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Public Art Opportunity – Deadline: October 31, 2021

Call for Applications - National & NYS Artists Invited to Propose Iconic Artwork in LGBTQIA+ Welcoming Building


Home Leasing and Trillium Health are collaborating to develop a four-story mixed-use and mixed- income building that will provide for a wide range of households. The project will consist of 72 housing units, first floor commercial space, and a community health facility to be operated by Trillium. The units will be available to households with a range of incomes, which will continue to help establish downtown Rochester as a diverse neighborhood. The development team is dedicated to creating an inclusive community providing amenities and access to downtown living to all members of the community in an LGBTQ+ welcoming environment. All partners are committed to supporting a significant work of public art on the location.

Versión en español disponible aquí


The project is located at the eastern gateway to downtown Rochester, NY between East Avenue and Broad Street, on the west side of Union Street on Site 3 of the Inner Loop East Redevelopment Project.

Art Opportunity

The artwork will be located in the building passthrough. Artists are encouraged to think expansively about the space, engaging with the wall, ceiling, and ground area. This public artwork is intended to be an iconic work that represents, welcomes, or supports the LGBTQ+ community in some way. The resulting commission should be bold, eye-catching, and thoughtful. The installation should be engaging day and night. Artists or teams may propose a painted mural – however, we especially encourage projects that use sculptural and permanently durable materials – and engage the walking/seating area in front of the wall. See drawings for more detail.


The selected artist(s) or team will have a comprehensive contract that will cover the artwork design and engineering, fabrication, materials, installation, insurance, travel, meetings with staff as necessary, and related incidental expenses.


Up to $45,000


This opportunity is open to professional artists or artist teams who meet the following criteria:
• Artists should have completed other public commissions of a similar scale.
• Artists must have a statewide or national reputation and experience.
• Artists must have success in translating innovative concepts into public artworks of significant size.
• Artists must demonstrate a high-level of creativity when engaging with public space, community involvement, and unique ways of approaching existing architecture and landscape.
• Artists should have experience in coordinating large-scale public art installations with a diverse team.

Evaluation Criteria

• Professional experience, quality and creativity of past work, community regard, resume, letter of interest and statement of approach
• Demonstrated ability to conceive, manage, and execute projects of a similar scale

Selection Process

Step 1: Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to select up to four (4) finalist artist(s) or artist team(s) who will be invited to develop a full Proposal.
Step 2: Each artist finalist will be awarded a $1,000 stipend to develop and complete a concept plan to be presented to a diverse professional panel. Artists should be prepared to present their vision, how it relates to the goal of this commission, community engagement, materials used, and a budget outline.
Step 3: Winning artist selected.

Application Instructions – Request for Qualifications

Submit a single PDF that includes all of the following materials to (DropBox or WeTransfer for the complete PDF is acceptable):
• Professional resume – teams should submit resumes for each member, if applicable
• Letter of Interest (suggested max length: 1 page)
• Statement of Approach (suggested max length: 1 page)
• Previous artworks – Please provide a minimum of six (6) and maximum of twenty (20) high resolution digital images of previous artworks that demonstrate your ability to complete a similar project. For each image, please provide title, dimensions, materials, date, location, and budget for the project.


Deadline for receiving qualifications: October 31, 2021 (11:59pm EST)

Finalists notified: November 30, 2021

Finalists present detailed proposals: February 2022

Final Artist Selected: March 2022

Artwork Installed: November 2022


Rochester Contemporary Art Center
137 East Ave.
Rochester, NY 14604
Phone: 585-461-2222

*Download high res floor plan with dimensions here: / Descargue el plano de planta de alta resolución con dimensiones aquí:

Location Illustrations: Looking West Towards Farash Building / Looking East Towards Union Street
Ilustraciones de ubicación: mirando al oeste hacia el edificio Farash / mirando al este hacia Union Street


About the Partners

Rochester Contemporary Art Center (RoCo) is a venue for the exchange of ideas and a not-for- profit 501(c)(3) that was founded in 1977. As a center for thoughtful contemporary art, RoCo provides unique encounters for audiences and extraordinary opportunities for artists. RoCo will be administering the public art selection process for this site and convening a diverse panel of artists and stakeholders who will review qualifications and proposals. 

Home Leasing is a family-owned development, construction and property management company specializing in affordable housing. It was founded in 1967 and currently operates 42 communities with more than 2,700 housing units. Home Leasing is a Certified B Corporation with a mission to improve the lives of its residents and the communities in which it works. Home Leasing serves as the owner and developer of Union Square in addition to the general contractor and property manager. Union Square is the fourth project it has undertaken as part of the Inner Loop East Revitalization Project. The 204 units that Home Leasing has developed among these phases include a wide range of integrated housing options with rents ranging from $450 to $3,000 per month and 29 units of supportive housing to achieve the goal of revitalizing downtown Rochester in a manner where all can participate.

Trillium Health is an independent Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike (FQHC LAL) whose mission is to promote health equity by providing affordable and extraordinary primary and specialty care to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals, as well as people from low income and underserved communities. Trillium will operate medical offices at Union Square and provide supportive housing services to residents of 21 units.

Tompkins Realty is providing guidance for the project. Tompkins Realty is an experienced and successful Real Estate Brokerage firm led by Tim Tompkins.

SWBR is a 100+ person firm with fifty years in practice creating environments that positively impact lives through meaningful design. SWBR is the architect for the project.