations.
Summary of General Criteria for the Project
• Celebrate the civil rights movement of Roxbury and Boston with an innovative
public art installation and/or landscape design
• Sought is intimacy, warmth and neighborly self-worth
• Create new space to gather and socialize, knitting neighborhoods together
• Serve as a community service project, as well as an educational destination
• Design will offer a sense of place
• Appropriateness for the site, including scale and safety
• Low maintenance, permanent materials
• Apply sustainable design methods and principles.
• Adhere to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines as appropriate
Fri, 4/28 Release Call to Artists/RFQ
Thu, 5/25, 11:59pm MST RFQ deadline (application received)
TBA Up to 4 finalist artists/designers/teams announced
TBA Release Request for Proposals (RFP) to 4 finalists
Sat, 6/17 Public meeting with finalists
Wed, 7/26 Schematic design proposals due
Sat, 7/29 Public presentation of proposals to Selection Comm.
Week of 9/18 Revised proposal due & public presentation to ASC
Sat, 9/23 Public presentation of final/revised proposals to ASC
Fall 2017 Selected proposal(s) presentation to Boston Art
• Download the full RFQ which includes additional documentation, such as
select civil rights timeline facts, a bibliography and a list of project-relevant
Moreland St. Historic District neighborhood community organizations.
• Online photo documentation of the Howes Playground’s 2012 renovation by
Ray Dunetz Landscape Architecture.
• Facebook page with park activities.
HOW TO APPLY
Applicants will be required to submit the following via the online application at www.callforentry.org:
o 10 to 15 JPEG images of relevant past work.
o A corresponding, numbered, annotated image list with title, media, dimensions, location, brief description, date of the work, project budget and project partners (if applicable)
o CV/ Résumé with current contact information.
o Three references (include at least one from a project where the artists also served as project manager / construction administrator
• Apply online at www.callforentry.org
• Electronic submissions only
• Do not send proposals at this stage
• Submissions may be made publicly available for viewing
With technical questions about the application process please visit CafE Help.
With project-related questions please email Christina Lanzl.