Burlington City Arts


ShopLocal is seeking artists to participate in its monthly Friday event on July 5, 2019. The group's monthly event takes place every first Friday from 4-8 p.m. Selected artists will have their work on display in store windows or prominently inside until July 10. All traditional and non-traditional media are encouraged to submit.
Submission Requirements:
1. High-quality images of current work
2. Links to your website or social media
3. CV
Please send electronic submissions only to Submission deadline is June 17.   
Selected artwork will be installed by July 3 and left on display until July 10. Logistics and longer display times will be worked out between the artist and their host business.  

Request For Proposals, Shortlisted Artists Only

Deadline December 7, 2018, 5:00 PM




Q: Can artists submit more than one proposal for more than one location within the Great Streets Plans?

A: Yes, as long as a separate budget is defined for each site. There is only one honorarium per artist/artist team.


Q: Will the project select one artist for all sites or multiple artists for multiple sites?
A: There is a desire to have more than one artist's work represented in this project, so there will likely be between 2 and 4 finalists selected out of the 13 shortlisted.


Q: Given the desire to have more than one artist selected, how should the $200,000 budget for Cherry and Bank Streets be approached? 

A: It is safe to assume that the panel will not select a single $200,000 project, so budgets should assume the total will be divided at minimum in half or more. 


Q: How can proposals incorporate engagement with the Burlington community as noted in the design specifications given the timeline?

A: Proposals do not necessarily need to incorporate engagement with the Burlington Community. This specification is for works that provide opportunities to engage with the local community through the creation of the piece or other type of process that the proposal can reference. Additionally, it is not assumed that all design specifications can be equally met by one proposal.


Q: How much snow cover is typically in Burlington during the winter?
A: Snow cover varies but we do not typically have continuous coverage throughout the winter and receive less than Vermont's mountains towns.


Q: What social or other concerns are important to the Burlington Community?

A: There is not one answer to this--concerns here are similar to those felt in a lot of the country, ie, the opiate epidemic, the MeToo movement, diversity equity and inclusion, housing affordability and jobs, homelessness. There are also very local concerns, such as the water quality of Lake Champlain. 
Here are links to our local papers for research purposes.  (free alternative weekly)  (mainstream)
Q:Do proposals need to be functional?

A: Proposals do not need to be functional.  


Q: Is there wall space at any of the sites, or elsewhere in the great streets plans that could hold a painted or sculptural mural of some kind?

A: The only wall space that may be considered in the plans is site 2C on  Pine St at the Bank St intersection. All other wall space is privately owned and not included in this project. Keep in mind that any proposal for this project must have a lifespan of at least 10 years so for that reason traditional murals are not encouraged by this selection panel.


RFQ Content

Burlington City Arts is issuing a Request for Qualification from artists or artist teams for public art works to be incorporated into the Great Streets Initiative in downtown Burlington, Vermont. Selected public art works will reflect the diversity of Burlington’s residents, explore Burlington’s history, create meaningful landmarks in our built environment, and connect the people, the land and the lake.


Project Overview

This project proposes to commission multiple public art works to be distributed across as many as 10 newly designed blocks on 4 streets: Bank Street, Cherry Street, Pine Street and Saint Paul Street. The attached plans highlight areas that have been identified as potential sites for public art. Public art works may include but are not limited to stand alone sculpture, murals, artwork integrated into the design of storm water sites, or other infrastructure and amenities such as bike racks, planters and seating. The proposed budget for all public art works commissioned for this project is up to $235,000, to include artist honorariums for proposals and all fees associated with design, fabrication and installation of final selected public art works. Within the total proposed budget, lower St. Paul Street has a budget not to exceed $35,000 for all fees associated with design, fabrication and installation of final selected public art works.


Great Streets Overview  

The Great Streets Initiative is a culmination of many years of planning and project development to ensure that Burlington residents have a downtown that is a vibrant, walkable and sustainable urban center. The Great Streets Initiative included developing standards for downtown streets that provide a palette of urban elements that are beautiful, practical, affordable, sustainable, and appropriate for downtown Burlington, including provisions for public art.


The development of City Place and the improvements to lower Saint Paul Street around Champlain College’s new student housing facility are creating opportunities to implement these new standards on up to 10 blocks of downtown streets. With the introduction of Great Streets standards, the City of Burlington promotes streets as engaging public spaces for connecting with community, learning, and exploring Burlington, as well as infrastructure for multi-modal transportation.


Estimated Timeline

October 15: Artist Qualifications Due 11:59pm

October 22: Finalist notifications (estimated)

December 7: Proposals due, interviews with artists/artist teams (estimated)

December 15: Finalist Selections complete (estimated)

January 15, 2019: Public Art Contract issued for Lower St. Paul (estimated)

January 31, 2019: Integration of public art work plans into construction documents complete for all streets

Summer 2019: Installation of art work Lower St. Paul (construction already underway)

TBD: Public Art Contract for works on Bank and Cherry issued

TBD: Installation of Public art and construction Bank and Cherry


Selection Process

The selection process will take place in two phases:


Phase 1 consists of response to this Request for Qualifications (RFQ), due October 15, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Applicants will be reviewed by a Public Art Review Panel (PARP) comprised of stakeholders and design professionals. Up to 15 applicants will be selected to submit full proposals for Phase 2 per the schedule outlined below.


Phase 2 will request full proposals for specific sites from applicants selected in Phase 1. Selected artists will be required to submit a proposal consisting of narrative text, proposed budget, engineerable plans and images. A PARP will review all proposals. Phase 2 applicants will be required to give an in-person presentation. Phase 2 applicants will receive a $500 honorarium towards research, administrative, and logistical costs related to proposal development.

The final artists/artist teams selected will be required enter into a contract with the City of Burlington (see attached draft; recognizing that reasonable revisions, additions and/or alterations to this draft shall be expected at the time of contracting) The final artists/artist teams selected will be required to provide plans that can be engineered and incorporated into final construction documents.


Criteria and Eligibility

Criteria for Phase 1 selection will include:

  • Quality of public art portfolio
  • Skillsets offered by the artist or artist team in relationship to project opportunities
  • Professionalism of submission materials
  • Previous experience that demonstrates ability of artist to carry out a public art project within budget and on time
  • Previous experience that demonstrates ability of artist to collaborate with professionals from other disciplines


Criteria for Phase 2 selection will be based on creativity, artistic merit, conceptual approach, technical proficiency, flexibility to work within a dynamic project schedule, appropriateness of budget, and relationship of artwork to the proposed site. Long-term maintenance, durability, and public safety concerns will also be a major selection criterion. Final selected art works will endeavor to, as a group, reflect the diversity of Burlington’s residents, explore story of our City’s history, create meaningful landmarks in our built environment, and connect the people, the land and the lake.



This RFQ is open to artists and artist-teams who reside in the United States.


Materials to be Submitted in response to Phase 1 RFQ

Submissions must be uploaded at this portal link:

Please prepare and submit:

  1. Up to eight (8) digital samples of your artwork.
  1. Images should be labeled as last name, first name, and number; for example: Smith_Jane_01
  2. Images should be saved as JPGs, at 72 dpi and no larger than 5MB.
  3. A description of each image that includes the following: Title. Year. Materials. Dimensions. Location (if applicable). Project Budget (if applicable). Artist or artist team role.


        B. A single PDF document that includes the following: 

  1. Cover letter summarizing interest and qualifications of artist and each artist team member, and outlining availability of the artist team over the next two years to develop a proposal and complete a project. The cover letter may also reference related experience, pinpoint sites of particular interest within the overall project, touch on conceptual interests that may be explored, and highlight any areas of expertise that may serve the project. Maximum of 2 pages.
  2. Current resume.  Include current address, phone number and email on resume. Include one resume for each team member.


Title your document as last name_first name_Info; for example: Smith_Jane_Info

General submission guidelines:

  • Submit what you believe is your strongest work in relationship to this opportunity
  • Submit work samples numbered in the order you would like them to be reviewed
  • For images with details: show the overall image first, followed by detail images
  • Do not send additional catalogs, reviews, promotional items, or original artworks; they will not be reviewed
  • Incomplete or ineligible submissions will not be reviewed; it is the applicant’s responsibility to verify the completeness of their application


Contact Sara Katz via email at  with questions about this RFQ. Questions and answers will be posted on the Q & A page of the portal for all applicants. You must register in the portal and log back in to see updates.

Link to Site Plans

Link to great street standards

Example public art contract