Call to Artists Mending Wall Project

Mending Wall Project Call to Artists 

(this is only a class assignment, not an actual public art proposal.  Please do not submit proposals unless you a student in BCUSP 191 at the University of Washington Bothell).

The University of Washington Bothell is seeking artists to participate in a competitive design process for the creation of temporary two and three dimensional works of art (or performance pieces) to be installed on the construction fences currently on campus.

This call is open to all entry level artists working and living in the State of Washington (for these purposes, entry level artists refer to those who have not previously received commissions valued over 5,500 $).  This project is limited to artist teams of four (clarified under Collaboration and Social Awareness).   Special consideration will be given to proposals that demonstrate an understanding of the diverse student population at UWB and the social issues that such a diverse population encompasses.

Deadline for Submissions: Friday, November 16th, 2012.

Project Details

The UW Bothell student population is growing rapidly and as a result the campus is expanding to keep up with the growth.  There are plans for numerous buildings to be constructed over the next several years on campus as funding becomes available.  Currently, construction began this summer on one of these new buildings (UW 3) as well as a student funded sports complex (bordering the wetlands below the North Creek Event Center) and the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory.

As a result of these projects, larger portions of the campus have been closed off by expansive chain link fences, which will remain in place until the completion of these projects in 2014.   Many cities nationwide utilize construction fences as an opportunity to display temporary art works designed to:

  •   Challenge viewers (students, faculty, staff and visitors on campus and online) to reconsider or re-envision the world around them
  •    enhance the appearance of these construction fences
  •   give artists an entry level opportunity to display their work and build their resumes

The UWB campus is now accepting proposals for artworks to be installed on the construction fences on campus.

Mending Wall

Utilizing the theme of fences, we recommend that you read Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall as a starting point for your design.   What do fences mean in our society?   When are they necessary/beneficial and when do they segment and discriminate?   There are real fences/boundaries and implied boundaries which are every bit as real, fortified and protected.  What are the benefits, the drawbacks of either of these types of fences?  Who benefits and who suffers?  How do fences/boundaries/borders further marginalize portions or our society?   How do you envision fences functioning in an ideal world—or would you have them at all?

We will particularly be looking for proposals that:

  • have strongly developed, thought provoking concepts
  • are aesthetically interesting
  • are innovative

Preference will be given to projects that explore and present the concept of fences from a social/political point of view over those whose primary function is to beautify the fences or as an advertisement opportunity for artists.

Because these works will be presented on the campus of a major university, they have the potential to initiate campus wide conversations on a whole host of issues, utilizing the concept of fences as an impetus.   The projects selected will inspire thought and hopefully lively debates in a socially responsible manner, remaining sensitive to the diversity present on this campus.

Even though these are temporary works and are not expected to last for more than three months, please consider public safety, durability and vandalism when developing proposals.    Projects involving shorter display periods will also be considered when sound reasons are presented such as for ephemeral, performance, or interactive works.

Collaboration and Social Awareness

Because of the social nature of this project, we are asking that they be designed by groups of 4 artists.  The goal of this is to inspire collaboration and to deepen the exploration of ideas and the issues surrounding the concept of fences/barriers in our society.

Budget and time considerations

The budget for each project is not to exceed 500$ for materials and supplies.  This amount was established for the following reasons:

  •   With such limited resources, we would like to give as many groups the opportunity to be involved in this project as possible, and to afford entry level artists the opportunity to demonstrate their artistic and conceptual strengths and to build their resumes
  •  The most important aspect of this project is a strong concept serving to spark campus wide conversation; this amount will require that tough choices to be made by each team to express their strongest concept
  •   In this economy it is difficult to set aside large amounts of funding for temporary works

There are many ways of working within a tight budget, and your project might include found or recycled materials for example to cut costs.


You will be required to submit your proposals in three different formats.

A poster which will be posted on the construction fences on campus with a QR code leading visitors to a webpage with project details and room for the community to post questions and comments on the proposals, and a packet for the selection committee. These submissions must include:

1)  an 18”x24” poster format that includes:

  • Image(s): this should constitute the majority of your presentation
  • Title and artists names
  • Brief description of concept
  • a QR code included  leading visitors to a webpage with further details and a place to submit questions and comments

You will submit the poster to us electronically as a PDF file which we will have printed, laminated and attached to the fence.  You may use any software you choose, but if you are unsure which to use (Illustrator, Photoshop, etc), we will provide instructions on how create a poster using Powerpoint, and how to save it as a PDF file.

2)   a word document containing:

  • Black and white image(s) of proposal
  • group artists statement
  • project description/conceptual concerns
  • Budget and installation guidelines

3) you must also load your projects onto a webpage (established for this project)  for public comments and questions and you will be required to respond to these posts.  This format must include:

  • Image(s)
  • artist’s statement
  • concept details

These projects can be two or three dimensional works of art but must not protrude more than 12” beyond either side of the actual fence, and 4 feet above the fence.  They may span from 6 ft. to 24 ft. in length but the length should be decided by the nature of the concept.  These proposals may take the form of murals, weavings, installation art, or even performance art with the understanding that some form of physical reminder or remembrance of the performance must be attached to the fence afterwards as a record of the event.

The selection committee will be comprised of a board of UW Bothell representatives including administrator(s), department director(s), lecturers, art faculty as well as student representatives.  Once the selection process has been completed, the teams will be notified and will have two weeks to purchase materials and complete the project.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s