Alaska State Council on the Arts: Johnson Youth Facility

Entry Deadline: 1/11/13
Application Closed


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The Alaska State Council on the Arts on behalf of the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is requesting qualifications from artists for exterior artwork to be commissioned for the recently renovated Johnson Youth Center (JYC) in Juneau, Alaska.

Deadline for Entries: Received by January 11, 2013 9:59 pm Alaska Time.
This RFQ is open to all professional artists residing in the United States. Applicants must be practicing visual artists. Applications from architects, landscape architects or other design professionals will not be considered unless included as part of an artist-led team. Applications will be accepted online only through CaFÉ at:

Submitted applications will be judged on a competitive basis from which up to three finalists may be selected for locations described in this RFQ. Finalists invited to propose may be interviewed. Finalists may be provided with plans and paid to develop detailed design proposals and/or meet with the art committee to discuss design ideas. Finalists may be considered for more than one location or site. It will be up to the art selection committee to choose the final sites and the best possible artwork for each site.

The total budget will be for exterior artwork at one location. The selected artists’ budgets will include all costs of design, engineering, fabrication, installation, artwork transportation, special handling fees, special lighting (if any), photographic documentation, liability and automobile insurance, and an identifying plaque made to State of Alaska % for Art Program standards and specifications. State laws related to public construction, including licensing, insurance, bonding, and payment of prevailing wage rates, may apply. Finalists will be apprised of this information.

Juneau's 30-bed youth facility provides both short-term detention and long-term treatment. The current renovation project addresses facility issues such as; inadequate observation and control in the Detention area, the need for 2 observation cells in the Detention area, inadequate enclosure security, inadequate support staff space, inadequate intake area and inadequate privacy space for the medical suite.

Staff at Johnson Youth Center concentrated on performance and service delivery. Both new and longtime staff members were encouraged to learn new areas of expertise in youth development and restorative justice techniques and then to share these with other staff. Increased emphasis was placed on understanding each youth's reasons for placement in the facility, and more care taken to coordinate treatment and aftercare plans with the youth's probation officer, family, and other care providers.

The Mission of the Division of Juvenile Justice is:
• Hold juvenile offenders accountable for their behavior.
• Promote the safety and restoration of victims and communities.
• Assist offenders and their families in developing skills to prevent crime.
Core Values
• Maximizing potential – in our clients by believing in their ability to grow and change, and providing targeted services to assist in that process; in our staff by promoting training and professional development; in our system by striving for continuous improvement; and of our resources by ensuring they are appropriately allocated and fully utilized.
• Integrity – maintaining personal honesty; honoring our commitments; holding ourselves to high professional and ethical standards; demanding of ourselves at least as much as we ask or expect of others.
• Relationships – recognizing that successful efforts with our clients, our coworkers, victims, and other stakeholders are contingent upon positive, respectful, collaborative relationships and a spirit of inclusiveness; nurturing relationships by treating others the way we would like to be treated.
• Respect – for diversity, cultural beliefs , and the inherent value of each person’s unique strengths and individual differences; recognition that everyone has something to offer; a spirit of humility and an acknowledgement that viewpoints different than our own are worthy of consideration; treating others with respect even when they do not do the same.

The art installation must act as a screening element for the existing generator and electrical gear - heavily obscuring vision of the gear is desired.

Currently the installation is envisioned to occupy the space indicated by the curving plane shown in the attached drawings, and meeting the dimensional standards indicated therein. It must also meet structural and security standards, being self- supporting, firmly anchored to the ground with an embedded post and foundation system, and constructed of robust and enduring materials. Oversized galvanized steel fence posts and rails are provided to serve as a support armature. The Architect for this project will be available to work with the artist to develop the supporting components of the installation. The proposed installation is located to provide screening to the south. To the east and west, fencing, which is not a part of this installation, will link the installation to the building creating a secure enclosure. Accommodation for the connection of the fence system to the installation will be required.

The art installation will be located prominently in front of the facility, acting to enhance the appearance of the building as well as to provide a secure screening element for an existing generator and other electrical gear also located at the front of the building. The art will be adjacent to a sidewalk and will therefore be subject to casual contact with people, but the area is under video surveillance and is there for not likely to be subject to destructive vandalism.

Commissioned artwork will be visible from Hospital Road en route to Bartlett Regional Hospital. See plans and renderings for dimensions and more information.

There is an active salmon spawning stream within a few hundred yards of this facility, and an active black bear population which includes sows schooling cubs directly in the vicinity. The region is a maritime climate, verdant temperate rainforest, characterized by mountainous terrain, fjords and glaciers, islands and waterways.

The JYC Art Selection Committee will review applications and contact finalists prior to February 28, 2013. Art should be installed before December 31, 2013 or as soon as artwork is complete and installation can be coordinated with project manager and JYC staff.

The Art Selection Committee is requesting artwork that reflects the mission of the center which is to provide for the necessary detention requirements of the judicial system for this age group, but also to provide guidance and rehabilitation through cultivating knowledge and personal growth in its young population.

Artwork should convey JYC’s support and mentorship for youth as well as positive relationships and interconnectedness within the community.

Themes around Socialization or Leadership that can be found in nature are also of extreme interest to the committee.

Any modifications to lighting will be at the expense of the artist and coordinated and approved through the project manager. There is a spare circuit and a spare conduit stubbed up near the proposed artwork location that is available for artist use.

Arrangement or composition of artwork should complement existing finishes. Finalists will be provided with material samples or examples of paint colors and finishes.
Areas of circulation and public access around artwork should be ADA compliant.
Artwork shall be compatible with climate conditions typical of Juneau, Alaska, including the following: rainfall, Taku winds, and snowfall/freezing conditions. Taku winds are extremely strong winds descending from the permanent icefield above Juneau, which occur several times each winter and reach hurricane force on average every two years.

Artwork of all durable media will be considered. Reflective material is acceptable.

Artwork must be designed so that maintenance does not require special equipment or extra duties performed by staff. Therefore, routine maintenance and display considerations must be minimal.

The installed artwork must be permanent and designed to last the life of the building. Viewers may touch the artwork if it is installed in an accessible location, therefore artwork within reach must also endure substantial public use.

Public safety is of great importance in this facility.

Replacement features if required, must be commercially available in Alaska.

The criteria for selection will include:
• Quality, appropriateness, and originality of the artist's past work as evidenced by the digital images, the letter of interest and resume
• Durability, maintenance requirements, and safety considerations related to past commissions
• Past projects and references that attest to qualifications, past performance and ability to complete the work on time and in coordination with a project manager.
• Ability to work with contractors, consultants and others on the design team if applicable

Artists are required to include the following items:
1. A short letter of interest no more than one page in length. The letter should describe:
• The general nature of your approach to making art for the public realm
• How your work is or could be connected to the themes of this project
• Why your medium or media would work well with this building
• Include how your work is priced, or a budget range of past work

2. 10 digital images of past work. Limit images to artwork created in the past 10-15 years to demonstrate capability for this project. The 10-15 year timeline is a recommendation, but you can submit images of work from any stage of your career if you feel they are relevant to the project as explained in your letter of interest. Do not submit proposals or preliminary sketches in lieu of images of completed work unless your proposal has been accepted and/or is in progress for another project.

3. A current resume no more than two pages in length. Limit highlights to work/education/training/awards and recognition from the past 10-15 years. The 10-15 year timeline is a recommendation, but you can include highlights from any stage of your career if you feel they are relevant to the project.

4. Names, titles and phone numbers for three professional references who can attest to: success of past projects, qualifications and ability to complete the work on time and in coordination with the project manager, as well as ability to work with contractors and consultants, landscape architect and others on the design team.

Preference will be given to new commissions.
Site tours of the building are not available. The building is a secure facility. Tours will be reserved for artists/finalists invited to propose.
Plans and photos are for general reference only.
Finalists will be provided with detailed plans if invited to develop a paid proposal.
Requests for additional information may be directed by email to:
Andrea Noble-Pelant
Visual and Literary Arts Program Director
Alaska State Council on the Arts
Phone: 907-269-6610 or toll free in Alaska at 888-278-7424; fax: 907-269-6601

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