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Asheville Visiting Artist Program   •   Asheville, North Carolina
Deadline:  April 27, 2018
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The City of Asheville is requesting proposals + qualifications from artists or artist teams for the recently initiated Visiting Artist Program by the City and it’s Public Art & Cultural Commission (PACC).  

Project Description

The City of Asheville through the Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) in Asheville, North Carolina is seeking artists for a recently initiated Visiting Artist Program (VAP) which for its first year aims to enhance underserved communities, address needs in the City’s public art collection, and enable collaborative, mentoring relations between a nationally and internationally recognized artist (or artist team) and a selected group of local artists. For its inaugural 2018 project, the focus will be on the history, contribution, and experience of the African American community of Asheville. The City and PACC hereby announces a request for proposals from professional artists of national or international standing whose work can meet these objectives in engaging and innovative ways. We welcome any artistic medium that provides an opportunity for collaboration and professional development for local artists and that utilizes the City’s public space (or spaces) to promote dialogue and meaningful exchange regarding the history, culture, and presence of the African American Community in Asheville.


The City of Asheville’s Public Art and Cultural Commission (PACC) has worked with the City to use Public Art Funds on a Visiting Artist Program (VAP). This program is designed to meet several key objectives: First, to enhance and diversify the City’s public art collection with an innovative work of art (broadly defined) that promotes dialogue and engagement with the history and cultural identity of Asheville; Second, to create significant opportunities for local artists to collaborate with national and internationally recognized artists and gain valuable professional development in the arts; Finally, to identify and creatively respond to the needs, interests, and perspectives of underrepresented members of our community. With its distinctive emphasis on creative and conceptual innovation, artistic collaboration, and cultural diversity in the arts, the Visiting Artist Program is specifically designed to enhance and expand the artistic profile of Asheville, which boasts a robust and active artistic community.

With these objectives in mind and as mentioned above, the City and PACC is interested in sponsoring its first Visiting Artist Program to substantially engage with the African-American community. Further, the City of Asheville and the PACC is firmly committed to community engagement throughout the VAP process, including a public input, selection process, public presentation of the selected project, as well as relevant educational and volunteer opportunities.

Artwork Scope

In an effort to diversify public art in Asheville, the City and PACC will give full consideration to proposals involving any form of artistic medium, temporary or permanent, product- or process-oriented, functional or aesthetic.


This is a nation-wide call which is also open to all qualified local artists/artist teams to submit qualifications. Specifically, the City and PACC seeks established, professional artists whose body of work shows evidence of collaborative potential and ability to engage underserved communities.  In addition, the commissioned artist or team of artists must be able to work in close collaboration with City staff, the Public Art & Cultural Commission, the African American Heritage Commission well as the selection/review committee.

Artist Selection Process

Submitted materials will be reviewed by the appointed selection/review committee, which includes City staff, PACC members, and community members. Three (3) finalists will be asked to submit proposals for the program. Evaluation criteria is listed in the next section.  

Finalists will be required to enter into a contract with the City of Asheville as the proposal process begins, in order to fulfill the following:

All finalists are required to conduct a community visit prior to the design of proposals in order to get a full sense of community context for the development of the artwork’s scope; a public feedback session will be held as part of the visit. This interface between the finalists and different community groups such as traditionally African American neighborhoods, individual residents and/or neighborhood associations, special interest groups and community leaders is mandatory and will be facilitated by the VAP Advisory Board, which includes members of PACC, City staff, and the community. Final proposals will also be posted online in order to gather public feedback, feedback which the appointed review committee will consider in making their final selection. Finalists will be paid $1000 each for their preliminary proposals and for participating in public meetings.  The selected finalists will retain copyright over his/her/their original design; the City of Asheville will retain rights to promote and reproduce the completed work in print and electronic form on a non-commercial basis.