Saint Joseph’s University and the Global Philadelphia Association (RFP issuers), with the assistance of Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP), are seeking proposals for a work of art – most likely consisting of two interrelated pieces – to be installed for public viewing on or near the University’s campus. Together, the companion pieces will constitute the second in a series of Philadelphia public art pieces (the Project) commissioned by the nonprofit Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) and various community partners, each representing one of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition to its role as an institution of higher learning, Saint Joseph’s University has had a strong commitment to secondary education. Over time, it has developed a unique relationship with the nearby Samuel Gompers K-8 Public School. SJU has therefore chosen to participate in the Sustainable Development Goals campaign by honoring SDG Goal No. 4 – “Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
The artwork must be two-dimensional. Each of the two pieces is to be rendered on a large scale, suitable for open, outdoor public display indefinitely. Under one concept, one piece would be located on Saint Joseph’s campus and the other at the Samuel Gompers K-8 School, adjacent to the University. Under another concept, they might be physically linked in some way. The pieces are imagined to be squares or rectangles of approximately 100 square feet in size, however their precise size and dimensions will be specified by the RFP issuers, in consultation with the artist, in the course of the “meet and discuss” process outlined below. In any event, the two pieces – whether separate or conjoined – must be evocative of SDG No. 4 and the fundamental human right to education, whether they are in figurative or abstract form. Although they will be installed in different locations, the two pieces should be seen as inter-related. Broadly, the artist should further consider the importance of the collaboration and diverse community engagement that will be needed at the local, national, and global levels in order to achieve the goal, as well as the interdependence of this critical human right to other aspects of the SDG agenda.
The opportunity to participate in this nonprofit, highly important public campaign constitutes a principal attraction for artists to participate. The companion works will secure significant publicity and recognition, both through Saint Joseph’s University and the overall SDG campaign. On completion, the artist will receive financial compensation for the artworks created, the target amount being $4,000. Finally, by way of further incentive, pursuant to an agreement to be entered into among the RFP Issuers and the artist after selection, the artist will retain a co-ownership interest in the right to copy the artworks and be able to do so for his or her own account.
Proposals from interested artists must be submitted by May 15 to:
Denise H. Thomas
Sr. Administrative Assistant I
Dean’s Office, College of Arts and Sciences
Saint Joseph’s University
with a copy to:
Community Murals Department
Mural Arts Philadelphia
1727-29 Mt. Vernon Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130
Submissions should be made by email, with the subject line “Artist Submission – SDG Art Initiative”, and with written attachments in pdf format and images in jpeg format. Submissions should consist of:
- A CV or resume (up to 2 pages)
- A 1-2 page PDF document including:
- Contact Information: Name, Address, Email, Phone Number, Website Address, and/or Instagram account
- A description (500 word maximum) of the nature of your work and the way in which you might approach this project
- A 3-5 sentence paragraph explaining why you should be considered for this particular project
- Up to 8 images of past completed work that you consider relevant to this project.
- Digital images must be JPEG files and must be no more than 300dpi and no larger than 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. Each image must be unlocked and downloadable for viewing.
- Each JPEG file must be titled with the artist’s name and number that corresponds to the annotated image list, i.e., LastNameFirstNameImageNumber. File name example: JonesJane001, JonesJane002.
- Please provide a list of images, including the following information:
Title of artwork, Location, Date of Completion
Brief description, including Medium and Dimensions
Each submission will be acknowledged and a record maintained of the artist’s interest, whatever the outcome of the selection process. GPA wishes to reiterate that the artwork to be created pursuant to the present RFP is simply one in the series of Philadelphia public art pieces eventually to be commissioned as part of the SDG Project. Each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals will be commemorated in due course. Artists responding to this RFP are therefore encouraged to think that there may be future opportunities to participate in the Project and to signify, as part of their present submissions, potential interest in being considered for a subsequent commission.
Representatives of SJU, GPA, and MAP will constitute the selection committee. The selection committee will review the submissions in the latter half of May and conduct interviews in June. It is hoped that the selection process can be completed by the end of June. Upon selection, the committee and the selected artist will meet and discuss the works to be created with the goals of reaching consensus on the conception to be pursued as soon as possible and, following that, entering into the contemplated written agreement. The deadlines for completing and installing the works are open at this time and subject to discussion between the parties. Once established, they will be set forth in the agreement.
For more on the Global Philadelphia Association and the first piece in the Sustainable Development Goals series, see https://globalphiladelphia.org/ and https://globalphiladelphia.org/news/philadelphia-unveils-sdg-5-public-art-display
For more on the UN’s sustainable development goals, see https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
For more on Saint Joseph’s University, see www.sju.edu
Note: This request for proposals supersedes any prior RFPs issued in connection with this project.
 As the series continues, GPA will engage with other community partners and issue additional RFPs accordingly.