Several people have written to us to ask if they could see the other artists’ proposals we received for Shreiner-Concord Cemetery. In fact, we only solicited two proposals from artists for the site, and we have presented both of these proposals to the public. We thought we might help clear up any confusion if we explained the process we have used to reach the stage of having proposals by artists for the public to review. We’ve shared this list of steps with the members of the Board of Shreiner-Concord Cemetery who served on the Selection Committee, and they agree with our version of this history. Here it is:
In 2010, we met with the S-C board to invite their involvement. The Board then voted to pursue a possible Poetry Paths piece at Shreiner Concord, and they designated a selection committee of three to choose the poems and work with us to select an artist. In January of 2011, we drafted a Request for Poems for S-C and vetted it with the Shreiner Concord selection committee. In early February, we sent the Call out nationally, and we received poems by about 15 living poets to be considered for the site.
We also gathered poems by Lancaster public school children and deceased poets for the selection committee’s consideration. The committee and other Board members also submitted several historic texts for consideration. In March 2011, the selection committee chose an array of five to six poems by both living and dead writers to be included in a piece of art. The Board agreed with the committee’s selections.
Also in early spring of 2011, we developed a Request for Qualifications for all of the Poetry Paths sites in Lancaster for which were still seeking proposals by artists, and we distributed that call nationally through public art networks and on our website. We received about 50 submissions of qualifications, including images of previous work and c.v’s, by artists and designers who said that they would welcome being considered for any upcoming Requests for Proposals for Poetry Paths.
In mid-spring, we narrowed the group of 50 artists down to 12 by eliminating all artists whose work did not meet the basic criteria for the S-C site. We were left with about a dozen artists who had a record of previous public art installations and did outdoor sculpture, seating, metal work, mosaic, landscape design, and/or art in historic sites. We shared this short list of artists and their images with the artist and architect members of our Poetry Paths Advisory Committee, the Public Art Manager for the City of Lancaster, and the S-C selection committee. The S-C selection committee, members of the Poetry Paths advisory committee and Lancaster’s Public Art manager cast their votes and came to a consensus on choosing 2 of these artists as finalists.
We drafted a Request for Proposals (RFP) and vetted it with the Shreiner Concord selection committee. In late June, we sent the RFP and five poems to the two artists who had been selected. The RFP is downloadable here.
In late August 2011, we received the two proposals and shared them with the public through our website, facebook and twitter pages, via the newspaper, and via email sent by a member of the S-C board. In late August and early September, the selection committee and the full board of the Cemetery will meet for discussion and will determine which proposal, if either, they want to see installed in the Cemetery.