A Queens Court Art RFP
for a Visual Tribute to Carrie Johnson
The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing (APAH) is inviting artist(s) to submit proposals for a commissioned, permanent artwork to be displayed at its Queens Court Apartments. APAH is a non-profit affordable housing developer whose mission is to develop, preserve, and own quality, affordable places to live; to promote stability and opportunity for our residents; and to advocate with the people and communities we serve. Queens Court Apartments will provide 249 affordable, rental homes in Rosslyn and will open in June 2021.
As part of its commitment to build beautiful, dignified spaces for lower-income residents and to celebrate culture and art, APAH has incorporated the work of local artists into the public spaces of its properties for the past four years. At Queens Court Apartments, APAH will continue and build on this work through both purchases, commissions, and dedicated space for rotating art exhibits.
APAH seeks to commission an artwork, focused on the broad theme of celebrating community engagement, to honor the life and contributions of Carrie Johnson. Carrie was an Arlington activist with a commitment to community engaged planning, a passion for the outdoors, and a commitment to an inclusive community. We are dedicating the community room at Queens Court, where resident programs will be held, in her honor. The artwork will be displayed on the wall immediately outside this room.
The commissioned artwork will be the focal point of the amenity corridor on the ground floor of Queens Court Apartments. The selected artist is charged with creating a permanent artwork that will elevate the people and space of Queens Court, inspire engagement, and make people feel wonderful and connected to where they live.
A committee of Carrie’s close friends has guided the vision for this tribute. If desired, the selected artist will have the opportunity to speak further to members of this committee to learn more about Carrie. Listed below are some of the ideas, recollections, values, and impressions members shared as they recalled Carrie’s life and contributions:
- Natural materials and color palette—Carrie loved browns, beiges, coppers, and greens.
- She honored simplicity—clean shapes and superb craftsmanship.
- She loved the outdoors and was an advocate for preservation of trees and open spaces and outdoor recreation.
- Other than Arlington, her other loved place was Butte, Montana—the copper (and perhaps rock) of that place should somehow be incorporated into the work.
- She was a Renaissance woman—with a wide variety of interests and passions—she loved jazz (Brubeck) and was writing a history of Butte, Montana and was a planner and deep thinker.
- She was an extraordinarily grounded person—low-key and non-confrontational, but clear and direct in her values and opinions.
- Her home was furnished in Danish Modern and Craftsman style.
- She was extraordinarily well-read; and loved baseball.
- A multi-media approach would suit her—something that includes paint, wood, metal.
- Ideally, the work should invite the viewer to engage, to have a tactile quality—for it to be ok for adults and children to touch at least a portion of the work.
- She loved community meetings and was emblematic of “the Arlington Way.”
The piece will be installed outside the Queens Court Community Room on a 14 foot wall between the two entrance doors; ceiling height is 9.5 feet. There are electrical plates at either end of the wall near each door; the space between the plates is 10 feet. Proposed work should not protrude significantly into the hallway and comply with ADA requirements without the addition of cane rails, but some depth of texture would be possible. The installation space faces windows which look out on a resident patio area and beyond to The Heights School and a community park. Proposed works may vary in size and can be a single work or multiples designed to hang together but should be of significant dimensions to boldly carry the space. A plaque with biographical information about Carrie Johnson will be installed to one side.
Selected artists will be able to visit the space to gather more details and take further measurements.
- April 15, 2021: Deadline for proposals
- Late April: Interviews, possible proposal refinement and final selection of artist
- May – June 15: Artwork Developed
- Late May: Progress Check-in
- Mid-June: Artwork Installed
- 3rd Week of June: Carrie Johnson Community Room Dedication
- June 29: Queens Court Grand Opening
Artist Qualifications and Requirements
- Experience in developing art that embodies and celebrates the values and ideals of an individual and community.
- Demonstrated openness and desire to engage (initially) with individuals close to Carrie Johnson to deepen their understanding and inspire their work.
- Demonstrated ability to create beautiful works that creatively incorporate diverse materials, images, words or other elements.
- Reflect and celebrate community diversity and inclusion.
- Ability to create a work that is beautiful but durable, suitable for installation in an indoor public space.
- Ability to work on time and on budget.
- Willingness to attend and participate in the Grand Opening and Dedication events.
Artists who submit a proposal will be paid a $150 proposal fee. For the project selected to move forward, budgets should range from $2,500 to $6,000. Budgets are all inclusive and should include concept development, project development including materials and supplies, delivery, and installation in a secure and appropriate manner for a multi-family, high traffic space. Note: Given the possibility of including copper or other materials from Montana, the committee will provide the selected artist assistance in sourcing this material if it is desired.
Please include the following in your proposal submission:
- Statement of intent—including how you would approach the project, engage with the committee, and reflect the themes outlined in this RFP
- Previous work samples
- Project budget, suggested materials and implementation
- Three references
- Availability to work within the given timeframe
Proposals should be submitted to Cheryl Ramp, APAH Director of Community Relations by email@example.com no later than April 15, 2021. Interested artists are also welcome to submit questions or seek clarifications if needed.