A construction worker prepares the visitors parking lot of the City of Whitehorse’s new operations building for concrete on June 25. A City of Whitehorse request for proposals invites Yukon artists to submit concepts for pieces to be displayed in city buildings and facilities with the city slated to spend $400,000 on the artwork. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Calling all artists: Whitehorse prepares to spend $400,000 on public art

The city released the request for artwork Sept. 13

The City of Whitehorse will make its largest one-time purchase of artwork in the coming months after releasing a request for proposals (RFP) Sept. 13.

The RFP calls for Yukon artists to submit proposals that would be displayed in City of Whitehorse buildings and facilities with the city slated to spend $400,000 on the artwork.

Exactly how many pieces and where they will be displayed will depend on the submissions, Landon Kulych, the city’s manager of parks and community development, said in an email.

“Without any submissions it’s difficult to determine, however locations will be determined based on costing and value to the public.”

Officials are hoping the RFP will result in receiving many submissions in a variety of disciplines.

The money is linked to the city’s new operations building that is currently under construction. Under the city’s public art policy, one per cent of the capital construction cost for a new building must be allocated to public artwork.

The policy had previously stated artwork must be placed at the new building, but was altered in 2017 to allow for other locations. It was argued the new operations building being built off Range Road would be inaccessible to many residents meaning they wouldn’t get to see the art.

“While the funding is linked to the Operations Building, this request is for artwork to be displayed throughout the city,” according to a city statement.

“Artists have the freedom to submit proposals for anywhere they feel will bring value to the community.”

The plans for the operations building and the purchase of art have been in the works for years, but Kulych said the timing of the RFP was coordinated to overlap with when the public will have access to the operations building.

“This will allow artists to visit the site once the Operations Building is open to help conceptualize potential art submissions.”

Submissions must be into the city by 3 p.m. on Feb. 28. Pieces will be installed in 2020.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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