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Davis, California

Monday, March 4, 2024

Request for Qualifications for public art project at N Street Park open until June 3

Artwork will help to promote engagement with the arts in Davis


By SHRADDHA JHINGAN city@theaggie.org


In a news release, the city of Davis announced that “qualified artists or collaborative teams” have the opportunity to design a piece of public art for N Street Park, by submitting a Request of Qualifications (RFQ), due on June 3 at 5 p.m. The public art will be used to “enhance a neighborhood park improvement project.”

In order to “renovate and enliven N Street Park,” the Davis Manor Neighborhood Council (DMNC) and the City of Davis will be working together to commission a team or an individual professional artist to design and create the public art. The piece of part will improve upon a performance area and will consist of “an open-form metal screen for backstage definition” as well as “an open-form metal superstructure” and “theatrical armature.” The former will be used to add definition backstage whereas the superstructure will be utilized for lighting purposes.

Rachel Hartsough, the arts & culture manager for the city of Davis, explained that residents in the area around N Street Park “have a unique relationship” and have been collaborating for years on various projects for the community.

“This includes the design of a street mural at Duke and M called Naturehood, organized opportunities for gathering, supporting local neighborhood artists, making music together, and generally creating opportunities to share friendship and camaraderie,” Hartsough said via email. “All of these activities are performed through a lens that also celebrates and preserves the natural environment in their neighborhood.”

Hartsough added that the idea for the RFQ is an amalgamation of the experiences from previous creative projects.

“The RFQ for the N Street park is the culmination of several years of re-imagining the use of a small park at the end of N Street,” Hartsough said via email. “The call invites artists to apply for a commission to build a unique structure that will function as both public art AND stage.”

Mayor of the City of Davis Gloria Partida, explained that this collaboration will not only highlight their exemplary teamwork, but will also allow people in the City of Davis to be able to experience performances and other arts.

“The City’s partnership with the Davis Manor Neighborhood team has been a model of collaboration and community engagement,” Mayor Partida said in the news release. “We look forward to experiencing this unique, intimate performing arts venue as part of our efforts to enhance our existing park spaces, as well as provide more locations to experience the arts in Davis.”

Additionally, the news release explains that one of the City Council’s goals is to come up with a plan to “grow arts and culture in Davis.” This project will help to do so, by engaging both viewers of the artwork and the artists who created it as well as by promoting the performing arts scene in Davis, according to the news release.

“Within the technical and safety constraints of the project, the artist/team will be at liberty to explore their own artistic vision in partnership with a dynamic team of resident visionaries and within a neighborhood community that has become a local model for community-based design and activism,” the news release reads.

The RFQ for the public art is not the first public art project in Davis. One example, also in Davis in Senda Nueva Neighborhood, is the Elemental Street Mural. Lead Artist for the project Danielle Fodor explained that the project was a community effort in the project’s video.

“Community projects happen in steps,” Fodor said. “For me it starts with an invitation. Somebody in the community invites you in. And that happened for me several months ago when neighbors started talking to me after my last project and said ‘Hey, could we do something like this in this neighborhood.’”

The N Street Park project is not the first one that DMNC has worked on, as it also completed a street mural called “Naturehood” in 2016 with 150 volunteers from the community. For the N Street Park project, there will be a budget of $45,000 through the City of Davis’ Municipal Arts Fund.

Hartsough explained that the goal of the N Street Park project is to help increase the performing arts scene in Davis. Eventually, this will hopefully lead to similar ventures in other parts of the city.

The goal of the project is to activate this small park with the tools needed to support intimate performing arts gatherings, like live music and small theatre productions,” Hartsough said via email. “We hope that this acts as a pilot project for similar spaces in other parks around Davis, and of course, we look forward to a new and exciting piece of public art!”

Ultimately, the RFQ for the N Street project will allow members of the community to engage with arts in Davis, either by viewing the artwork, performing at the venue or creating it. Interested individuals can apply on the website listed on the news release and obtain further information through the websites and email addresses also listed.


Written by: Shraddha Jhingan — city@theaggie.org



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