PITTSBURGH, PA (February 24, 2021) The City of Pittsburgh Department of City Planning Public Art and Civic Design (PACD) division announced there will be a series of calls for artists in 2021 to commission new public artwork as the City has dedicated over $800,000 for public art projects across 18 neighborhoods for the largest introduction of new public art in the city for decades. The projects are being funded through grants and percent for art funding as part of city projects, coming at no additional new cost.
“We are excited to announce these upcoming opportunities to enhance public art throughout the city,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Not only will these projects support our artists, but they also provide an opportunity to creatively reflect the values, character and identity of our communities.”
A significant portion of the funding is from a grant provided by the Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) Art in Parks program as part of the RADical ImPAct Grant program, launched in honor of RAD’s 25th anniversary to fund bold, forward-looking, creative projects that will have a radical impact on the region.
As part of the $500,000 RAD grant funding, the first call for artists will be seeking qualifications of individual artists or artist teams to create object-based sculpture or site-specific installations and landscape works in each of the city’s five RAD parks: Emerald View Park, Frick Park, Highland Park, Riverview Park, and Schenley Park. The City’s call for artists for the RAD Art in Parks was released on Wednesday, February 22, and bid submissions are due Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The request for proposals is available here.
"The RADical ImPAct grant program was designed to allow our regional assets to dream big about the future of our creative landscape," said Rich Hudic, RAD Executive Director. "We are particularly excited about the Art in Parks program, which will bring large-scale works of public art into our regional parks. We look forward to this project bringing a renewed sense of vitality to our public spaces by making art a part of our everyday lives."
Subsequent calls for artists throughout the year will include “percent for art” projects in various City parks and municipal buildings as well as the Bus Rapid Transit project. Percent for art refers to the city’s municipal ordinance that stipulates that at least one percent of the amount for municipal construction or renovation of public buildings be reserved for the inclusion of works of art. PACD is coordinating these with the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure (DOMI) and Department of Public Works (DPW) and calls for artists will be issued throughout the year as projects reach the appropriate design development stage.
The City of Pittsburgh currently maintains an inventory of nearly 200 public monuments, memorials and artworks. Public art humanizes our built environment, promotes social cohesion and understanding, supports our artists as contributors to economic growth and sustainability and creates meaning in the places where we live, work, and visit.
The announcement comes as PACD recently completed a survey of 89 artists to gather feedback on how they hear about and participate in the City’s public art opportunities and how processes can be improved. After analyzing survey results, PACD and the Office of Management and Budget’s Procurement division will be hosting a series of virtual workshops to help inform artists on how to prepare, register and submit proposals through the City’s procurement platform Beacon. The workshops will be held on Monday, March 8 from 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Monday, March 15 from 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM and Wednesday, March 17, 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM. Additional information about the workshops can be found on PACD’s website.