At NINE dot ARTS, we collaborate with artists whose work aligns with our clients’ brand and vision. But often communities, municipalities, and cities don’t have the time or resources to research and curate artists in this way. Instead, they’ll host an artist invitational, Request for Qualifications, or Request for Proposals. So what’s the difference?
- Artist Invitational – When an organization, community, municipality, or city has a public art project and a group of artists in mind who they know are qualified, they’ll invite those artists to submit qualifications and/or a proposal design before selecting the winner.
- Request for Qualifications (RFQ) – When an organization, community, municipality, or city has a public art project and wants to create a shortlist of artists, they’ll seek qualifications from select individuals (such as their artist statement, resume, and examples of past projects) and narrow their list down before soliciting a design proposal.
- Request for Proposal (RFP) – When an organization, community, municipality, or city has a public art project and a general vision for it (medium of the piece, what it should represent, the associated story, etc.), they will seek proposals from artists inquiring about their idea for the piece. Proposal elements vary by project, but generally include a cover letter, portfolio, resume/CV, written and visual narrative for the intended artwork, and timeline/budget. Often, a group of artists will be given a design stipend to create a proposal before the final artist is selected.
Before seeking out RFQs and RFPS, be sure your website and social media explicitly make clear that you are available for commissions. It’s a simple task that many artists forget. Additionally, post photos, details, and testimonials related to other projects you’ve completed and those that are in progress. This demonstrates your credibility and skill to proposal committees who may end up reviewing your work.