Call for proposals - Artw...

NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY is a fully accredited public university serving more than 11,000 students in the Chicago area with an affordable, high quality academic experience. Our population is richly diverse in ethnicity, culture, age and language. We are seeking to commission a permanent artwork to be installed in one of our major buildings on the main campus named after Lech Walesa, the former president of Poland.

The building is named after Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s, and later president of Poland.  Northeastern Illinois University has a large Polish community within its service region. The international community recognizes and appreciates Nobel Peace Prize recipient President Walesa’s political work for democracy under a repressive regime.  More recently he has expressed explicitly homophobic views, which have offended and outraged members of our University community. 

Recognizing the challenges inherent in people’s complex identities and values, and the deep tensions in American society around freedom of speech, the University community engaged in a dialogue in the Spring of 2013. The dialogue was prompted by calls for Lech Walesa’s name to be removed from the building.  The dialogue focused on conflicting viewpoints about Walesa’s place in history and his homophobic views , thus making him worthy of honor and worthy of criticism.  Members of the University community did not reach consensus on these challenging dilemmas.  

The artwork should express and celebrate the tensions inherent in living in a multi-cultural society in which diversity is celebrated.  NEIU has long worked to be an inclusive institution, in which LGBTQ members of the community are welcomed and free, and NEIU struggles to be a community in which freedom of speech is celebrated and honored.  We seek an art piece that reflects this tension that is central to the life of an intellectually free space. 

In light of the homophobic comments made by Lech Walesa, his place in history, and the University’s process, the University would like to commission a work of art to reflect and memorialize the difficult situation, and the University’s response with respect to President Walesa’s comments.  

Attached (file:///C:/Users/mmhanna/AppData/Local/Temp/ is a map of the proposed artwork locations. All media artists are welcomed to apply and select the location most suitable for their work.

PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS (label all documents with your name, address, phone and e-mail)

?Project description: Provide a detailed description of your entire proposed project

?Planned detailed budget: Please note that you will be required to provide your own travel and living accommodations, studio space and provide your own tools and technicians unless otherwise specifically agreed to by the NEIU Art Department. In addition, please indicate what technical assistance you will require and include any assistants in your budgets. Cost of all materials and time is not to surpass $20,000.

?Proposed artwork timeline: Outline a timeline of your work.

?250 - 300 word artist statement

?250 - 300 word statement in response to the topic of social justice and equality values

?Submit 15-20 recent works available to view in PowerPoint or Keynote format (CD or DVD). LABEL each image with title, media, dimensions and date of completion.

?Include a copy of your resume. DO NOT include any additional materials such as exhibition announcements, postcards, reviews, prints of additional work or promotional pieces.

?SASE: Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for return of your materials.



• Completed entries must be received by Sept. 1

• The authors of the top three proposals will be invited to the University to review the archives, conduct interviews and walk the space in September and early October

• The invited artists will then submit renderings/proposals that will be shared with the University community in November

• The winning entry will be announced by the end of the fall 2014 semester

• Artwork installation will be complete by May 15, 2015


Attn: Peter Goldman

Salme Harju Steinberg Fine Arts Center

Northeastern Illinois University

5500 N. St. Louis Ave.

Chicago, IL 60625


Attn: Santiago Vaca, Assistant Professor

Pen and Ink
Color Pencil
Traditional Photography
Digital Photography
New Media
Digital Art
Printmaking (hand pulled)