#DESTINATIONCRENSHAW - CRENSHAW BOULEVARD OUTDOOR ART MUSEUM
REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS (RFQ)
RFQ HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO ACCEPT PROPOSALS ON A ROLLING BASIS
Destination Crenshaw is a large-scale project that will create a 1.1 mile-long outdoor museum along Crenshaw Boulevard. As the first of its kind in Los Angeles, this project will formally memorialize and celebrate the historical and cultural contributions of Black LA in the current heart of LA’s African American community. Inspired and driven by the leadership of Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, the opportunity of this project is to advance the well-being of these neighborhoods and celebrate Black LA’s history. Destination Crenshaw includes streetscaping and landscaping improvements, new architectural elements, and the inclusion of permanent and temporary artworks by artists connected with Black LA. The museum is scheduled to open to the public in the Fall of 2019.
The architectural firm Perkins + Will is on board to manage the overall design of the project. Led by Zena Howard, Perkins + Will has developed a concept for the design of the full project, unifying the architecture, landscape, art installations, and exhibits with a common point of departure. The concept is rooted in contextualizing and celebrating African American history, specifically Black LA’s cultural and social innovations, vis-à-vis the region and the world. The design concept begins with a Nigerian plant known as Giant Star Grass. Native to the African savannah, this rhizome grass was used as bedding hay on slave ships from the Gold Coast. Trailing the African diaspora across the globe, it thrived in inhospitable conditions everywhere. Today Giant Star Grass is a common lawn grass found on every continent. In the US it is called Bermuda Grass and is considered with praise and disdain alike.
In Los Angeles, in spite of “root shock” – the impact of centuries of consistent upheaval and displacement of African Americans throughout the country – Blacks established a strong, interconnected community, well rooted and thriving. It grows much like a rhizome with no single origin or genesis – no beginning or end – an organic network of growth that sprouts through the surface of LA in unexpected locations and delightfully creative ways. Inspired by the unifying concept of the Giant Star Grass and a great spirit of determination, this project will proceed to become one of America’s premier experiences celebrating the world-class cultural contributions of African Americans in and with the Crenshaw community for generations to come.
BLACK LA AESTHETIC
Critically important to the overall experience of Destination Crenshaw is the acknowledgement of the history and evolution of the community of artists who fostered aesthetic sensibilities that would come to define Black arts in LA and influence aesthetics and culture worldwide. Whether through music, painting, dance, or the plastic arts, the boulevard and its adjacent neighborhoods provided, and continue to provide, sites for conversation, collaboration, contest, and ultimately creativity. Formal recognition of these aesthetic pursuits was first realized in the creation of Brockman Gallery, Gallery 32, and Gallery Tanner, spaces that would institutionalize Black LA’s power of the visual arts.
The permanent and temporary artwork that will be commissioned for Destination Crenshaw will reference these aesthetics through a wide array of mediums including sculpture, murals, painting, performance, and photographic arts. The project aims to chronicle the richly diverse expressions of LA artists who created art in the corners of their homes, were trained in LA art schools, or made LA the base of their artistic careers. This project extends from the historical to the contemporary, and aims to offer platforms from which visitors can explore the aesthetic contributions of the Crenshaw community.
SITE AND ART OPPORTUNITIES
The #DestinationCrenshaw project site is situated along Crenshaw Boulevard. It extends from 60th Street at its southernmost point to Vernon Avenue near Leimert Park at its northernmost extent. The site expands at select locations to the east and west of Crenshaw Boulevard as much as one block to engage various sites that present opportunities to become part of the #DestinationCrenshaw experience. The project site includes sidewalks, crosswalks, publicly-owned land, and private business facades along Crenshaw Boulevard. The Destination Crenshaw Outdoor Art Museum will create significant opportunities for both permanent and temporary artwork and art installations. Along the 1.1 mile stretch of Crenshaw Boulevard there will be opportunities for murals, sculptures, fencing, bike racks, and utility boxes, to name a few.
There are four significant locations along Crenshaw, referred to as Nodes and located at Slauson, 54th Street, 50th Street and south west of Vernon Ave. Each node correlates with a different theme or Thematic Lens as follows:
Improvisation: Near Slauson Avenue, this node celebrates the resourcefulness as the positive outcome of struggle.
Firsts: Near 54th Street, this node celebrates first person stories of significant moments and historical firsts that impacted the personal to the political, from local to international.
Dreams: Near 50th Street, this node celebrates the realm of daydreams, the ephemeral, the seemingly impossible and aspirations free of constraints.
Togetherness: Near Leimert Park, this node celebrates the Togetherness of the Black LA Community. The resilience of Black culture is born out of a togetherness that is both ancestral and an ongoing necessity.
This RFQ is open to artists with the capacity to design, fabricate and install permanent and/or temporary art projects. Artists working in any media may apply and are not required to have had prior public art experience. Artists should be residents of Los Angeles County for a minimum of 5 (five) years, educated in or have worked in Los Angeles County for 3 years, and have a strong cultural connection to the Black arts community in Los Angeles. Artists from or located in the South Los Angeles community are strongly encouraged to apply.
Interested artists must be able to demonstrate their experience and/or capacity to oversee and deliver projects while working in collaboration and consultation with other professionals and project teams of architects, landscape designers, engineers, fabricators, and general contractors. The selected artist must be available for multiple meetings with the project team, City representatives, and stakeholders. The awarded public art commissions will be required to comply with various codes pertaining to safety, accessibility, seismic and/or other issues as specified by the City of Los Angeles. Artists may apply as individuals or as teams. However, artist teams may not change over the life of the project.
Project budgets are variable, depending on the art typology. Budgets will be set at the Request For Proposal phase and will be all inclusive to cover all expenses associated with the design, fabrication, and installation of the artwork, including City permits, as required.
The Destination Crenshaw Curatorial Committee will review all eligible applications received in response to this RFQ. Artists and/or artists teams will be short-listed and invited to develop a specific proposal at one of the Nodes, and /or in response to one of the Thematic Lenses. Due to the compressed project schedule, artists will have approximately six weeks to develop their proposals.
Application materials may be submitted on a rolling basis. Incomplete and late submissions will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered.
If you have any questions, please contact Senior Curator and Historian Larry Earl at (310) 990-8153 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Destination Crenshaw website for more information:http://destinationcrenshaw.la/