Request For Qualifications: Twin Falls Public Art Project Honoring Dallas Artist Arthello Beck

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Project Budget: $81,488.00 for the project (artwork)

The Public Art Program of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs requests the submission of qualifications from artists for consideration to design, fabricate and install a free-standing, outdoor public artwork that will be a tribute to the life and work of Dallas artist Arthello Beck, Jr.

Arthello Beck, Jr., Dallas African-American artist, was born in Dallas on July 17, 1941. He was the first African American to own and operate an art gallery in Dallas. Arthello believed his art was a means of communication, a vital therapeutic form of expression for the young and old. His paintings reflected positive images of African-American people and culture; congregations at river baptisms, ladies at a beauty shop, children learning, sports scenes and dads reading to their babies are just some of the everyday scenes Beck captured on canvas.

Artwork should create a space or environment that invites community interaction with the artwork and incorporates themes central to Arthello Beck’s work.  Themes include references to positive African American experiences appropriate for children and adults in the surrounding neighborhoods.  For more information about Arthello Beck’s work see:

  1. http://www.b17.com/beck/index.htm
  2. https://web.archive.org/web/20070620074458/http://www.dfwairport.com:80/cdp/art/artists/beck2.html
  3. https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbecf
  4. http://www.dallasartnews.com/2012/06/arthello-beck-jr-s-studio-and-gallery-offers-positive-stroll-through-african-american-history/

SCOPE OF PUBLIC ART PROJECT

  • The Public Art Program of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs requests the submission of qualifications from artists or artist-teams for consideration to design, fabricate and install a free-standing, outdoor public artwork that will be a tribute to the life and work of Dallas artist Arthello Beck, Jr.
  • Artwork should create a space or environment that invites community interaction with the artwork and incorporates themes central to Arthello Beck’s work.
  • Artwork must be responsive to the following guidelines:
  • Artwork must include references to positive cultural experiences appropriate for children and adults in the surrounding neighborhoods. References to themes and content in Arthello Beck’s work are strongly encouraged.
  • Artwork must be visually accessible within the park space and may be interactive.
  • Artwork should respond to the history and environment and current location within the Oak Cliff community as defined by community input.
  • Artwork must be resistant to graffiti and vandalism
  • Artwork must require minimal maintenance.
  • Artwork must have an expected life span of 20 years.
  • If seating is part of a design, it must be safe, slip resistant, comfortable seating surface with smooth, even surfaces and curved edges and comply with City of Dallas Park and ADA requirements.
  • Be free of safety hazards.

SELECTION PROCESS

  • A panel comprised of arts professionals and community representatives will review qualified submissions in the summer of 2017.
  • Three short-listed artists will be commissioned to create concept designs for site specific sculptures and paid a $1,500.00 stipend to present their concept design to the artist selection panel.
  • Concept designs must show the concept for the sculpture, identify materials and demonstrate that the artwork can be made for the commission budget of $81,488 including artist’s fees.

ELIGIBILITY

The is a national call.  Texas Artists will be given preference.

All artists are eligible to apply, except as indicated below.  Diversity candidates strongly encouraged to apply.

The following individuals are NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY:

  • artists currently under contract with the City of Dallas Public Art Program,
  • employees of the City of Dallas and their spouses,
  • members of the Public Art Committee, or
  • any consultants under contract for any phase of the projects.
  • The City of Dallas Cultural Policy prohibits undergraduate students from being considered for Public Art projects.

SUBMITTAL MATERIALS

  1. A cover letter detailing interest and ability to complete the project.
  2. Resume outlining professional qualifications.
  3. Six JPEG images of current work with list of title, size, medium, date and commission value of work where applicable.
  4. Names and contact information of three references.

About the Artist:

BECK, ARTHELLO, JR. (1941–2004). Arthello Beck, Jr., Dallas African-American artist, was born in Dallas on July 17, 1941. He was the first African American to own and operate an art gallery in Dallas.

 

Arthello Beck graduated from Dallas’s Lincoln High School, where he received his only art training; beyond that, he was self-taught. He had a speech impediment, and he tended to express himself more through his art than through speech, especially as a very young man. Beck used the main Dallas Public Library as a way to learn more about art. He once said, “I used to spend hours in the library but I never read a book. I may have missed a lot but I only read the pictures.” He began to seriously hone his artistic skills at the age of twenty-one; that was the year that he taught himself to use oil paints.

 

In 1988 he was one of four winners of an art contest in which the winning paintings were reproduced on billboards. Beck’s painting showed colorful homemade quilts drying on a clothesline. The painting, writ large, was reproduced on billboards throughout the Dallas area sequentially for a year and was available for a quick viewing by as many as 400,000 motorists per day. Beck relished the tremendous amount of exposure for one of his paintings.

 

Beck’s media included oil, watercolor, charcoal, pencil, and pen-and-ink. He used a camera in lieu of a sketch pad to capture the various angles and views of a particular setting. His work appeared in many art shows for decades in Dallas and elsewhere. Arthello Beck’s painting of Jesus being baptized by John was done for the Crest-Moore King Memorial United Methodist Church. Beck’s artwork was on display in art galleries, museums, churches, colleges, universities, community centers, the Dallas City Hall’s Great Court, the State Fair of Texas, and at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.  His work was also exhibited at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.  In 1985, the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia acquired a permanent collection of Beck’s religious paintings. In 1975 Beck donated several of his paintings to the Seagoville Federal Correctional Institute.

 

Considered by many to be one of the leading artists of the Southwest, Beck traveled to Central America, South America, West Africa, England, China, Egypt, Turkey, and the Caribbean. In 1985 Texas Governor Mark White appointed Beck as a Goodwill Ambassador for the State of Texas. In the summer of 1993 Arthello and his wife, along with about eighteen other Texans, participated in a cultural and trade mission to Ghana. Beck once told a reporter, “I do believe an artist has to see things. An artist has to travel.”

 

In 1978 the Hampton-Illinois branch of the Dallas Public Library held a reception honoring Beck. His name was included in a monument recognizing notable South Dallas citizens that was dedicated in Opportunity Park in February 2009. The art gallery in the South Dallas Cultural Center was named for Arthello Beck. Beck taught some non-credit art courses at the Dallas County Community College’s Mountain View Campus. He was appointed a member of the Dallas City Hall Arts Committee. Beck was a member of the National Conference of Artists and the Southwest Alliance of African American Artists. He helped found the Southwest Black Artists Guild.

 

Arthello Beck, Jr., died on November 5, 2004, at the age of sixty-three, in Tyler, Texas. Ironically, Beck posthumously achieved one of his fondest dreams the month following his death, when some of his artwork was displayed (as part of the Grant Hill collection) from December 19, 2004, through April 17, 2005, at the Dallas Museum of Art. The Hill collection went on to tour museums throughout the United States. On May 24, 2005, the Texas House of Representatives honored Arthello Beck, Jr., with House Resolution No. 1760. Marilyn Clark, the founder and curator of Black Cinematheque Dallas, said of Beck: “He was not a big talker, but more of a quiet warrior using his art and volunteer time to speak to the community and to our world. He used his art to bring about a higher level of consciousness in the community, for he understood the purpose of art was to tell the truth.” A longtime friend named Artist Thornton said, “He was a gentle giant and very, very humble.”

 

Send Submissions to:  www.callforentry.org.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE:  JUNE 1, 2017

 

Public Art Program Contact-questions only, do not send submissions             

Kendall Ferguson, Public Art Coordinator   kendall.ferguson@dallascityhall.com

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Application for any project advertised by the City of Dallas Public Art Program constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions outlined in this prospectus as well as recognition of ordinances and policies of the City of Dallas (including the Good Faith Effort and the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise goals of the City Dallas).