Request For Qualifications for a Mural at the New Wheaton Headquarters Building

Request For Qualifications for a Mural at the New Wheaton Headquarters Building

Eligibility: Artist/Artist teams, 18 years of age or older

Deadline: Friday, December 4, 2020; 5:00 p.m. EST

Introduction      

The Montgomery County Planning Department seeks an expression of interest and qualifications from artists or artist teams for a site-specific painted mural at the new Wheaton Headquarters (HQ) Building located at 2425 Reedie Drive, Wheaton, MD. The new headquarters is home to several public sector agencies and is strategically placed in the heart of Wheaton’s Arts and Entertainment District. The mural will be located on the north-facing concrete block wall, adjacent to an existing surface parking lot between Triangle Lane and Grandview Avenue. This wall is highly visible from both retail streets and from the north of the site. The parking lot is owned by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MC-DOT) and the building is owned by The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The mural will be funded through a generous donation from Stonebridge Development, the building developer.

The goal of this project is to comply with the Wheaton Sector Plan and to create an evocative painted image that celebrates the character, culture, history and unique sense of place found in Wheaton. It must also incorporate and celebrate the (M-NCPPC) Montgomery County Parks and Planning Departments. The mural should be colorful, exciting, welcoming and reflect the best qualities of Wheaton and Parks and Planning. Up to five (5) artists or teams will be selected from the submissions by a team of Montgomery County Planning and Parks Department staff, a member from the Wheaton Arts & Entertainment District and a member of Stonebridge Development. These finalists will each receive an honorarium of $500 and will be asked to submit a color sketched proposal to scale, with a budget for completing the mural. The rendered proposals will be reviewed by the Selection Committee and then shown online and used by the public to vote for a winner by March 5, 2021. The mural must be completed by July 2021.

Wheaton HQ Project Brief Description

In accordance with the Wheaton Central Business District (CBD) and Vicinity Sector Plan (page 25), any new development resulting from public-private partnerships in the Wheaton CBD should provide better pedestrian connectivity and support safe, secure and appealing street-level activity that benefits the entire community.

The Wheaton HQ building has 14 stories with one level of ground-floor retail. M-NCPPC staff and other county employees (700-plus employees) will share this office building. The core and shell of the building is LEED Platinum rated. The Montgomery Parks and Montgomery Planning office interiors, which are located on floors 11 through 14, are LEED Gold rated. There are a variety of neighborhood amenities around this development, including the Wheaton Metro Station, Westfield Wheaton Mall, Veteran’s Park, a new Wheaton Town Square, future childcare within the building and a diverse array of locally owned retail stores / restaurants. Above the roof of this northern mural wall will be the future childcare outdoor play area. Behind this wall is the loading dock for the building. Short-term visitors patronizing the local retail establishments will be use the parking lot adjacent to this mural location.

History and Context

Wheaton began in the early nineteenth century as a small rural village located at the crossroads of present-day Georgia Avenue, Veirs Mill Road and University Boulevard. Developers subdivided farmland in the surrounding area in the early 20th century, but the crossroads largely remained undeveloped until post-World War II suburban expansion. Between 1945 and 1955, Monterey Village, Wheaton Hills, Wheaton Crest and Wheaton Forest were constructed. The subdivisions consisted predominantly of single-family dwellings, although apartment buildings and complexes were constructed along major roads. Wheaton became a major retail center with the opening of Wheaton Plaza between 1956 and 1962. The plaza included two department stores, a grocery store, numerous specialty stores, restaurants and a movie theater. Wheaton quickly transformed into a regional shopping center and office complex. The area matured into a telecommunication and transportation hub, was designated a Central Business District, and was well positioned and planned to receive increased mixed-use densities and various ethnic restaurants and retail uses. By 1970, the population grew to approximately 66,000, but growth soon thereafter stagnated. In 1978, planners evaluated the economic impact of a planned Metro Station and recommended the creation of a Central Business District for Wheaton to spur growth. On September 22, 1990, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority officially opened the Wheaton Metro Station as an extension of the Red Line. This station is located to the south of the headquarters site.

In 2005, the State of Maryland designated the Wheaton CBD an Arts and Entertainment District and on June 30, 2016, was re-designated as such for another 10 years. Today, Wheaton is home to roughly 50,000 residents with a median age of 36 and a household income of roughly $79,369. Wheaton’s strongest asset continues to be the multicultural character and variety of foreign-born cultural influences from El Salvador, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, Lebanon, etc., which are reflected in its people and businesses. Wheaton, Silver Spring and Bethesda are the three Central Business Districts in Montgomery County that receive state and federal funding from the Maryland State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, which specifically directs economic development towards the CBDs.

Project Details and Requirements

Location (Subject Site): North-facing wall elevation at the Wheaton HQ building in Wheaton, MD; directly adjacent to the existing surface parking lot.
Surface Material of the Subject Site: Primarily concrete block panels with some exposed flush concrete columns and slabs. The entire wall is primed and ready for paint application.
Overall Dimensions: 2,965 square feet. The primary wall is 88’-1” wide by 30’-3” tall. A portion of wall at the eastern end extends up 11’-4” by 27 feet wide.
Commissioned Artwork: Site-specific mural that can endure the outdoor environment for at least five years.
Mural Budget $25,000

 

The mural will be applied to the north wall of the headquarters shown above (click each to enlarge).

Maintenance & Durability

The wall has already received a white coat of primer paint. The mural paint must be suitable for the outdoor environment and temperature changes for a duration of at least five years. The mural must be durable enough to withstand the human touch and meet all standard public art regulations (e.g. the Montgomery County Public Art Roadmap). It should also be as impervious as possible to vandalism and require little or no maintenance. Artist(s) is required to use a paint specific to outdoor wall/concrete use such as Keim, SherKryl, NovaColor by Artex or Golden Artist Colors, etc.

Eligibility

This project is open to artists 18 years of age or older who currently live and work in the Maryland / Washington, DC Metropolitan region. The artist is expected to carry their own general liability insurance.

Selection Process

All artists or teams interested in submitting qualifications are requested to submit below by Friday, December 4, 2020 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Submission Procedures

  • All materials must be submitted online below. There is no application fee.
  • The application form must be completed.
  • The selection committee will require a resume. The resume can be one to two pages that highlights applicant’s professional accomplishments as an artist. Please name resume file accordingly: Last name. First initial (i.e., Smith.J.PDF). Artist team will submit a one-page resume for each member. Resumes can be a PDF or Word document.
  • An artist statement is also required outlining your interest in the Wheaton Mural Project and why it is of special interest to you (500 characters maximum).
  • References include at least three (3) people who have detailed knowledge of the artist’s work. Each reference listed must include contact name, organization/affiliation, address, telephone number and e-mail for each reference.
  • Application must include examples of previous work such as murals, large-scale work, etc. Applicants must submit a maximum eight (8) JPEG images and include one (1) image per JPEG, no composite images.

Finalists Selection

Applicants will be judged on their experiences. The Artist Selection Committee will review applicant qualifications and select three to five finalist artists or artist teams to advance to a public vote. Each finalist will receive a $500 award and will be asked to submit a rendered sketch of their mural proposal to scale with a written explanation and a proposed budget for completing the implementation of the mural painting. The public will select a winner from this group of finalists by voting online for their favorite design.

Three (3) to five (5) finalist artists will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • The artist’s experience
  • Originality, artistic excellence and innovation demonstrated through past work

The Selection Committee is composed of staff from the Montgomery County Planning and Parks Departments, a representative of the Wheaton Arts & Entertainment District and a representative from the building developer. Incomplete applications will NOT be considered. The applicant’s name must appear on all submitted materials.

The Selection Committee will evaluate the finalist proposals and work with the finalists on last minute adjustments to their designs if required to meet the program requirements for the mural. This will occur before presenting the drawings to the public. If adjustments cannot be made to meet the stated goals for the mural or the Committee’s suggested adjustments, the Committee has the right to disqualify a finalist before it is presented to the public.

Winning Artist Selection

The public will select the winning artist from the group of finalists through an online voting process. The Montgomery Planning Department will work with the winner to finalize a budget, construction logistics and a contract for the work using the artist’s proposed budget as a starting point. If the artist and Montgomery Planning cannot reach an agreement, Montgomery Planning has the right to try to negotiate an agreement with the second- and then third-place finishers, if needed.

Montgomery Planning shall have the unconditional right to retain the proposal materials (drawings, illustrations) from the finalists as part of the proposal commission. If the proposal is disseminated by print or digital means, full credit will be given to the artist or artist team.

If utilizing the proposal for future public art applications, the artist shall give credit to the Montgomery County Planning Department.

Proposed artwork must be original and unique to the Wheaton Mural Project.

Project Timeline

RFQ Opens Friday November 6, 2020
RFQ Application Deadline Friday, December 4, 2020 5:00 p.m. EST
Jury Selection of Finalist Friday, December 18, 2020
Finalists Notified Monday, December 21, 2020
Finalists Submission of Proposals Friday, January 29, 2021
Public Review and Vote Monday, February 15 – Friday, March 5, 2021
Public Voting Closes Friday March 5, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EST
Winner Negotiates Final Contract Through April 2021
Completion of Mural By Friday July 2, 2021

Project Completion

The project must be completed within six weeks of the start date. The artist or team of artists will coordinate their work schedule with the Montgomery County Planning Department and Montgomery County Department of Transportation. Work should be completed by Friday July 2, 2021.

Project budget is $25,000. The three to five finalists selected by the jury are requested to propose a fee within the budget inclusive of all artist(s) fees, insurance, fabrication, installation, lifts, scaffolding and/or ladders and associated fees, travel and other project-related expenses necessary for the completion of the mural.

Questions

Please direct all questions about the project to: Paul Mortensen, Senior Urban Designer, paul.mortensen@montgomeryplanning.org.

Application

  • All artists or teams interested in submitting qualifications are requested to submit the application below by Friday, December 4, 2020 at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
  • Resume (required): The resume can be one to two pages that highlights applicant’s professional accomplishments as an artist. Please name each resume file accordingly: Last name. First initial (i.e., Smith.J.PDF). Artist team will submit a one-page resume for each member. Resumes can be a PDF or Word document.
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
    PDF or Word files only
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
    PDF or Word files only
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
    PDF or Word files only
  • Accepted file types: doc, docx, pdf.
    PDF or Word files only
  • Images: Applicants must include examples of previous work such as murals, large-scale work, etc. Applicants must submit a maximum eight (8) JPEG images and include one (1) image per JPEG, no composite images.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.
  • Accepted file types: jpg.

Last Updated: November 13, 2020