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Ridgefield Public Art Overpass Project, WA


Budget: $75,000
Activated: 03/09/2022
Deadline: 06/01/2022
Call Summary
The City of Ridgefield supports the placement of public art in the community to contribute to a more livable, unique and visually stimulating environment. The City has an established Arts Quarter that includes the historic downtown area referred to as “the art and soul of Ridgefield.” Downtown is bordered by and overlooks Lake River, with the 5,300 acre Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge on the other side. An overpass bridge connects the downtown area to the Lake River waterfront.

In 2020, the City made the decision to place screens and artwork on two overpass bridges as a public art project. One bridge is located across the freeway at the Ridgefield exit on I-5. The second overpass bridge connects the historic downtown area to the waterfront. The project includes the same or similar artwork for both bridges.

In 2022, the City Council approved the project and a $75,000 budget for the project. The City is now seeking qualified public artists who are interested in being considered for the project, and who can develop a future proposal for the artwork.
Budget Description
The budget amount includes all costs related to the artist's design and project management fees; all contracted and subcontracted costs, fabrication, transportation, delivery, storage, liability insurance and bonds as required, nd all other costs associated with the art project.
Project Description
With this multi-part process, the City of Ridgefield seeks to identify and select a qualified public artist to create and install a site-specific artwork on the screens located on two overpass bridges. The City seeks qualifications from experienced public artists (or artist teams) who specialize in site specific artwork. The individual or team of individuals must be able to:

• Design unique, three dimensional artwork that connects two distinct areas of the City,
• Work with physical constraints (e.g., structural considerations, environmental restrictions, and permitting requirements),
• Collaborate with agency staff to ensure the successful installation of the artwork, and
• Design and implement the project within a $75,000 budget.

The artwork must be able to withstand Washington's weather, require little or no maintenance and not create an invitation for vandalism.
Artwork Goals
The City aims to accomplish – primary goals with this project:
• Showcase the city’s unique character on the freeway entrance.
• Enhance the downtown area as the gateway to the Lake River waterfront.
• Showcase the birds and wildlife on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
• Be site specific and original.
• Be inviting and aesthetically appealing.
• Be viewable as a drive by experience.
The City aims to accomplish – primary goals with this project:
• Showcase the city’s unique character on the freeway entrance.
• Enhance the downtown area as the gateway to the Lake River waterfront.
• Showcase the birds and wildlife on the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.
• Be site specific and original.
• Be inviting and aesthetically appealing.
• Be viewable as a drive by experience and pedestrian friendly.

Artwork Location Description
This RFQ involves artwork at two locations, both overpass bridges. The first project location is a freeway overpass at the Ridgefield off of the interstate. The exit takes drivers into the commercial area of the City that hosts small shops and eateries, a grocery store, a medical clinic, parks and is the future home of a college campus and YMCA.

Continuing past the commercial area approximately six (6) miles on a winding road with views of natural areas and neighborhoods leading to downtown Ridgefield featuring historic buildings, walkable tree-lined streets with small businesses and parks. The second project location is an overpass, completed in 2021, that takes drivers over the railroad tracks to the waterfront area. The overpass is two traffic lanes and pedestrian walkway.

The artwork will be located on the screens installed on each side of both bridges. The screens will be the footprint for the proposed artwork.
Site History
Ridgefield is a unique history that has been built through a strong and dedicated community spirit, good land use planning, preservation of natural resources and prudent management of municipal resources. Incorporated in 1909, the residents of Ridgefield have a proud heritage and historical background that has been preserved as the city has prospered and become a thriving modern day community.
The Ridgefield Community is comprised of newcomers excited about making this nature filled place their new home, and long-time residents who continue to revel in Ridgefield’s picturesque surroundings, family-friendly neighborhoods and parks, and a strong sense of community.
Ridgefield is located just off of Interstate 5 approximately 10 miles north of Vancouver, WA and 14 miles north of Portland, OR. Ridgefield is a rapidly growing community - the fastest growing in Washington State. The City encompasses nearly seven square miles, has a population of approximately 11,500, and 127 acres of public parks and recreation facilities distributed among 29 sites. Ridgefield is great place to live, work, play and learn with rolling hills, the picturesque Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, a historic downtown, arts quarter and welcoming small town feel. And, the area offers an outstanding quality of life with affordable housing, excellent schools, extraordinary outdoor recreation opportunities, a rich history, a mild climate, wineries, unique shopping, restaurants, and much more.
The Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1965, contains a lush mixture of wetlands, grasslands, riparian corridors, and forests. These habitats, combined with a mild and rainy winter climate, provide the ideal environment for a variety of birds and other native animal species. The refuge also preserves the most intact archaeological site on the lower Columbia River, and evidence of at least 2,300 years of continuous human occupation. Areas of the Refuge open to the public provide a chance to view and experience wildlife and habitat and learn about the indigenous peoples native to the area. As the population of the region increases, the refuge will become even more important to wildlife and those seeking to connect with nature.
This Request for Qualifications is open to professional artists or teams nationwide with experience in the design, fabrication and installation of public art. Northwest artists are encouraged to apply.

Artists should have experience in producing permanent, exterior public artworks similar in scale and complexity to this project.

The City of Ridgefield encourages artists who identify with marginalized groups to apply including but not limited to People of Color, Indigenous, women members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Application Requirements
Resume: 1 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 3 - 6
Letter of Interest: 100 word maximum
Letter of intent: The letter must describe the artist’s interest in the project, description of the expected design approach and type of materials that will be used, an understanding of the physical setting and context of the locations; and description of any experience with similar project design, construction and/or installation.
Artists are allowed to apply in teams.
Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.
Selection Information
Selection Process
Artists’ submissions will be evaluated based on:

• The project approach as outlined in this RFQ,
• Timelessness of the proposed artwork,
• The artist’s experience, including artist’s aesthetic as shown by previous works, and
• General experience in creating public art projects of similar complexity.

The review will be performed by a selection panel comprised of representatives of the City of Ridgefield and arts professionals. The panel will select between zero (0) and three (3) artists (or artist teams) who will be invited to prepare proposals for the project.

Selection Criteria
Artists selected for an RFP process will be required to provide the City of Ridgefield with:
• All team member identification and references;
• Detailed Public Art Design, 3-D art may be required;
• A diagram showing installation and anchoring plan;
• Public Art Budget Breakdown;
• Estimated schedule for fabrication of the public art, and
• Maintenance information.

Interviews may or may not be requested. If requested, interviews may be virtual for artists who are not local to the area.
RFQ Release: March 9, 2022
RFQ Submission Deadline: June 1, 2022
RFQ Review by Staff and panel: July 1, 2022
Finalists invited to respond to RFP: July 8, 2022
Finalists respond to RFP: August 31, 2022
Additional Resources
Downtown Overpass Screens (JPG)
Downtown Overpass Distance (JPG)
Contact Information
Lee Knottnerus
Deputy City Manager
P.O. Box 608
Ridgefield WA 98642 United States



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