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Request for Qualifications, South Haven, Michigan

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Proposal Deadline: March 19, 2022

Please email Kerry Hagy at with any questions you may have.

Request for Qualifications


Call Summary

South Haven VanBuren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, working together with the South Haven Center for the Arts, is seeking qualifications for an artist or artist teams to create proposals for a site-specific sculpture and public artwork in South Haven, Michigan.


Objectives for the final work

  • Celebrates and accentuates what is special about South Haven, Michigan including but not limited to the lake front location, landmarks, the natural landscape, and the flora and fauna

  • Includes the words South Haven, Michigan in it where viewers can photographs with it

  • Enhances the experience for visitors and residence of South Haven

  • Responds to and functions in the chosen location visually and physically

  • Succeeds artistically and visually in the day and evening

  • Inspires visitors to take photographs with friends/family or by themselves.

  • Encourages conversation and enthusiasm

  • Can include functional components such as seating


Up to three artist(s) will be invited to visit South Haven and create location specific proposals that meet the above goals. The artist(s) invited will receive $5000 to cover all costs of creation of the proposal, including travel to South Haven, Michigan. It is anticipated that the budget for each artwork installation will be $50,000; however, creative and engaging concepts of up to $100,000 will also be considered. All expenses for the selected design and commission are the responsibility of the artist/team, including but not limited to: travel/lodging, fabrication and artists labor. Once the proposals are complete, the selection committee will select one to three proposals of the proposals for design, fabrication and installation by the artist(s) who created it. The committee reserves the right to move forward with none of the proposals.



  • Artists who are invited to submit a proposal will have the opportunity to visit South Haven and work together with CVB, Center for the Arts, and the City to select a site in South Haven, Michigan that inspires their proposal. Our beach town has many parks, trails, river and beach locations that are possible sites for the final installation.


Physical Qualities

  • Safe to touch

  • If the piece is designed for engagement, such as seating, all elements must be safe for visitors

  • Durable materials and finish, require minimal maintenance

  •  Repairable if damaged by impact, scratch or graffiti.


Submission procedures – RFQ stage artists and teams must apply through


Project Timeline

  • Requests for qualifications due March 19, 2022 through Call for Entry

  • Artists invited to submit proposals will be notified by March 31, 2022

  • Artists will travel to South Haven in April and May of 2022 and work with the CVB to select the site for their proposal

  • Complete Concept proposals from semi-finalist will be due by May 28, 2022

  • Artists whose proposals have been chosen will be notified in June of 2022 and will work with the CVB in adherence to their proposed timeline.

  • Artists will work with CVB for any final approval needed from the City of South Haven.

  • Art works will be installed on the agreed upon timeline. All proposals should at latest be installed by June, 1 2023.


Requirements of the online application:

• Contact Information for Lead Artist (and artist team if applicable)

• Statement of Interest: Explain why you (or your team) are interested in creating an original artwork for South Haven. Explain why you would be a good candidate and how your experience informs how you would respond to the themes and goals of the project. Must also speak to availability to execute the project within the given timeline.

• Artist Resume/CV (teams should include resumes of all artists combined into a single PDF)

• Work Samples: No more than ten (10) JPEG images of existing artwork, per artwork site application. Work samples may include more than one photo of an individual artwork (showing different angles or details) but please do not composite more than one image per JPEG image. If applying as an artist team, identify all artists of the work.

  • No proposals are submitted at this stage.



Semi-finalist selection

The Artist Selection Committee will review applicants and select 2-3 semi-finalist artists or artists teams to tour South Haven and develop concept proposals.

Semi-finalist artists will be selected based on the following criteria:

1. Background work reflects technical skill, authenticity, originality, commitment to material(s)/media and artistic practice, evokes response or inquiry

2. Artist experience as demonstrated by resume

3. Artist demonstrated experience and Statement of Interest connect to the artwork themes and goals outlined for the public art project


Semi-finalists will be asked to provide three references who have worked with the artist and have detailed knowledge of the artist’s work and qualifications.



Each semi-finalist concept proposal must include the following:

1. Written description of the proposed artwork.

2. Concept renderings/drawings of the proposed artwork including location, dimensions, materials, colors and finishes.

3. Artwork budget, including identification of fabricator and fabricator fees (if applicable) that is around $50,000 and not greater than $100,000

4. Artwork schedule including final design through installation

5. A summary of installation, site preparations, and maintenance requirements for the proposed artwork.

6. Background art experience of artist and fabricator (if applicable)


Before the final selection is made, the artist will work together with the CVB to get approval for their proposal from the City of South Haven. For a proposal to move forward, this approval is necessary.

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