5x5 Call to Curators
DC’s Temporary Public Art Biennale 2014
Deadline is Friday, August 2, 2013
What is 5x5?
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) seeks qualifications from curators or curatorial organizations with experience in the identification, design, fabrication and installation of temporary public art installations.
5x5 is Washington’s signature temporary public art initiative, resulting in twenty-five groundbreaking temporary public art installations, presented concurrently throughout the District of Columbia. To execute this expansive vision, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) seeks five highly-experienced and innovative contemporary art curators to each select five artists to develop and present exciting art works in the city’s public spaces.
The resultant twenty-five projects will not only activate and enliven publicly accessible spaces, but add an ephemeral layer of creativity and artistic expression to neighborhoods across the District. All media and art forms will be considered, including (but not limited to) visual art, performance, light design, digital composition, projection, and event-based works.
Installations can be of any duration, but cannot exceed 3 months.All activations and installations must occur between May 1 and July 31, 2014.
The Goals of 5x5
The successful curatorial candidates will ensure that the following goals of the project are met:
• Creatively activate spaces and sites to attract residents and visitors to explore Washington DC within and beyond DC’s monumental core
• Showcase works of art that are innovative and engage participants and audiences in dynamic, interactive, and creative ways
• Provide opportunities for artists to experiment with approaches not possible through permanent public art commissions
The competition is open to all professional curators or curatorial organizations with site-specific and/or temporary public art experience; however preference will be given to curators who reside in the District of Columbia and curators who include DC-based artists.
DCCAH’s selection committee, representing diverse interests and expertise, will review all submitted applications and, based on the Evaluation Criteria listed below, select eight to ten semi-finalists. Each semi-finalist will be awarded an honorarium of $1,500 to create a proposal that outlines their curatorial approach and vision for the five installations. Semi-finalists will be provided with a list of sites to choose from in preparing the proposal (see Sites below).
DCCAH is currently securing sites for the 5x5 Temporary Public Art Project through its collaboration with private property owners and partnerships with other District and Federal agencies such as the National Park Service (NPS), DC Office of Planning (OP), National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT). The selected sites may or may not be owned by the District government. DCCAH is also open to sites proposed by the selected curators.
Currently, DCCAH has allocated up to $100,000 per curator, which includes the curator’s fees, fees for the five artists, as well as the design, fabrication, installation and de-installation of the five sites. The five selected curators will lead the 5x5 implementation process and will manage and oversee each artist’s concept(s), budget(s), and schedule(s). Additional funds for reimbursement of travel expenses will be available, as needed.
DCCAH will provide site permits, marketing, events management, publicity, and overall project coordination. Selected curators are encouraged to promote the 5x5 project within their artistic, professional and social networks.
How to Apply
Current Resume/CV*, outlining exhibition history
Exhibit/Show Titles/Dates and Locations (5 exhibits max)
List of Exhibited Artists
3-5 jpeg Images of each exhibit (at least 300dpi)
Curatorial Statements or Themes from each exhibit (5 exhibits max)
Exhibit Reviews or Press Coverage
Please also include a brief essay (800 word maximum) addressing the following: How do you view Washington D.C. through your curatorial lens? Through that lens, how would you approach temporary public art activations throughout the city?
*Note: Please include your entire curatorial resume, but only select up to 5 exhibits with 3-5 images per exhibit that best represent your work.
5x5 Project Timeline
June 25, 2013 - Issue 5x5 Call to Curators
August 2, 2013 - Deadline for 5x5 call to Curators
August 16, 2013 - Notification and Announcement of Semi-Finalists
October 2013 - Semi-Finalists Orientation and Bus Tour
Early December 2013 - Semi-Finalists Proposals due
Mid December 2013 - Announcement of the Five Selected Curators
May 2014 - Installation of the twenty-five groundbreaking temporary public art installations
5x5 2012 Projects
In the Spring of 2012, 5x5 debuted to receive critical acclaim. Three of the 25 projects were recently honored by the Americans For the Arts as part of the Public Art Network’s Year in Review of the nation’s top 50 public art projects.
Who We Are
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is responsible for providing grants, programs and educational activities that encourage diverse artistic expressions and learning opportunities, so that all District of Columbia residents and visitors can experience the rich culture of our city. One tool with which the agency accomplishes this goal is our DC Creates! Public Art program (DC Creates!).
This program is responsible for purchasing, commissioning and installing public art works throughout the District to cultivate dynamic, vibrant and nurturing communities through the use of art and design. DC Creates! provides oppor.tunities for individuals to encounter art in parks, libraries, community centers, government offices, bridges and other public venues. DCCAH currently has a public art portfolio that includes more than 120 permanent site-specific works and an Art Bank Collection of nearly 2,600 artworks purchased from local artists and installed within District government agencies.
DC Creates! has completed a public art master plan, which can be viewed on our website. Throughout the master planning process, DC Creates! met with various stakeholders from the Fall of 2008 to the Winter of 2009 to discuss community needs and wants. Curators took part in the community engagement process and expressed the desire for increased opportunities for the curatorial community to play a role in the District’s public art program.
One of the recommendations of the public art master plan is to support temporary exhibitions of artwork in public spaces on a regular basis. As a result, DCCAH created the 5x5 Temporary Public Art Project to offer the city an opportunity to use art as a tool to activate and enliven publicly accessible spaces.