Slover Library, LL40

235 E. Plume St.

Norfolk, VA 23510

(757) 664-6854

WARDS CORNER Call to Artists




City of Norfolk, Virginia Public Art Program

Commission of Artwork for Wards Corner

RFP 4383, SUBMISSIONS DUE: 2:00 PM EST, October 31, 2013



The Norfolk Public Art Commission and the Wards Corner Art Planning Committee seek to commission an artist or artist team to design and create exterior artwork.

LOCATION/CONTEXT: Wards Corner was originally a country crossroads in the center of a lush truck farming area. In 1910, A.C. Ward opened a combination gas station/grocery store on the southwest corner of the busy intersection of Granby Street and Little Creek Road.  Sixteen years later, two brothers opened a log cabin-style restaurant and began serving what they believed to be the first barbecue sandwich in Norfolk.  With the rise in automobile traffic, the crossroads was transformed into a major intersection for travelers going east-west and north-south.  Wards Corner quickly became a thriving retail district serving prime residential neighborhoods, with trolley cars running along Granby Street to the former amusement park in Ocean View.  In its heyday, it was known as the “Times Square of the South,” but both the retail district and the surrounding neighborhood have since declined. 

Revitalization of the once bustling shopping area is now underway. The old Wards Corner Shopping Center was torn down to make way for a flagship Harris Teeter grocery store that is currently under construction.  This new development includes spaces for small businesses, which are projected to bring a vibrant new mix of retail, entertainment and local services to the area.  Across Little Creek Road, the Midtown Shopping Center has received a multi-million dollar face-lift with all new storefronts and cloth canopies.  Utilities are being moved underground and streetscapes are being enhanced to create the appearance of a scenic green boulevard.  At the center of Wards Corner, there is a large signalized intersection of two heavily-travelled arterials with a nearby railroad crossing.  A major bus transfer station brings plenty of pedestrian traffic. 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:  The Public Art Planning Committee seeks an artist to design and create artwork that is friendly and inviting and that will cause viewers to pause and reflect.  Over the years the area has become visually fragmented due to many different owners.  The committee hopes the final artwork will unify and mark a cohesive neighborhood that honors its history with a new playful point of view.  The final artwork should be eye-catching, unique and bring color, fun and vibrancy to this urban threshold.  

SIZE/MEDIA/STYLE: The artwork or series of artworks should be large enough to be seen from passing automobiles and also be pedestrian friendly.  It must be fabricated in durable, permanent outdoor materials that are safe and easily maintained.  All artwork styles will be considered.

PROJECT SITE:  Right-of-way areas are very limited.  There is a landscaping berm on the southeast corner of the intersection as well as an area north down Granby Street towards the bus transfer station.  The artist may want to consider creating anchor pieces at each location that relate and tie the area together.  Multiple works repeated in the medians are also possible.  Site plan and photos are attached.

PROJECT FUNDS: Up to three finalists may be selected to be interviewed via Skype by the public art planning committee.  The finalists are not expected to complete a design at this stage but will be interviewed about past work, creative process and preliminary discussion of the site.  The committee reserves the right to select the final artist without a finalist’s process.

The total budget for the completed, delivered and installed artwork is $150,000.  This will cover artist’s honorarium, fabrication, materials, shipping and insurance, travel expenses necessary to complete the project, project plaque, final documentation and any incidental expenses.  The artist must hire a VA licensed contractor to install the artwork(s).  The selected artist will be asked to present a community educational workshop or presentation.

The selected artist must carry a Commercial General Liability Insurance Policy naming the City of Norfolk as an additional insured, and must provide certificates of insurance to that effect guaranteeing thirty (30) days written notice before any changes to the policies become effective. If the artist employs anyone in connection with this work, the artist must carry a workers compensation insurance policy; and must carry an automobile liability insurance policy if appropriate. The artist shall also be responsible for artist’s subcontractors, if there be any, meeting the same insurance requirements.  

Please note that a city contract will be issued with a design phase requiring review and approval by the Public Art Commission prior to fabrication.

CALENDAR: This calendar is subject to change.

October 31, 2013, 2:00 p.m. local time, submittal due date and time

November 2013, selection announced

December 2014, completion of art

SELECTION CRITERIA AND AWARD CONSIDERATIONS: The commission will be awarded based on many factors such as the aesthetic value, creativity and contemporary relevance of the proposed piece.  The city will consider the diversity of beliefs and values and general standards of decency of the citizens who fund the commission and purchase of public art for the City of Norfolk.  The award will be made to the responsible offeror whose submission is determined in writing to be the most advantageous to the City taking into consideration the evaluation factors set forth in this Request for Proposal.

The following criteria will be used in the proposal evaluation process:

• Artistic merit (excellence, originality, creativity and innovative approaches) as evidenced by submitted materials

• Professional artistic experience to fulfill the requirements of this project either in studio, educational, community, employment and/or art projects and the ability to undertake the design, creation and installation of the artwork

• Appropriateness of materials, style and concepts in relation to this prospectus

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS: Ten (10) copies of each package must be submitted.  The original proposal must be clearly marked.  Only one (1) CD-ROM of your prior work is required with your proposal. Each proposal shall also provide the following information:

1.    a letter of interest, not to exceed one page, explaining why you are interested in this project and how you will approach the artwork design and creation.

2.         up to 10 images of prior work, submitted as digital images (1 copy) to the following specifications.

DIGITAL IMAGES:  Images should be sent on a PC-compatible CD-ROM in JPG format.  Each file should be named with vendor surname and image number to correspond with annotated image list.  Maximum image size is 1920 pixels on the longest side, less than 1MB.  Do not embed images into PowerPoint or submit moving images or audio files.

3.   an annotated image list not to exceed two pages, clearly labeled with your full name and a numerical listing for each image, the title of the work, the media, dimensions, project budget and year of completion

 4.    a current resume not exceeding two pages


6.    OPTIONAL:  a visual representation of 1-4 images of concepts and/or a description of  ideas and proposed media may be submitted on an 8.5” x 11” paper or on disc to the specifications listed above.  Artists will not be expected to commit to any preliminary ideas but this may help the Planning Committee select an artist.

Staples only, no paper clips or folders.  Please do not send any additional materials such as catalogs, maquettes, press articles, etc.  They will not be reviewed by the Planning Committee.

QUESTIONS/FOLLOW UP:  Questions about this project may be directed to Danny Hawk, Office of the Purchasing Agent, 757-664-4026, Fax 757-664-4018 or

This Request for Proposals is governed in all respects, including but not limited to the award decision, by the Code of the City of Norfolk, 1979, as amended, especially Chapter 33.1, the Procurement Chapter, and its associated regulations.  For more information on doing business with the City of Norfolk or to become familiar with the City Code generally, its Procurement Chapter and regulations, or the ethics and non-discrimination sections of the Procurement please go to the city web site at

 The City encourages women and minorities to submit proposals and for non-minority artist to participate with small businesses and women and minorities through partnerships, joint ventures, subcontracts and other contractual opportunities.  Please describe any planned use of such businesses in fulfilling this contract.

Before submitting proposals, please review the website for possible updates and addendums.

All proposals must be received in an appropriately marked sealed envelope or suitable container to the Office of the Purchasing Agent, 230 East Main Street, Suite 250, Norfolk, VA 23510, at or prior to 2:00 P.M., Local Time October 31, 2013. On the outside of your proposal please reference RFP 4383.

TO ALL OFFERORS: Statement of Understanding

Fill out, sign and submit with your proposal

All information submitted in this proposal is true and artwork represented is accurately attributed. 

In the preparation and submission of this proposal, I did not directly or indirectly enter into any combination or arrangement with any person, firm or corporation, or enter into any agreement or act any way to conspire to rig bids.

In compliance with the Code of the City of Norfolk, Virginia Section 33.1-9, trade secrets or proprietary information submitted by Offerors in connection with a procurement shall not be subject to public disclosure under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; however, the contractors must invoke the protection of this section prior to or upon submission of the data or other materials, and must identify the specific area or scope of data or other materials to be protected and state the reasons why protection is necessary. An all-inclusive statement that the entire bid is proprietary is unacceptable and will not be honored. A statement that costs are to be protected is unacceptable and will be disregarded.

This Request for Proposals is governed in all respects, including but not limited to the award decision, by the Code of the City of Norfolk, 1979, as amended, especially Chapter 33.1, the Procurement Chapter, and its associated regulations.  I have read and am familiar with the City Code, its Procurement Chapter and regulations, and the ethics and non-discrimination sections of the Procurement.  


Signature       _______________________________________


Date       ___________________________________________