Centre[4] Art and Research
In collaboration with the CITY OF HAMILTON


McMaster University’s Community Research Platform (CRP)

Call for Artist Expression of Interest

Putting the Public in Public Art: Artist-Led Consultation

photo by: FonoFlick Productions
Convergence by Hooman Mehdizadehjafari (Century Street Parkette, 2023)
Aerial photograph of two people lying on an oval-shaped sculptural bench.

The City of Hamilton is undertaking a public consultation process to elicit community input on the development of the City’s new Public Art Master Plan. In the interest of engaging a broad range of citizens, the City is seeking expressions of interest from local artists to create an innovative and inviting artwork that will facilitate authentic, in-person community feedback on the future of art in public places in Hamilton. The City is working with Centre[4] Art and Research – a collaborative initiative between McMaster University’s Community Research Platform (CRP) and Centre[3] for Artistic and Social Practice on this project.

Project Award:

The selected Artist will receive a project award of $25,000 (inclusive of HST). The award will cover all applicable project expenses including: Artist fees, project management and administration, fabrication and materials, project supplies, repair, transportation, storage, facilitation of activation, space rental, insurance, permits, and stamped drawings (as needed). Artist Teams are welcome to respond to this call however the project award will remain the same if they are selected.

Deadline to Apply: Submissions to this Call for Artists are due June 20, 2024 by 4PM EST.


Project Overview:

  1. Objective: To gather diverse community feedback to inform the principles guiding the new Public Art Master Plan activities, reaching audiences who many not typically engage in formal arts or public consultation.

  2. Role of the Artist: To develop a unique, participatory installation, intervention, or place(s) that encourages public participation and feedback on public art and to communicate findings. The artist will also be responsible for collecting data from these engagements to communicate findings. The artwork should be mobile piece that travels to different locations throughout Hamilton.

  3. Artist Deliverables: The successful Artist is required to attend orientation and a minimum of 6 additional meetings (as needed) with City and Centre[4] Art and Research staff; develop a project proposal (including project concept, project plan, timelines, budget, and locations for consultation); oversee design and fabrication of the Artwork (working with partners / vendors or design and fabricating the work themselves); coordinate a minimum of 15 “pop-up” appearances in publicly accessible locations throughout Hamilton (including transportation and maintenance of Artwork); staffing each activation (note: Artist may hire and train facilitators to run some or all activations and is not responsible for being in attendance at each one); recording data; delivery of Final Report. All payments associated with project costs will be the responsibility of the Artist.

Support Provided:

    • Art and Research Integration Consultant: The artist will receive support from a dedicated Centre[4] Art and Research consultant to integrate research and community feedback into their work.

    • City’s Placemaking and Public Art Team: The City’s Placemaking and Public Art team will provide additional support and resources to ensure the successful development and implementation of the project City staff will provide technical review prior to project fabrication.

Project TimeLine:

June 20, 2024 Call for Artists Due

Late June 2024 Submissions Evaluated

Early July 2024 Successful Artist Informed

Artist Agreement Signed; Kick-Off Meeting

Late July 2024 Initial Proposal Due

Early August 2024 Final Proposal Due

August-September 2024 Approval of Design for Fabrication; Fabrication of Work

Mid September 2024 Inspection and Approval of Artwork

Late September

Late October 2024 Public Activations Take Place

November 22, 2024 Draft Report Due

December 13, 2024 Final Report Due

Payment Terms:

Project Award of $25,000 (inclusive of HST) will be awarded in three phases:

$10,000 Upon Approval of Final Proposal and Submission of Invoice

$10,000 Upon Inspection and Approval of Fabricated Artwork

$5,000 Upon Approval of Final Report

Project Approach:

Project Objectives

  • Provide residents who interact with the project with a meaningful and enjoyable experience.
  • Structure and define the priorities for the new Public Art Master Plan.
  • Foster new connections with citizens, inspiring a greater sense of ownership and engagement in public spaces.
  • Encourage active public participation and feedback through interactive and engaging artwork.
  • Collect and analyze data from public interactions to inform the development of the Public Art Master Plan.
  • Bring unexpected ideas to light, authentically shaping the Master Plan.
  • Animate multiple public spaces across the city, inspiring surprise, and delight through participatory installations.

    Key Questions to be Prompted through Artwork:

  • How do diverse demographic groups in Hamilton envision the integration of art in public spaces?
  • How do Hamilton residents interact with existing public art?
  • How can public art enhance daily experiences?
  • What is the role of public art?
  • How can public art enhance a sense of community or help to bolster a community identity?
  • What themes, stories and conversations should future public art in Hamilton explore and inspire?
  • What types of public art do Hamilton Residents wish to experience in their public spaces?

Artist Role:

    • Engagement: Use artistic medium to engage the community in reflecting on public art through interactive and participatory installations.
    • Collaboration: Work closely with an Art and Research Integration Consultant to develop a project / Artwork that gathers public feedback.
    • Inspiration: Create an Artwork that inspires delight and surprise, making the feedback process engaging and inviting.
    • Reflection: Gather public feedback through the participatory Artwork and reflect key findings in a report. Note: report on findings does not need to conform to a traditional research report; narrative, visual or other representations are welcome.
    • Required Skills:
      • Experience in developing, implementing, and monitoring projects of similar scale.
      • Proven ability to work effectively in a team.
      • Experience collaborating with consultants, community groups, and other invested groups.
      • Understanding of best practices of equitable engagement.
      • Ability to integrate feedback from various sources into your artistic process.
      • Strong communication and interpersonal skills to foster a collaborative working environment.
      • Basic understanding of fabrication and technical drawings and ability to communicate design intent.

Submission Requirements:

Please submit the following materials as a single PDF document.

  1. Statement of Interest (500 words max / 1-2 pages):
    • Detail how your past work aligns with the project’s objectives and your understanding of community involvement.
    • Describe your approach to using art for public engagement and feedback.
    • Demonstrate your ability to create accessible and engaging art that invites public participation.
    • Illustrate your methods for exploring public priorities and preferences for shared spaces.
    • Explain how you will engage diverse voices, especially those outside the arts sector and from equity-deserving groups.
    • Emphasize your collaborative skills and experience working in a team setting, particularly in projects involving multiple stakeholders. Highlight any past projects where you successfully collaborated with consultants, community groups, or other artists to achieve shared goals.

  2. C.V (Artist Resume)

Outline recent qualifications and artistic activities. If applying as an Artist Team please submit 1 C.V. on behalf of the collective. 3 pages max.

3. Samples of Past Work:

Please provide a short project description and 1-3 visuals for three (3) past projects relevant to this call.

  • Selection Criteria Scored out of 50

Submissions will be scored according to the following criteria. Scores will guide the discussion in selecting a successful applicant.

Collaboration and Inclusivity: /30

Collaboration: Proven collaborative skills and experience working with a team, particularly in projects involving multiple stakeholders.

Inclusivity: The approach to engaging diverse voices and fostering a sense of ownership and participation in public spaces.

Minimum benchmark score: 21

Alignment with Project Goals: /10

Relevance: How well the artist’s past work and experience align with the project’s objectives and requirements.

Impact: The potential for the artist’s practice to inspire delight and surprise and to authentically contribute to shaping the Public Art Master Plan.

Minimum benchmark score: 7

Creativity and Engagement: /10

Innovation: The Evidence of potential for creative and original methods for gathering public feedback.

Engagement: Demonstrated ability to use art to engage the community and present ideas in an accessible and attention-generating way.

Minimum benchmark score: 7

Submissions to this Call will be evaluated and the successful submission selected by City Staff in the Placemaking and Public Art Section as well as Centre[4] Art and Research Staff. Submissions by local Artists and Artist Teams as well as equity-deserving groups are encouraged.

Submission Guidelines:

Deadline: June 20, 2024, 4:00PM EST

Submission: Include a statement of interest, CV, references, and a portfolio showcasing relevant past work.

Where to submit: Please email all submissions as a single PDF to:

Cathy Paton, Art and Research Integration Consultant, patoncj@mcmaster.ca

Note: Centre[4] Art and Research is committed to providing support to all applicants and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Applicants are encouraged to reach out to Centre[4] Art and Research for assistance with their application. To ensure accessibility in the application process, you can contact Centre[4] Art and Research at: patoncj@mcmaster.ca

We look forward to seeing how your artistic practice can help shape the future of public art in Hamilton. Thank you for your interest in contributing to our community’s cultural landscape.