CALL FOR ART: TEMPOart 2020 Oekologie: Resilience in Place

  • August 13, 2019

CALL FOR ART: TEMPOart 2020 Oekologie: Resilience in Place

Application deadline; Sept. 5, 2019

In framing his work in “the study of the household of nature,” Ernst Haeckel coined the term Oekologie in 1866 from “the Greek oikos, meaning ‘household,’ ‘home’ or ‘place to live” and logie, meaning “discourse” or “study.” This idea would evolve into the present day word “ecology” and the innumerable derivatives which study the interrelations between all manner of systems and their environments.

Independent of the specific field of study, there are two threads that stand out in defining strong and lasting ecologies. The foremost is the need for diversity and variety within a system in order to promote a fluid and consistent interplay and prevent stagnation. The second is the notion of resilience in which the elements of the system play off each other in a symbiotic way that compels the system to flourish naturally, and without undue outside influence. Or, more simply stated by Aldo Leopold in his idea of a “Land Ethic” as a responsible relationship between people and the land that they inhabit: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”

TEMPOart is seeking proposals for a temporary sculptural installation that investigates the theme of resilient ecologies centered on Haeckel’s original construction of “home” and “place.” We encourage applicants to consider relational systems and the idea that it is better to encourage diversity within the context of community and the places we call home. Concepts may draw on specific ecological fields, tangential topics such as environmental studies, permaculture, re-use/re-cycle streams, or other systems that govern the choices we make and the impact on the places we live. Proposed work should be fundamentally inclusive and is strongly encouraged to be participatory. We leave open interpretation of these terms. 

The installation site is Fish Point in Portland Maine. The site was selected based on ease of access from downtown Portland, proximity to the Eastern Promenade trail system, and usage by a wide cross section of the various communities that make up Portland. The specifics of the ultimate siting are subject to change depending on the nature of the selected work and the City of Portland approvals and permitting process.

The site is roughly located at: 43°39’58.1″N 70°14’20.4″W

Artist Eligibility Requirements

1. Artists, architects, designers, and landscape architects 18 years and older may apply. Groups and Collectives are invited to apply but must identify a single person within the application who will represent the work of their group.

2. A proven capacity to execute the proposed work. Prior experience with public installation work is strongly preferred but not required if the applicant can make a case for a successful outcome. 

3. Compliance with the City of Portland’s Temporary Art Guidelines.  TEMPOart will provide support and assistance with applications and permitting with the City of Portland, but all documentation and other requirements  (financial, administrative, legal and insurance) to obtain permits and approvals are the responsibility of the applicant.

4. The selected artist or group representative will be expected to be present for a kick-off fundraising event, throughout the installation of the work, and for at least one community engagement event during the summer in which the work will be on display. Applicants who are not local to the Northeastern United States should include provisions for travel and housing costs as part of their project cost estimates.

5. Artists will be required to carry general liability insurance for the project duration. TEMPOart can assist in pairing the artist with a local insurer if needed.

6. Artists or representative parties must be available to maintain and/or repair their work should the need arise.   

Project Budget

The maximum budget allocated for the proposed work will be $25,000.

This budget is inclusive of artist fees (which cannot be zero), design services, engineering support, document preparation, materials and supplies, rentals, transportation, site work, installation and de-installation, insurance, travel costs, and any other costs associated with procurement of the proposed installation.

Selection Process and Criteria

The selection process will be conducted in two rounds of submissions.

The initial round is framed as a Request for Qualifications accompanied by an Initial Concept and Rough Budgetary Estimate. Submissions will be evaluated based on the strength of past work and the quality of the proposed concept. Applicants with limited experience producing public art are encouraged to provide detailed concept proposals to demonstrate that they will be capable of executing the proposed work.

TEMPOart will select up to five submissions from the first round to be developed into full proposals in the second round. Selected finalists will receive a stipend of $500 and present their concept proposals to the TEMPOart Board of Directors, either in person (preferred) or via video conference in late October of 2019.

Submissions will be reviewed by a jury composed of TEMPOart board members and potentially other members of the Portland community (to be determined by the start of the second round). The criteria by which submissions will be evaluated are as follows:

·       Relevance to Theme

·       Visual Impact of Concept

·       Potential for Community Engagement (Interactivity, Events Programming, etc.)

·       Artistic Excellence

·       Strength of Prior Work

·       Site Specificity

·       Constructability/Durability/Safety

·       Capacity to Complete the work on time and within budget

TEMPOart reserves the right, in its sole discretion, with or without conditions, to accept one, more than one, or none of the initial or final submissions, and in unusual circumstances to extend the deadline and accept additional submissions. Any selected proposals will be required to enter into a written contract in a form acceptable to TEMPOart.

Project Timeline

July 31, 2019 | RFP Opens for Round 1 Submissions

September 5, 2019 | Round 1 Closes

Mid-September 2019 | Finalists Notified

Late-October 2019 | Proposal Presentations

Early-November 2019 | Artist Selection

November 2019 | Public Announcement and Fundraising Event

December – May 2020 | Design Finalization, City Permitting and Approvals

Early June 2020 | Project Installation and Public Opening

June – August 2020 | Summer Events and Public Programs

Fall 2020 | De-Commissioning

RFQ Round One Submission Requirements

1.       Resume or CV (2 Pages Max) – for group submission, one per member

2.       Artist Statement (150 Words Max) – Summarize your goals as an artist (or group)

3.       Project Narrative (350 Words Max) – What is your concept and how does it advance the theme

4.       Statement of Engagement (200 Words Max) – How will the work engage the community

5.       Means and Methods (250 Words Max) – Anticipated construction and installation methodology

6.       Preliminary Budget Estimate (1 page Max) – Categorical breakdown of anticipated expenses*

7.       Concept Sketches – (5 images Max and/or 1 video link Max)

8.       Relevant Prior Work Examples (5 images Max and/or 2 video links Max)**

*The proposed project may include assumptions about donated materials, in-kind services, or other items that have real value that is assumed to be discounted or free in the context of the proposed work.  These items should be called out within the budgetary estimate and assigned a real value, even if that value is not included in the total proposed project budget.

**for applicants with limited relevant prior work, additional concept material may be substituted here. Though prior built work examples are preferred, we are open to giving opportunities to artists who have strong concepts and can demonstrate a capacity to deliver the proposed work.

Submission Instructions

Submissions should be formatted as a single 8 ½” x 11”  PDF in the order indicated above. Images may be full page, but each must be labeled. Prior work examples should include relevant information such as Title, Medium/Materials, Size, Year of Completion, and Location.  Links to video content should be valid URL addresses for online viewing (please do not upload video files!).

Submissions should be sent to and must be received by 11:59pm on September 5, 2019.

Please direct any questions to:

Art Committee: Soren Deniord, Ziggy Drozdowski (Chair), Marianne Kroon, Alice Spencer, Dick Spencer



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Contact Information

Jenny Dougherty

PO Box 4101
Portland  ME  04101