Lansing Board of Water & Light – Central Substation Project: Request for Qualifications/Proposals

Lansing Board of Water & Light – Central Substation Project: Request for Qualifications/Proposals

Submission Deadline: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:59 p.m. EST

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing announces a request for qualifications/proposals (RFQP) for a new public art project, funded by public resources through the Lansing Board of Water & Light. The project, a series of three murals, will be installed on Washington Ave. and Malcolm X St. on the newly built Central Substation.

We are seeking bold, innovative murals, created and installed on the south and north sides of the new substation that will engage and reflect the community and serve as a welcoming beacon into REO Town.

Project Background

The Lansing Board of Water & Light’s (BWL) Central Substation project is part of Lansing Energy Tomorrow, the BWL’s major electric modernization program to replace and upgrade aging infrastructure with clean, efficient and reliable generation and transmission assets. The project is part of BWL’s plan to replace the Eckert Power Station and adjoining Eckert Substation in order to continue providing affordable and reliable power to its customers.

Located in the City of Lansing at the southwest corner of S. Washington Ave. and W. Malcolm X St., the Central Substation will create a link between downtown Lansing and REO Town, increasing access to Cooley Gardens and the renovated Scott Sunken Garden, as well as creating several new recreational uses, including, a walkway from Washington Ave. to Townsend St.; loop trails connecting the existing pedestrian system to new walkways; new pathway from Capital Ave. connecting to Cooley Gardens; and wayfinding signs on Malcolm X St., Washington Ave. and Townsend St. The project will later include viewing and fishing platforms along the Grand River and a new staircase connecting the River Trail to Washington Ave.

The BWL will support public art to be placed on the substation walls by funding an RFP of $20,000 every three years. The RFP public arts review team will include representatives of the BWL, City of Lansing, REO Town Commercial Association and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

Artwork Criteria

     -Northwest Wall
Two small (12 ft. H X 5 ft. W) murals will be created on the northeast face at the corner of Washington Ave. and Malcolm X  St.(see attachment for placement.) The artwork should exemplify strong, imaginative design and content and should contribute to a visually stimulating environment that lends itself to thought and adds character to the site.

    -Southeast Wall
One large (18 ft. H X 45 ft. 4 in. W) mural will be created on the southeast wall (see attachment for placement.) The artwork should exemplify strong, imaginative design and content and should contribute to a visually stimulating environment that lends itself to thought and adds character to the site.

The murals on both the southeast and the northeast walls should be vibrant, colorful, prominent and appropriate to their surroundings. No propaganda, advertisements or nudity will be considered. The murals must be created offsite on metal or plastic composite panels only (for longevity of 15-20 years) and must also be UV protected from fading and graffiti proof. BWL has installed a grid with mounting brackets every 4 ft. for easy installation.


The RFQP is open to all professional visual artists based in Michigan, with a preference given to artists who live or work in Ingham, Eaton and/or Clinton County. Interested artists will have demonstrated the capacity to create and install two-dimensional artworks that are innovative and highly visual. Artists may propose murals for both the southeast and northeast walls, but they will be reviewed and considered separately.

Project Budget

Southeast Mural – The commission budget for the Northeast facing Mural of the Substation is $17,000.

Northeast Murals – The commission budget for the two Southeast facing Murals of the Substation is $2,000.

Both projects are fully turn-key operations and both budgets are all-inclusive of artist’s fees; supplies, including but not limited to paint, brushes, panels, scaffolding, etc.; design; engineering; insurance; permits; fabrication; labor; recognition signage; shipping/storage; and installation.

Project Timeline

-Issue Call for Artists RFP: Friday, March 16, 2018

-Submittal Deadline: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:59 p.m. EST

-Proposal Review: Monday, April 23, 2018

-Finalists Selection and Notification: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

-Finalists Formal Conceptual Proposals Due: Monday, May 21, 2018, 5:00 p.m. EST

-Finalists In-Person Presentations: Friday, May 25, 2018

-Artist(s) Selection and Contracting Process: June 2018

-Fabrication (off site): June – September, 2018

-Mural Installation: Estimated Oct. 3, 2018

-Project Completion and Unveiling: Estimated Early October, 2018

Proposal Submittal

Each proposal that responds to this RFQP should include the following documents (all must be submitted in pdf format):

1) Resume/CV of Artist

2) Visual documentation of similar large scale murals created, designed and installed by artist

3) Preliminary sketches of artwork for BWL Central Substation (please note if these are for Southeast or Northeast walls)

4) Artist’s Statement based on preliminary sketches

5) Estimated Budget (please see project budget above for itemization purposes) and materials anticipated to be used in mural creation

6) Explanation of longevity/protective coatings of artwork and maintenance

Review and Selection Process

In addition to the Arts Council of Greater Lansing staff, representatives from the Board of Water & Light, REO Town Commercial Association and the City of Lansing will serve on the review committee to select the finalists based on the proposals submitted. The selection of the finalists will be based on the following criteria:

-Artist’s consideration of and experience in the creation of large scale murals

-Artist’s professional experience represents a developed and successful body of site-specific public murals of a similar scope and size as demonstrated by visual documentation

-Ability to understand sense of place and design in a context-sensitive manner as demonstrated by visual documentation

-Willingness of the artist to consult and work with the design and construction teams to successfully integrate the work into the site and meet any construction requirements, schedules and deadlines

-Assurance that the artwork is of a permanent nature (10-20 years), does not require excessive maintenance or repair costs


No more than three finalists for the southeast murals and no more than three finalists for the northeast mural will be invited to submit final renderings. A $175 honorarium will be paid to each of the finalists for the full conceptual proposals.

On Friday, May 25, 2018, the finalists will present their conceptual proposals to the Review Team in-person. The site-specific conceptual proposals should convey the artist’s ideas and plans through scale designs and renderings with a statement that describes, in detail, the artworks intent, proposed materials (must be metal or plastic), installation methods, project schedule and an itemized budget. All written materials and a color rendering (to scale) of the murals must be emailed to the Arts Council of Greater Lansing by Monday, May 21, 2018, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Materials will be distributed to the Review Team prior to the finalists presentations.

Artist’s Commissioned Work Agreement

The selected artist will enter into a two-party Agreement between the Lansing Board of Water & Light and the artist to complete a transfer of ownership. The selected artist will be required to provide General Liability and other insurance as specified in the Agreement.

Submission Information

Deadline: The application, images and other required materials must be submitted electronically in one pdf package to by Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. EST

Contact: Deborah E. Mikula, executive director, Arts Council of Greater Lansing (517) 372-4636 ext. 2 or by email at Website:

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Board of Water & Light reserve the right to reject any or all applications, to reissue the Call for Entries or to terminate the selection process or project at any time without prior notice.