The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA), in collaboration with the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore Inc. and the Baltimore City Department of Recreation & Parks seeks artists and artist groups to develop unique and original artwork to be included in a new overlook section of Rash Field, as a part of the Rash Field Improvement Project. The overlook will serve as an important physical connection between the Inner Harbor, the improved Rash Field, Federal Hill and the communities south of the park. Selected artist(s) will work closely with the project design team to identify proposed park elements that may be enhanced through the integration of art. Any artist or artist team over the age of 18 living or working in the United States is eligible to apply. Interested artists should apply by filling out the application on www.promotionandarts.org by Friday, October 7, 2016.
Rash Field is a public recreation space and sports field located on the southern side of Baltimore’s iconic Inner Harbor bordered by the Rusty Scupper Restaurant to the East, and the Maryland Science Center to the West. In 2013, the Waterfront Partnership of Baltimore Inc. released the Inner Harbor 2.0 Master Plan which identified Rash Field as a priority project. In 2014 through 2015, Mahan Rykiel, the project’s lead design firm, and Waterfront Partnership conducted an extensive community input process that included an online survey, focus groups, public meetings, and further review by city agencies and advisory and steering committees made up of community members. The goal of the Rash Field Improvement Project is to increase the physical connection between the Inner Harbor and the neighborhoods south of the park, as well as draw positive activity to this section of the waterfront. The plan includes a commitment to maintain the current number of volleyball courts. In addition, there are planned improvements to the bleachers, bathrooms, running track, and Pride of Baltimore Memorial, as well as the addition of a skate park, an entrance from Federal Hill, improved entrances at park corners, a children’s play area, a café, increased shade canopy and a large field able to be programmed for sports games or public events.
The concepts presented by the design team feature numerous locations for sculpture and art. The Public Art Commission has given direction that the request for qualifications for this initial public art investment should focus on the area around the overlook including the nearby entrance, stairway and seating. Specific elements that may be eligible for artwork near the overlook include but are not limited to: paving design or pathways; walls and railings; graphics on the climbing wall; stairway elements; the redesigned bleacher seating to the East of the entrance and shade structures.
Final determination of where and how art will be incorporated into this project will be determined by the selected artist and the project design team, and approved by the Public Art Commission during the design review process. An artist selection panel comprised of project representatives, local stakeholders and art professionals will review all applications and select three to seven semi-finalists who will be presented to the Public Art Commission who will then select a finalist. The artist is expected to be selected by the end of October.
The Baltimore Office of Promotion &The Arts is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization which serves as Baltimore City’s arts council, events agency, and film office. By producing large-scale events such as Light City, Artscape and the Baltimore Book Festival, and providing funding and support to artists, arts programs and organizations across the city, BOPA’s goal is to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city.