DEADLINE: WEDNESDAY, JULY 20 at
5:00 pm (PDT) 11:59 pm (PDT) via SlideRoom
Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
Artwork Design Services for Temporary Construction Site Visual Mitigation Banners • Westside Purple (D Line) Extension Project, Section 3 • Westwood/VA Hospital Station
Metro Art invited visual artists and artist teams to submit their qualifications for an opportunity to design four (4) original, site-responsive artworks for large-scale temporary banners to be affixed to sound barrier walls surrounding the Westwood/VA Hospital Station construction site, as part of a visual mitigation measure for the Purple (D Line) Extension Project.
Request for Qualifications
- To read the complete Request for Qualifications (RFQ), click here and download the 19-page PDF.
- To preview the application on SlideRoom, click here.
- Submit qualifications via SlideRoom no later than Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at
5:00 pm (PDT)11:59 pm (PDT).
Metro Art hosted an online information session for applicants on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 from 2-3 pm (PDT). This session covered background on Metro Art, the Call for Mitigation Banner Artwork for the Westwood/VA Hospital station, an overview of eligibility and application requirements. Applicants are encouraged to watch this recording.
Questions & Answers (Q & A)
All Q&A received during the open call can be found below. The Q&A is now closed.
Updated June 3, 2022
Q1: What is the timeframe of the project? When does it begin and when do final artwork designs need to be delivered?
A1: It is anticipated that the Period of Performance will be 2023-2025. This means the selected artist will begin work some time in 2023. The timeline of deliverables outlined in the Statement of Work (Exhibit A in the RFQ), including final design delivery (Milestone 3: Artwork Designs Development 100%) will depend on when the contract is executed, and the artist begins work. The date is not known at this point.
Q2: I am living in NYC. I would like to know, do I have to be a resident of Los Angeles to submit artwork?
A2: No, you do not have to be a resident of Los Angeles to submit artwork. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States (per U.S. Department of Labor). Employees and contractors of Metro are not eligible.
Updated June 17, 2022
Q3: Can individual artists submit to this, or only arts organizations?
A3: Metro Art currently has TWO separate and distinct opportunities for the arts community, one is a Call to Artists (this one) for Artwork Design Services for Temporary Construction Site Visual Mitigation Banners Westside Purple (D Line) Extension Project, Section 3, Westwood/VA Hospital Station, which is open to individual artists. We also have the Call for the 2022 Arts & Cultural Organizations Pool (more info on metro.net/art) which is only open to Arts & Cultural Organizations.
Q4: Does each construction site get its own signage? I ask because there’s two different Calls for Art.
A4: Yes, the art banner designs for the Westwood/VA Hospital Station will be original and site-responsive (meaning the artist will consider the character of the project area and the people/places in the vicinity of the future station) and will only be used at this construction site. Regarding the two different calls, please see the answer above (the other Call is not for construction site banners).
Q5: Can/should the same submission be submitted to both of those Calls?
A5: No, the two current calls on Metro Art’s website have different eligibility requirements.
Q6: Why is the Info Session, where I assume submitting artists will receive a lot of information about these Calls, after the submission date?
A6: The Info Session is before the July 20, 2022, submission date, it is happening on Wednesday, June 22, 2-3pm. This Info Session is ONLY for the Call to Artists: Artwork Design Services for Temporary Construction Site Visual Mitigation Banners Westside Purple (D Line) Extension Project, Section 3, Westwood/VA Hospital Station.
Q7: Where can I find the design specifications like size definitions and all of that? Should my submission include the specific design/s I’d like to submit, or would it just like examples of the work I’ve done in the past?
A7: This is a Request for Qualifications. You should only submit relevant examples of past work. Do NOT submit proposals for new artwork. Apply here: https://metroart.slideroom.com/
Q8: Is there any way that I can deliver my art and sign the application inside your building because my computer is not working for me?
A8: I am afraid not, as stated in the RFQ document, under “Notes” in the Eligibility section: Hard copy application materials will not be reviewed and will be returned unopened. Note that your local library has computers that you can use for free. Also, the selected artist will be required to submit final artwork designs as digital files.
Q9: Is it possible to have payments made out to someone else on my behalf?
Also, if Metro would consider paying a sponsor on my behalf, do I still have to be an LA resident to qualify for opportunities?
A9: The selected artist will enter into an agreement with Metro, the agreement must be with the entity fulfilling the services of the contract, which in this case is the artist or the artist’s own business. The name on the agreement has to match the vendor name (name for payment) and their W9 form. We cannot enter into an agreement with a third party on behalf of the artist.
You do not have to be a resident of Los Angeles to qualify for this opportunity. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States (per U.S. Department of Labor). Employees and contractors of Metro are not eligible.
Updated June 24, 2022
Q10: I see that the call is open to US artists and wanted to confirm. I was also curious that if you made it to the next round that requires community engagement with VA and community members, is that an activity to be done in person or virtually?
A10: This call is open to applicants legally authorized to work in the United States (per U.S. Department of Labor).
Per the Statement of Work (Exhibit A) included in the RFQ document: “Community engagement activities must take place at or near the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center and in coordination with Metro and VA staff.”
Q11: When will the Q&A from the June 22 Info Session be posted on the Metro Art website?
A11: We received many great questions and will answer all of them and post by next Friday, July 1.
Updated July 1, 2022
Q12: When you say veterans do you mean military vets?
A12: Yes, veterans who have served in the United States military. The construction site is located at the West Los Angeles VA Medical Campus.
Q13: Do we have to submit 10 images, or can we submit less? Will submitting less images count against us for the submission process?
A13: You can submit 1-10 images. Please submit as many images as you can of your relevant past work. The review panel will use the evaluation criteria noted in the RFQ document for the finalist selection.
Q14: For the final project, are you looking for more digital type artists?
A14: No, this is open to any media that is 2D (two dimensional). The final artwork must be submitted as high-resolution digital files. Artwork can be scanned or photographed if it is not initially created digitally.
Q15: Is this commission best suited for abstract art?
A15: There is no one best approach for the banner designs. Past banner designs have been representational, abstract, and more. The artwork does need to be site-responsive: connect with, for example, the people, place, culture, history, etc. of the site in some way.
Q16: Are there limits to the number of members in an Artist Team?
A16: Metro will enter into a contract with one entity. That entity may collaborate with other individuals. Please keep in mind the budget is the same regardless of the number of involved parties.
Q17: My past work is not reflective of the veteran community, but may I still apply? Can emerging artists apply?
A17: There is no prerequisite of working with veterans. For the Letter of Interest we ask you to describe your interest in engaging with the veteran community. We welcome artists with all levels of experience to apply.
Q18: Will these projects involve community engagement with the community at the VA?
A18: The commissioned artist will determine how they want to do the community engagement (based on their accepted proposal). The activities must take place at or near the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center and in coordination with Metro and VA staff.
Q19: Does the artwork have to relate only to the veteran community? Not the greater Westwood area?
A19: The final banner design shall be site-responsive. The “site” can include the greater Westwood area.
Q20: Describe what you expect out of the community engagement.
A20: The community engagement shall include activities intended to inform and build awareness of the artwork design for the banners.
Q21: I worked with the Metro on a past (smaller) project. Are there restrictions on repeat applicants? Or a preference for new artists?
A21: Artists who have been commissioned by Metro in the past are eligible to apply.
Q22: Is there a specific subject matter or topic that you are looking for?
A22: For this Call to Artists, applicants are to submit images of past relevant artwork. Finalists will be identified to develop proposals as part of the selection process.
Q23: What are the artists being paid for their work?
A23: Artists/artist teams who are invited to submit proposals will be paid $1,000 for their proposals. The commissioned artist/artist team will be awarded a $50,000 contract.
Q24: For the application, can we submit work that we have created with students or communities? Or should we only submit work we created on our own?
A24: You may submit images of artwork you have created with students and communities. You must be clear in your description that the work is a collaboration and credit your collaborators. As a best practice, it is suggested that you also submit artwork that you created on your own so the review panel can see your individual art practice too.
Q25: Will submitting to this project also place us in the artist pool for other projects or is that a separate submission process?
A25: The Artist Pool is a separate submission process. Make sure to subscribe to email updates on our website to stay tuned for future information about the next Artist Pool.
Q26: Is there a specific size of the images that justifies “high resolution,” is that 300 dpi?
A26: The application does not specify the resolution of the images. Make sure your images are not blurry or pixelated. 300 dpi is the best resolution for printing, but not required for the application.
Q27: Is there an issue if you have a family member who has worked at Metro?
A27: Employees and contractors of Metro are not eligible to apply.
Q28: How will you involve the veteran community?
A28: Information about the Artist Call has been shared with veterans’ organizations and the VA. The commissioned artist will engage the veteran community with activities at or near the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center.
Q29: When is the projected installation date and how long will the banners be up?
A29: The installation date will be determined at a later time. The banners are temporary and may be displayed as long as the construction phase of the Westwood/VA Hospital Station or for a shorter period of time.
Q30: My resume is very limited; I do not have much experience. What should my resume include?
A30: Artist resumes include education, grants, awards, fellowships, residencies, exhibitions, teaching experience, commissions, collections, bibliography, etc. Include any art related experience you have.
Q31: How many artist(s) are being selected for this project?
A31: One artist or artist team will be commissioned for this project.
Q32: Could American patriotism “flag aesthetic” which is often a motif of VA and Veteran services be considered a controversial/conflicting element in this commission?
A32: Artists invited to submit proposals may wish to do preliminary research in this area. The commissioned artist will conduct community engagement at or near the VA West Los Angeles Medical Center and can use these activities to workshop design ideas.
Q33: Will the references be contacted? Can you provide some insight about what type of references you would recommend? For example, a character reference versus someone who can speak about the artist’s work?
A33: References will be contacted to verify the information provided in the application. References should be professional, such as a curator, professor, project manager, gallery director or other professional affiliations familiar with your artistic practice, preferably someone who has managed a prior project or commission that you have participated in.
Q34: Can we send in multiple images of a single project? Or would you prefer each image reflect a distinct project?
A34: You may submit multiple images of a single project if you think it strengthens your application. You can submit up to ten images total. It is a best practice to submit as many images of distinct, relevant past work as you can.
Q35: How will the work be archived after the site is complete?
A35: This is a temporary project. The banners may exist as long as the construction phase of Westwood/VA Hospital Station or for a shorter period of time. Metro Art may photograph the banners for documentation.
Q36: Does the artist have to budget the $50,000, or is it basically a flat fee?
A36: The finalists will be required to submit a budget, showing a breakdown of the $50,000 as part of their proposal.
Q37: Is a budget needed after being chosen?
A37: The commissioned artist will work under a contract and the contract milestone payments will be disbursed at the completion of each of the contract milestone deliverables. See the Statement of Work (Exhibit A) included in the RFQ document for reference. The all-inclusive contract award will be $50,000.
Q38: The panelists will be art professionals and you said veterans—do you mean military vets?
A38: The artist review panel includes community-based visual arts professionals and representatives from the military veteran community.
Q39: How many finalists will be selected?
A39: Up to five finalists will be invited to submit proposals.
Q40: Can you give examples of community engagement?
A40: Examples of community engagement include (but are not limited to) workshops, artist talks, pop-up events and hands-on collaboration with stakeholders.
Q41: Are previous artists able to apply?
A41: Artists who have been commissioned by Metro in the past are eligible to apply.
Q42: How many artists do you anticipate applying?
A42: We cannot predict how many artists will apply.
Updated July 8, 2022
Q43: Hi, I was wondering if you guys call the artist’s references directly, and do they have to answer any specific questions?
A43: References will be contacted to verify the information provided in the application.
Q44: Writing is not my thing. Can I submit the application without letter of interest?
A44: No, a Letter of Interest is a requirement of the application. An application will be considered incomplete without the Letter of Interest. The Letter of Interest does not need to be long, but does need to describe your art practice and interest in designing original, site-responsive artworks for temporary banners at the Westwood/VA Hospital Station construction site and your interest and/or experience in engaging with the veteran community.
Q45: How do you qualify?
A45: Please see the RFQ document for eligibility requirements.
Updated July 11, 2022
Q46: For the professional references, are you asking for three letters of reference or are you asking for three contacts?
A46: Please provide contact information for three references, not letters. In the SlideRoom application, upload a PDF with three professional references (name, e-mail, phone number and affiliation with the applicant).
Q47: I was reading the Statement of Work and in the Conditions section it says Metro owns the artwork designs. Why does the selected artist not get to copyright their artwork designs for the banners?
A47: Metro is paying the commissioned artist $50,000, which includes a full acquisition of their artwork designs for the temporary construction site banners. This is a Work for Hire contract, a standard contract type, where Metro holds the copyright through an agreement signed by both parties. The designs will be formatted in a Metro banner template that includes information about the artist and the artwork, printed by a third-party on vinyl banners, and installed by other entities on construction fences. Banners can be damaged or deteriorate and Metro needs the flexibility to be able to reprint and reposition the banners at any time. It is for practical reasons that Metro uses a Work for Hire type contract for these types of commissions. There are no revenue generating activities associated with this project.
Q48: It appears that only Metro or contracted Metro employees can submit applications for this project.
A48: No, in fact, employees and contractors of Metro are not eligible to apply.
Q49: Is it prudent for an artist to create work specifically for this project that isn’t in any way a derivative of the artist’s past or planned future work, like any other work for hire design project?
A49: The commissioned artist will create art banner designs for the Westwood/VA Hospital Station that are original and site-responsive (meaning the artist will consider the character of the project area and the people/places in the vicinity of the future station).
Q50: Why do we need 3 references?
A50: This is a professional artist opportunity. References will be contacted to verify the information provided in the application. References should be professional and familiar with your artistic practice.
Q51: How should I write a letter of interest “describing my interest/experience in engaging with the veteran community” when I’ve never done this?
A51: There is no prerequisite of prior work with veterans for this project. Write about what interests you as an artist in potentially creating a work that responds to the site and working with the veteran community.
Q52: What’s the difference between “applicant’s own original artwork” and “proposals for new artwork”?
A52: An applicant’s own original artwork is any past relevant artwork that you made and that shows your general artistic approach, not new artwork or a proposal created for the application.
Q53: Why do I have to submit high resolution images in the application?
A53: The application does not specify the resolution of the images. Make sure your images are not blurry or pixelated so the artist review panel can see your work properly.
Q54: Even though Metro owns the artwork designs, will Metro still credit the commissioned artist?
A54: Metro includes information about the artist and the artwork design in the banner format. Examples of past artist designed banners, all displayed alongside recognition of the artist and information about the artwork, are included in Exhibit C – Examples of Metro Construction Site Visual Mitigation Banners in the RFQ document. In general, Metro will endeavor to fully credit the artist in all uses, whether in whole or in part of the artwork design.
Q55: I would love to apply, but I am confused, it says that prior experience is not necessary, yet evaluation places 40% of the score on prior experience. Am I misunderstanding this?
A55: Prior experience creating public art and prior experience working with veterans is not required. The “Experience” noted in the evaluation criteria is any experience you have as an artist creating artworks that are responsive to site and community.
Q56: Is there an age requirement to apply to this artist call? Can my 14-year-old apply?
Q57: I was looking at the SlideRoom website, where you submit your application, and it says it requires you to agree to their terms, which if you read clearly says that they can reproduce, post and copy anything you submit.
Updated July 15, 2022
Q58: For the application in SlideRoom, may I include a link to my LinkedIn profile instead of a resume?
A58: No, you must upload a resume as a PDF (2 pages max). A link to an external website does not meet the application requirements and the application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed.
Q59: I made a mistake on my SlideRoom application, but I already submitted it. Can you un-submit it so I can fix it?
A59: Yes, you may either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at 5pm PST and we can un-submit it or you can contact SlideRoom customer service: https://www.slideroom.com/contact/.
Q60: I missed the Information Session about this Artist Call, was it recorded?
A60: Yes! You can find a YouTube link to the recording on our website under “Information Session.”
Q61: I submitted my application to SlideRoom and got confirmation it was received, should I also email it to you?
A61: No, you are all set. You only need to submit your application to SlideRoom and we will get it.
Q62: Till when can I submit questions about the application?
A62: Per the RFQ document, the last day to submit questions was July 13, 2022. We recommend reviewing the Q&A on our website, carefully reviewing the RFQ document and watching the Information Session recording to find the answer to your question after this date.