Up to $100,000 Available to Winning Proposal for Public Art in Gene Lynch Urban Park in Silver Spring

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County: Artist proposals are now being accepted to create a permanent art installation at Gene Lynch Urban Park in Downtown Silver Spring. The park, which will open in spring, sits on a quarter acre at the intersection of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue, immediately adjacent to the former Discovery Channel Headquarters building and across the street from the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center and Silver Spring Metro Station. The winning proposal could earn up to $100,000 for its artist. The deadline to submit qualifications to be considered is March 10. The public will select the winning artist from the group of finalists through an online voting process.

The park is named for the late Planning Board Commissioner Gene Lynch. It includes an open lawn area, a pergola with bench swings and a 10 x 13-foot concrete wall—which will be the location of the new public artwork. The artwork should create a memorable and strong sense of place and express the community’s culture and identity. It may draw from current historical movements or events and can take the form of murals, mosaics, tile, low-relief or mixed media suitable for permanent installation on exterior walls. It must also be easy to repair and maintain.
Interested artists can find more details about the project and photos of the park at the Gene Lynch Urban Park webpage.

There will be a two-step selection process. Applicants should submit their professional qualifications and examples of a broad range of their exterior public work, as outlined in the application requirements. Incomplete applications will not be considered. An artist selection panel will review initially submitted materials to develop a short list of finalists based on qualifications and artistic excellence as demonstrated by past work, other professional accomplishments and the likelihood of successfully completing the project within the expected timeframe.

Up to five artists or artist teams will be selected to advance to a public vote. Each finalist will be invited to visit the site, prepare a site-specific concept proposal and present their concept proposal to the selection panel. Each finalist will receive an honorarium of $500 to include costs associated with preparing the concept; no expenses or travel costs will be reimbursed. Concept proposals should include a color design concept proposal to scale, proposed materials for surface preparation, installation and sealing, means and methods for installation, a site protection plan to ensure the adjacent areas and features will not be damaged, an itemized budget, availability and schedule and maintenance requirements.

Finalists will present their concept proposals to the selection panel, which may request adjustments to the proposals to meet project goals and requirements prior to presenting them to the public. If adjustments cannot be made to meet the stated goals or the panel’s suggestions, the panel has the right to disqualify a finalist before presenting the design to the public.

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