The Alliance for Watershed Education seeks to commission interdisciplinary high quality original works of art for its network of 23 environmental centers. Please share the link with artists or creative teams that you think would be interested in this public art opportunity. Thank you!
Call to Artists/Request for Qualifications
Deadline for submissions: December 15th, 2017
The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River (AWE) was formed to create a
region-wide constituency of advocates for improved water quality, clean waterways and the
preservation of the health of the Delaware River and its tributaries. AWE seeks to commission
interdisciplinary high quality original works of art for its network of 23 environmental
centers. The art at each center will serve as a focal point to inspire people to explore, enjoy,
and engage with the watershed while creating awareness and advocacy for the protection and
restoration of the Delaware River Watershed. The outcome centers desire most is that the work
highlights the connectivity of the watershed and the 23 centers involved. Artists are welcome to
apply as individuals or as a collaborative team. All 23 centers must receive a work. However,
your proposed project may encompass either 1) works for all 23 centers or 2) works for a
smaller subset of centers, in which case multiple projects (yours and others) will be selected so
that, in the end, all 23 centers receive a work. In essence, the hope is that the art will act as a
springboard for opportunities well into the future around which each center could design
educational and interpretive programming.
Project Budget: This application represents the first phase of the commission process with the
Request for Qualifications and artist selection. Each finalist artist, or artist team, will be eligible
to receive a stipend of $2,000 to develop a thoughtful, creative, environmentally appropriate
concept plan and associated budget for the AWE. The intention of the concept plan is to provide
a detailed tool for the AWE to seek funding for design development and phased construction
implementation, including management of the program in its entirety. The anticipated range for
the total project will be $700,000 – 1,000,000 to be determined on successful fundraising.
OVERALL DESCRIPTION OF SITES
The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River is an active regional constituency
of stewards for clean water. Comprised of 23 environmental education centers in New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, and Delaware, all centers are located along the Delaware River and its tributaries
as well as on the watershed’s trail system, “the Circuit” and connecting trails. These trails
provide substantial public access to waterways. The Delaware River is the longest undammed
river east of the Mississippi, and its watershed stretches all the way into upstate New York,
providing clean drinking water for more than 15 million people. The Delaware River watershed
also provides crucial habitat to countless species of plants, animals and migratory birds.
Located in urban and rural settings, the areas are geologically diverse ranging from mountains
to wetlands. This is a unique opportunity to create both trail and river-based art installations
and/or performances within a wide range of environments.
In addition, AWE environmental education centers are important community gathering places
providing hands-on learning opportunities to area residents, from citizen science to nature
walks, bird and plant identification, art classes, trail races and recreational activities. Applicants
are encouraged to visit their websites and ideally, the actual centers. Artists/artist teams finalists
will attend a Pre-Proposal Meeting to learn more about AWE.
In interviews with each of the 23 centers involved, these were the top priorities (in order) for
what the project would achieve:
- Demonstrate connectivity of watershed and AWE network
- Enhance unique identity of centers
- Interpretive with program opportunities related to social, cultural and
ecological solutions; community engagement
- Visibility – draw Circuit trail activity to the center (lacking due to remote
location of trail or Circuit users just pass it by)
- Attract culture-seekers and other new demographics as well as new
- Complement new program initiative at a center or the center opening
DuPont Environmental Education Center, Wilmington DE
ART COMMISSION OPPORTUNITY
In 2018-2019 AWE will launch a wave of collaborative public arts projects. These
interdisciplinary works of art are designed to bring a holistic approach to understanding
waterway systems and in particular, the interconnectivity of the Delaware River Watershed. All
selected projects by artists, or artist teams, will relate to the overriding theme of the Delaware
River Watershed and its protection and restoration. Specific topics may include: water
quality, recovery and protection, storm runoff, conservation, drinking water, bird
migration, and waterway ecologies.
Individual artists and/or collaborative creative teams may apply – creatives from a range of fields
are encouraged to apply (i.e., artists/writers, designers, scientists, engineers and architects). Art
disciplines may include sculpture, installation, the performing arts, social practice or communitybased
projects, and more. All of the work will be temporary with the length of time determined
by the concept of the piece and in cooperation with AWE and the participating environmental
The series will communicate and engage diverse publics – from school children to environmental
scientists, from park visitors and recreators (e.g. cyclists, walkers, birders) on adjacent trails to
area residents and artists. Participants will gain awareness of the role of the Delaware River as
a water resource and will increase their understanding of water conservation and actions they
can take to improve water quality. Through these direct experiences, we hope to address social
and cultural concerns in which humans are the most significant natural force.
Topographical subsets may include marsh/wetlands, woods/forest, urban riverfront, and
meadow/field. Requirements and challenges pertaining to certain centers may include permit
restrictions, security and maintenance resources, and limited square footage for installation.
These logistical considerations may impact the suitability of a project to a particular site.
Project Budget: The selected concept plan(s) and associated budget will be used in grant
applications to support the design development and phased construction implementation. The
projected budget for the commission(s) will be determined in part by the scope of the artist
project(s) and related administrative and program expenses for the participating centers. Finalist
artists/artist teams will submit a budget inclusive of all artist(s) fees, insurance, fabrication,
installation, travel, and other project related expenses.
Lehigh Gap Nature Center, Slatington, PA
ELIGIBILITY AND SELECTION CRITERIA
This is an competition is open to artists and artist teams nationally. The Alliance for Watershed
Education reserves the right to determine additional eligibility requirements.
Artworks or projects will be selected on the basis of creativity, artistic merit, technical
proficiency, and relationship to the sites. Although these will be temporary installations, and
ephemeral in the case of performances, durability and public safety concerns will be major
selection criteria. Artists are required to comply with applicable rules, contracts, and procedures
of the participating environmental centers and associated partners and agencies.
Water resources are shared by all people, and it is a priority for this project to be accessible to
the widest possible range of communities. As such, we encourage applications from artists of
The selection process will take place in two stages.
Stage 1 consists of this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), due December 15, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Applications will be reviewed by representatives of the commissioning agency based on the
stated criteria. Up to 7 applicants will be selected to submit full proposals.
Stage 2 consists of a full proposal from the applicants selected for Stage 1. Selected artists will
be required to submit a formal proposal consisting of narrative text, proposed budget, and
images. An independent selection panel will review all applications. Stage 2 applicants will be
required to give an in-person presentation.
Stage 2 applicants will receive a $2000 honorarium to cover research, administrative and
Once implementation funds are secured, the artist/artist team selected will be required to enter
into an agreement with AWE prior to commencing. No selections shall be deemed final until a
proposal has been fully approved and an agreement properly executed by the artists/teams. If a
finalist(s) is not selected from the original finalist group, AWE reserves the right to re-open the
PROJECTED TIMETABLE (PLEASE SAVE THESE DATES)
- Issue Call October 30, 2017
- Submission Deadline 5 p.m. on December 15, 2017
- Finalist Notification January 10, 2018
- Pre-Proposal Meeting* January 22, 2018
- Proposals Due May 9, 2018
Panel Presentation* May 25, 2018
- Artist Notification June 15, 2018
*Your in-person attendance at the Pre-Proposal Meeting and Panel Presentation is required; if
you are unable to attend, you must arrange for a proxy who is familiar with your work to attend
in your place. Additional arrangements for artists where travel may present a hardship will be
considered on a case by case basis.
STAGE 1/RFQ APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Email the following to email@example.com via the file-sharing program Dropbox .
Applicants unable to use Dropbox can send a CD to: Teresa Jaynes, Project Manager, ℅ Trish
Franklin, Independence Seaport Museum, 211 South Christopher Columbus Boulevard,
Philadelphia, PA 19106
Submit eight (8) digital work samples of your artwork
● Video/audio/digital images work samples should be labeled as last name, first name,
and number; for example: Smith_Jane_01
● Images should be saved as JPEGs, GIFs, or PNGs at 72 dpi with 1200 pixels as the
● Videos should be saved as MP4 or AVI files (up to 250MB), and audio files should be
saved as MP3 (up to 30MB). Video and audio files should be no longer than 2 minutes in
length. Send files along with complete application to the above email address.
● Samples should be of work that is no more than 5 years old.
Submit the following information as A SINGLE Word or PDF document:
● Artist Info: Name, Address, Phone, Email, Website, ethnic background (optional), how
you heard about the call (optional). Artist teams should identify a lead artist for contact
● Statement of Interest: This brief cover letter may include related experience, artistic
ambitions, and/or a description of your vision for the project; you may include proposed
images, if applicable (One text page maximum, including images)
● Resume or Bio (Two-page maximum and include all key collaborators if artist team)
● Image/video/audio identification Sheet: These must correspond to the numbers of
your submitted images. List your images as: Title. Year. Materials. Dimensions.
Location (if applicable). Project Budget (if applicable).
● Title your document as last name_first name_Info; for example: Smith_Jane_Info
General application guidelines
● Submit what you believe is your strongest work, in the context of this commission
● Submit your work samples in the order you would like them to be reviewed
● For images with details: show the overall image first, followed by detail images
● Do not send additional catalogs, reviews, promotional items, or original artworks; they
will not be reviewed or returned
● Incomplete or illegible submissions will not be reviewed; it is the applicant’s responsibility
to verify the completeness of their application
The application deadline for submission is December 15, 2017 at 5 p.m.
Tacony Creek Park, Tookany-Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership, Philadelphia, PA
NOTIFICATION OF RESULTS
All applicants will receive notification by email. Please do not call the Alliance for Watershed
Education, the Selection Panel, or any members of the project team directly for competition
AWE reserves the right to change, modify, or revise the Call for Artists, in part or
whole, at any time without prior notice. AWE reserves the right to make no selection for this call
Pending funding, the artists/artist teams selected will be required to enter into an agreement
with the AWE prior to commencing. No selection shall be deemed final until a proposal has
been fully approved and an agreement properly executed by the artist, AWE and the
participating environmental centers. If a finalist is not selected from the original finalist group,
the AWE reserves the right to return to the original group of artists who responded to this call to
artists or otherwise solicit proposals.
ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FOR WATERSHED EDUCATION
The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River is an active regional constituency
of stewards for clean water in the Delaware River watershed (map). Each of the 23 centers is
located along a Circuit Trail or major connecting trail, and on waterways throughout the
Delaware River Watershed in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The Alliance shares a
mission to provide education and recreational opportunities that inspire personal conservation
action, improve water quality, strengthen community ties, and increase access to trails and
waterways throughout the watershed.
Petty’s Island, Camden, NJ