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VI. Procedures for Selection and Acquisition of Works and Art

Abstract assemblage with right angles and circles in various earth tones.

A. Initiation of Public Art Projects:

Concepts for public art projects (not existing works of art) may be initiated and brought to the Board for consideration by the following entities: members of the public, the Mayor, the City Council, a User Department representative, a neighborhood group or other community organization,  private donor(s), an Arts Board member, or Public Art staff. Preliminary meetings may be held to determine possibilities regarding the theme, the site, appropriate artists or a particular artist, the make up of a Committee and other related matters.

B. Unsolicited Proposals:

Acquisition of existing Works of Art or for procuring art from a particular artist, for consideration for purchase or donation, can be submitted by an artist, members of the public, the Mayor, the City Council, a User Department representative, a neighborhood group or other community organization, private donor(s), an Arts Board member, or Public Art staff. The proposal shall first be considered by the standing Unsolicited Proposal Committee for recommendation to the full Board. If an Unsolicited Proposal is submitted by an Arts Board member, that member shall recuse him/herself from voting at any level of consideration. The full Board shall consider the Unsolicited Proposal Committee recommendations at least annually.

C. Public Art Plans:

The Program may develop comprehensive plans to establish particular parameters, themes or objectives in relation to a particular Project or series of Projects. A Plan may be developed in response to other City projects, such as capital construction projects, historic zoning plans, or cultural enhancement endeavors. Plans shall be reviewed and approved by the Arts Board and other appropriate administration officials. Examples of previously adopted Plans are as follow: El Camino Real/Road of Life Heritage Drive Plan, Interstate Corridors Enhancement (ICE) Plan, the Murals Plan, the Art Plan for the Convention Center, and the Master Plan for Art at the Albuquerque International Sunport.

D. Public Art Policies:

The Program may develop comprehensive policies and procedures to establish specific parameters or objectives in relation to particular genres of public art such as murals, digital and temporary art installations and other forms of cultural assets or expressions.

E. Establishment of Project Planning or Art Selection Committees

  1. A Committee, established by the Arts Board, shall be convened for every Project. The Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the Chair of the Board at the time the committee is formed. Each Committee, in most circumstances, shall include a minimum of 2 current Arts Board members to serve as liaisons, one of which will serve as the chairperson of the committee, and User Department representative(s). Arts Board Members whose term expires during a project may continue to serve as Arts Board liaison to the committee for the duration of the project. When feasible, the remaining members of a Committee shall include one or more of each of the following: an artist and/or arts professional, a design consultant, a member of the facility users or constituent community and, in particular for Works of Art at sites out-of-doors, one or more representatives of the neighborhood or community. In an effort to maintain balance, for projects which involve multiple, official User Representatives, the same number of community representatives shall be invited to participate. Ideally there shall be a total of five to eleven members.

  2. The Committee shall be enabled by the Arts Board to carry out the development of the project scope and Prospectus and the selection of the Artist(s) or the Work of Art within the parameters established by the Arts Board for that project, subject to the approval of the Arts Board and the administration.

  3. In unusual circumstances, i.e. donations, unique funding sources, or design team projects, variations in the composition of the Committee may be permitted. Determination of which process is to be used and which additional individuals are to be involved, if any, shall be approved by the Board.

  4. A Committee shall generally conduct business by discussions in order to arrive at a consensus among the members and to ensure mutual understanding and respect in response to a variety of aesthetic values. All Committee members should be involved in the final decisions regarding the Prospectus, the selection of an Artist(s) or Work of Art, the approval of a proposal, determination of site issues, or any other committee business. If the committee is unable to achieve a consensus, any committee action shall be decided by a simple majority vote.

  5. Voting: In establishing an art Selection committee of stakeholder representatives, the Arts Board will comprise approximately 1/3 of the committee for the purposes of voting.

F. Committee Meetings:

The Project Planning/Art Selection Committee is chaired and/or co-chaired by the Arts Board member(s). Public Art Program staff coordinates the meetings, provides and reports on project materials and project specifics, and records the efforts of the Committee throughout out the process. The entire Committee or designated representatives are responsible for making a final presentation to the full Board upon final selection and recommendation of an artist, artist team or artwork. Staff will assist in compiling and preparing the presentation materials, but the committee members themselves must make the presentation at the end of the process.

G. Committee Members Roles:

1.   Arts Board Member(s) – Chair or co-chair the Committee; relay important over arching Public Art Program goals, policies and procedures to the Committee; advise on art element matters and share the history and knowledge of other public art projects with the Committee.

2.   User Agency Representative(s) – Convey to the Committee the mission of the User Agency; report on public use and interaction of the site and with other user agency staff; cultivate stewardship responsibilities from within the agency for the resulting project; provide regular project updates to Department Director and other relevant user agency management.

3.   Neighborhood Representative(s) – convey to the Committee the immediate and broader neighborhood desires and concerns about the site or how the art project will function in the area; cultivate stewardship responsibilities from the neighborhood for the resulting project; provide regular reports to other neighborhood members and/or organizations during the selection process as well as during the artwork creation/installation process;  establish local resources and network connections for the artist(s) to tap into for project design development and creation/installation.

4.   Design Professional – provide to the Committee the intent of the architectural, structural, landscape or other design elements of the site or facility; recommend opportunities for the art to be more integrated into the site including ways to utilize electrical, structural, plumbing or other useful infrastructure; advise and provide to the selected artist(s) additional technical drawings or materials to assist with installation.

5.   Artist or Arts Professional – assist with conveying to the Committee methods of interpreting and evaluating artistic craftsmanship, aesthetic design and meaning of public art design concepts; advise on methods for evaluating artists’ background, experience and capacity for achieving successful project completion; and help other Committee members with art terminology and champion the role of the artist(s) in public art projects.

6.   City Council Representative – assist with communications between the Committee and the City Councilor; advise on issues pertinent to the Council District and cultivate leadership and support for the project process and resulting artwork.

7.   Public Art Program Staff – provide all required administrative functions to facilitate the Art Selection process including coordinating meetings and site visits; recording the actions of the Committee; creating, gathering, distributing, receiving and organizing materials and documents to ensure proper information exchange between all parties involved in the process; assist with preparation of the final Committee Art Selection recommendation back to the Board; providing progress reports to department officials and administration to ensure support for the project process and resulting artwork.

H. Methods for Selection of an Artist(s), Artworks, Curator, and/or Organization:

The methods of selection described in these Guidelines may be used to select an artist or artists, a curator, an organization and/or specific artworks. Curators or organizations may be used to assist the Arts Board in acquiring appropriate artist services or Works of Art.

  1. Open Competition - This is an open call for artists to compete for a commission or purchase for a Work of Art. There are no restrictions other than the residency requirement, or the medium, or style defined by the Prospectus, or the standard criteria for selection of artists.
  2. Open/Invitational - This is an open call for artists that includes the possibility that certain, appropriate artists may receive invitations to compete. From this group, an artist(s) would be selected.
  3. Invitational - This is an invitation to certain, identified, appropriate artists to submit materials for consideration on a Project. From this group, an artist(s) would be selected.
  4. Direct Selection - This is the direct identification of a specific artist (or artists such as a team) who has been identified by the Committee as being capable of providing the requirements of the Project as defined in the Prospectus. With Direct Selection the artist is providing sole source services. Direct Selection may also be utilized in the acquisition of an existing, specific, Work of Art(s). Unsolicited Proposals fall under this category (see above).
  5. Selection of a Curator, or Organization, or Project Jury Panel - For certain Projects, the Committee and/or staff may identify other entities or individuals to assist in development of the Project. Program staff, working with the Arts Board liaisons, would make all necessary arrangements.


I. Development of the Prospectus:

  1. The Board, Committee and/or Staff shall develop project criteria such as site, theme, media, scale, method of artist or Work of Art selection, residency of eligible artists, determination of the selection process and other appropriate parameters. The Prospectus may take different forms including but not limited to Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Qualifications (RFQ) or a hybrid RFP/RFQ. The Arts Board and Public Art Program staff uses an Evaluation Criteria matrix that documents the process and for final assessment, rating and, if necessary, scoring of all proposed public art projects. Each project Evaluation Criteria Matrix is customized to reflect the needs of the project.
  2. Public Art Program staff shall draft the Prospectus according to the Board and Committee's recommendations.
  3. The Board approves, amends or rejects the Prospectus. If the recommendations in the Prospectus are amended or rejected by the Board, the Committee will be contacted and may address the concerns and resubmit the Project Prospectus to the Board.
  4. Upon approval by the Board, the Prospectus may be forwarded to the User Department Director or any other appropriate administration officials, and will be forwarded to the Mayor as a recommendation for final approval.
  5. If the Prospectus is not approved by the Mayor, the concerns will be resubmitted to the Board to determine whether to cancel the project or to resubmit the Prospectus to the Committee for revision. The revised Prospectus would be resubmitted to the Board and then to the Mayor as a recommendation for final approval.
  6. Distribution of the Prospectus: The Program shall provide public notice and make the Prospectus available through various venues and in multiple formats; i.e. digital, electronic, and in hard copy for any requestor through the project deadline.

J. Criteria for Selection of Artists or Artworks:

  1. Selection may be based on evaluation of any or all of the following elements: digital images of previous work, photographs, resumes, narrative or visual proposals, interviews, maquettes, or other appropriate materials. These materials may be submitted at one or more phases of the Project for review by the Committee.
  2. If an artist has a current, open contract with the City in excess of $5,000.00, the artist is not eligible to apply for a new Project until the Notice of Acceptance has been issued. This clause may be waived at the discretion of the Arts Board.
  3. City of Albuquerque employees of the Public Art Program are not eligible to receive City of Albuquerque funds for Works of Art. City of Albuquerque employees may be eligible to apply for purchase of existing artworks projects in compliance with Administrative Instruction § 3-3-5 Conflict of Interest: Employees.
  4. Non-Discrimination Clause: The Public Art Program shall not discriminate against any artists on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry, disability, age, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation or medical condition.
  5. Proposals for, or existing, Works of Art that include subject matter such as the apparent representation of violence, inappropriate nudity, denigration of individuals or cultures, or desecration of significant cultural symbols, will be reviewed for their appropriateness for public display. Proposals for, or existing, Works of Art that include religious subject matter or symbols may be placed in a public space as long as it is not in a location where it can be revered and is solely for the purpose of exhibiting cultural or historical traditions.
  6. At the discretion of the Arts Board, public display of artwork proposals shall be for the purposes of informing the public and receiving public feedback. The final vote for selecting work(s) of art shall remain solely with the Committee and the Arts Board.
  7. The Arts Board shall not approve the selection of any Artist or Work of Art which has not been developed according to the procedures described in these Guidelines.

K. The Process of Creating the Work of Art:

  1. A contract for the required services of the Artist(s) shall be developed and administered by the Program staff. This may be a commission to create a design for a Work of Art, a commission to create a Work of Art or a purchase contract to acquire an existing Work of Art, or other contractual means appropriate to the project.
  2. Preliminary designs shall be reviewed by the City, prior to fabrication, for safety concerns, structural or engineering requirements, durability, longevity, routine maintenance and conservation of all materials and components.
  3. An Artist may create/fabricate a selected Work of Art independently, collaboratively, or with subcontractors and may install the Work at the site, or may create the Work on site.
  4. The Program may acquire a selected design from an Artist and execute the Work of Art under a separate contract with a consultant or contractor other than the Artist, with permission of the selected Artist.
  5. The Program may acquire a Work of Art by an Artist who is deceased.