Jose Gaspar Ship

Tampa Public Art - Art Selection

Program staff will make a recommendation to the Public Art Committee addressing the budget, type of artwork, the number of artworks or projects, the method of selection, the panel composition and names of panelists, honoraria and other expenses related to art work selection. 

Acquisition Methods

Categories of artwork to be selected/number of works/projects include:

  • Commission

  • Purchase

  • Conservation

  • Re-siting existing work from the collection

Methods of Artist Selection include:

  • Open Competition - opportunity is open to any professional artist meeting eligibility requirements

  • Limited Competition - artists are invited to submit their qualifications to TPA, or through a recommendation process

  • Direct Selection - artist is chosen directly by Art Programs Manager or Selection Panel

  • Hybrid Competition - a call to artists is sent to a specific (often local) mailing list, and other qualified artists are invited to submit their qualifications according to the call.

Panel Composition

Selection Panels are ad-hoc panels assembled to select an artist or artwork. The number of panelists and composition may vary depending on size, location and complexity of the project. In general, panels will have a minimum of three voting members and a maximum of seven, striving to appoint an uneven number. Composition of the panel will include:

Voting Members

  • Representatives of the department(s) responsible for the facility

  • Architect or design department representative

  • Artist or arts professional

  • Neighborhood representative

Non-Voting Members

  • TPA Administrator or a Public Art Committee member shall serve as a non-voting panel chair.

  • Advisors will be invited who represent community groups or other interested parties.

Staff will recommend panelists for each project to the Public Art Committee. To expedite the identification of panelists, the staff will maintain a list of qualified panelists with their resumes. Panelists should be qualified in several of the  : experience implementing Public Art projects; knowledge of Public Art trends and artists; knowledge of local, regional and national artists; experience and interest in working with Tampa's communities; ability to assess the creativity, design skills and problem-solving abilities of the artists under review; knowledge of materials and methods of fabrication; ability to represent neighborhood where the project is located; ability to work cooperatively and effectively in a panel process.

Panels should be assembled with cultural, racial and gender diversity as a criteria.Panelists with a commercial interest in art or artists such as agents or dealers should not serve as panelists. Conflict of interest statements will be provided to all panelists prior to serving on the panel. Panelists will agree to conduct their work in a fair manner and to be statesmanlike in the face of criticism.

Modified Panel Composition

For some projects, such as those with budgets of $24,999 or less, or where time is of the essence, the Public Art Committee will have the option to select one or more  or more artists through direct selection, develop a short list of qualified artists to present to a panel,and form a small panel of three people. Panel responsibilities include recommendation of artist(s) to be commissioned or artworks to be purchased, or a recommendation regarding the feasibility of artwork to be restored, discussion of the artwork's siting and concept,and appropriateness for the location. In making its artistic recommendation, the panel will consider the criteria below. A panel may determine more specific criteria as the need arises.

  • Site, the facility, its architecture and function

  • Location and the communities it serves

  • Quality of the artist's previous work or artist's proposal, and its appropriateness for the site

  • Potential for vandalism

  • Durability of materials

  • Artist's ability to execute the commission.

Artist Recruitment and Outreach

For projects designated for open competition, the TPA staff will develop a Request for Qualifications ("RFQ" or "call to artists") that contains the following information:

  • Project description, goals, site description, facility's purpose and public and any limitations

  • Potential scope of work for artist, site options, and number of artists to be commissioned

  • Application procedures, materials requested

  • Selection procedures and schedule

  • Selection criteria for artists and artwork

  • Project budget and schedule

  • Eligibility

Staff will also develop a strategy to reach a broad, diverse constituency. To minimize staff time and postage, grouping calls into a periodic publication should be considered.Calls will be posted on the TPA web site and listed in other relevant newsletters, websites and publications.

Art Selection Budget

Some of the expenses anticipated through the art selection process are listed below.Currently, these expenses are covered by the Public Art Fund:

  • call to artists: printing, mailing

  • other related expenses such as duplication, return shipping of models

  • artists' proposal honoraria and travel

  • non-city employee panelists' honoraria and travel expenses.

Panel Meetings

The number of panel meetings varies according to the complexity of projects. Panel meeting sequencing will depend on the requirements of the specific project. Prior to each meeting, the Program staff prepares agendas and slide presentations for the artist selection panel meetings. They also prepare and distribute minutes of each meeting. When appropriate, panelist site visits will be arranged. At each meeting, the Department and/or institution occupying the facility is present to discuss its concerns. Representatives from the community have an opportunity to discuss concerns from their perspectives.

At the initial meeting, the panel reviews the artwork scope, potential sites, selection criteria, and any other requirements. The Project Designer or Design Department presents the facility, bringing any plans, renderings, models or other visual representations that have been completed to date. Panelists and advisors discuss the project scope, site and concept as well as concerns raised by the community, departments, or designer.

The panel shall review slides of artists who have submitted qualifications for the project. Through a series of votes, the panel shall narrow the pool to finalists. Depending on the number of artists submitting, several meetings may be necessary. If proposals are required, then the artist will be given the opportunity to present his/her proposal. The panel will vote to select the artist(s) to be commissioned.

If a voting panelist misses one or more of the artists' interviews, then the panelist may continue as part of the discussion, but may not be counted as a voting member. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair, generally not a voting member shall cast the deciding vote.If for some reason the Chair is a voting member, then another TPA representative designated by the chair at the start of the meeting, and present through the meeting,breaks the tie. An alternate artist will be selected in case the selected artist/s declines the commission or is unable to enter into a contract.

Panel Meeting Follow-Up

Staff will present the panel's recommendation to the Public Art Committee for confirmation. 

If the Public Art Committee is reluctant to confirm the panel's first or alternate recommendation, the Committee will meet with the Panel Chair, or the entire panel, to discuss its concerns. Following this meeting, if the Committee will not confirm the recommendation, the project will be reevaluated for its feasibility, and the search may be reopened with a new panel, if necessary.

Artist Eligibility

All professional artists are eligible for commission or purchase. Artists may accept commissions once every three years from the date of a signed contract. Artists whose work has been commissioned for over $25,000 may not be considered for another purchase or commission for three years after the purchase. Likewise, artists who have received commissions cannot be considered for purchases over $25,000 for three years after the signed contract. The Project Designer, City Staff, Public Art Committee Members, Tampa Museum of Art Staff, and their immediate family members are not eligible.