Welcome temporary public art project creative opportunity

Welcome temporary public art project logo.

We are looking for artists to create a range of temporary public artworks to be installed throughout Strood and Rainham town centres.

Welcome is a coronavirus (COVID-19) safe alternative cultural offering for Strood and Rainham town centres. It is funded by The Welcome Back Fund from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and administered by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

This opportunity is open to professional artists. It would also suit a student, graduate or emerging artist at the beginning of their career.

Artworks will launch on 2 April 2022 and will remain available to enjoy for 12 months.

What we're looking for

We're looking to award 4 micro commissions per town. These commissions will respond to the theme of ‘Welcome’, to celebrate and highlight what makes these 2 locations special to the people who live, work, study and visit there. 

We're interested in artworks that respond to the themes of:

  • local legends and heroes
  • stories
  • historic happenings
  • present day aspects of these communities.

There are no specific design criteria for this commission. We encourage artists to create contemporary designs that are complementary to the character of the different area. 

We are looking for temporary public art that:

  • is innovative and creative, and demonstrates quality and excellence
  • has scale and impact
  • engages the community in Strood and Rainham
  • works in an outdoor, high-footfall environment
  • is fully accessible
  • is mindful of current and changing COVID-19 guidelines.

We have purposefully not been prescriptive. Your public art must be temporary.

Types of work

It can take different forms, such as:

  • performance art - it must be possible for the community to access or benefit from the legacy of any live event for the full following 12 months
  • 2D or 3D installations
  • sound or light projects
  • street art
  • online experiences
  • digital artworks.

Where permission is granted, existing infrastructure can be used such as:

  • hoardings
  • shop windows
  • public spaces
  • bus stops.

Eligibility

We will only accept proposals from individuals, organisations, or collaborations that:

  • live or work in Medway or Kent
  • carry public liability insurance up to £5 million
  • can provide evidence from HMRC of employment or organisation status.

We will not consider proposals that have discriminatory themes or messages, as set out in the council’s Equality Policy.

Budget

The selected artists will receive £2,499.

This is to cover all costs including:

  • design and development
  • materials and equipment
  • installation
  • insurance
  • any subsequent maintenance. 

Locations

The artworks must be installed in public areas in Strood and Rainham town centres.

Where a location is on or near a highway, Medway Council Highways Team must approve the location.

You must make it clear where your chosen location is on your application.

Site visits

We recommend that you visit the areas to familiarise yourself with them and help decide on potential locations for your artwork.

If you would like to speak to key community members from the 2 towns to find out more about the character of the area and have an informal discussion about your ideas, contact Susanna Hodder by email at susanna.hodder@medway.gov.uk or by telephone on 01634 338 319.

Susanna will invite you to a Zoom meeting at the following times:

  • Strood: Friday 7 January 2022, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Rainham: Saturday 8 January 2022, 10am to 11am.

Installation

All installation techniques must be agreed by us or the owner of the building or land in question.

Considerations

Your proposal must consider the following:

  • the work must be temporary and low maintenance
  • the environment and location of the work
  • the work must be accessible for a variety of audiences
  • the work must be mindful of potentially changing COVID-19 guidelines
  • potential weather damage and exposure to physical touch.

Support from lead artist practitioners

2 lead artist practitioners, working with Medway Council’s Culture Team, have been appointed to support the 4 commissioned artists per town.

They will provide help to the artists during the process, from design and installation to performance and removal.

The lead artists will lend their knowledge, time and expertise to help in areas including:

  • trouble-shooting
  • bringing the different artworks together coherently for publicity campaigns
  • ensuring any communications or public material carry the correct logos
  • communicating messages with individual artists
  • conducting and helping with risk assessments
  • identifying ways to get best value for money for shared resources and equipment.

They will also be a central point of contact between the groups of commissioned artists and the council’s Culture Team.

Marketing, publicity and branding

Joint marketing for the Welcome project across the 2 towns will be co-ordinated centrally by Medway Council Culture Team, the lead artists and Mark Barnes Design. They will provide consistent branding and artwork to knit the 2 project locations together.

The individual artist may share news of their own projects through their own channels, but it is essential that this is discussed with lead artists first to ensure correct messaging and appropriate logos are used.

Further information

You can also download the commission brief

If you have any questions or need further information, email Susanna Hodder at susanna.hodder@medway.gov.uk or contact her by telephone on 01634 338 319.

The HM Government and European Union Regional Development Fund logos