20 Artists Shortlisted For Artwork In New Terminal

October 2, 2019 | 6 Comments

Skyport and Aecon Airport Constructors today [Oct 2] confirmed that 20 artists have been shortlisted after the Public Art RFP process.

A spokesperson said, “After careful consideration, Skyport and Aecon have recommended potentially 20 artists’ pieces for placement within the new passenger terminal building at the LF Wade International Airport.

“Those artists on the short list will be contacted for further input and clarification of their submissions.

“Short listed artists will be asked to resubmit their proposals by October 25 at 3:00pm.The final selection of artwork to be displayed within the new passenger terminal building will be decided by November 7 at 5pm.

“For more information, please contact Carrie Thatcher at 293-2470.”

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  1. Bermuda Blue says:

    Interestingly, the RFP states quite clearly that the proposed artworks that had to be submitted by local artist by September 4th would be selected on September 30th. Not shortlisted and then required to be re submitted with further clarification of their submissions.

    For those two hundred or so artists who attended the Briefing Session held at the City Hall on July 18th, this will probably come as no surprise. It was a farce of an event that left most in attendance perplexed and vexed frankly. Many walked out in frustration before the event even concluded.

    We were informed at the beginning of the presentation that there was a budget of two million dollars for the visual displays throughout the airport. That detail was kind of mumbled so perhaps I’ve got that wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s the amount I heard)

    It then transpired that of that massive two million dollar budget, just $36,000 was being allocated for twelve pieces of art created by local artists. That’s 1.8%of the budget!!! Let that sink in. 1.8%.

    That’s $3,000 per piece for each of the twelve artists selected. And the indication was that you might have more than one piece selected, further diminishing the number of artists who might be selected. Judging by the large number of artists who turned up for the presentation this was going to be a disappointing exercise for most.

    Bermudian artists are struggling to survive and as Otto Trott quite rightly pointed out during the presentation, $3,000 is grossly inadequate for the size of the artworks required and the massive amount of work that would go into creating them. And that, I feel, was an understatement.

    And if this pathetic compensation wasn’t bad enough, there wasn’t even any consideration given for artists who produce sculpture or any kind of three dimensional art as the artworks that would be considered had to fit in what look suspiciously like left over advertising shadow boxes that are approximately 4′x 5′ in size.

    It seems to me that local artist and art were an afterthought. I would be quite willing to bet that in the 300,000+ square feet of public spaces there will be two hundred or more of the advertising shadow boxes. Perhaps someone from Skyport can clarify that number as I’m sure they have an exact number on that as it will be an important part of their revenue stream.

    There are apparently going to be massive photo murals adorning large areas of the walls throughout the new facility. There was never an RFP from Skyport for local photographers to participate in this part of this exercise that seems to have been allocated a whopping budget of over $1,900,000! We were not informed at all about that. Was a local photographer/s even selected for that exercise and if so, how much are he/she/they getting of the massive budget?

    I have to mention that there are going to be kites suspended somewhere in the building for which a RFP was put out, but I can’t believe that they would require a budget of any more than the $36,000 for the 12 pieces being offered for the combined shadow box artworks.

    Perhaps someone from Skyport can clarify some of this for all we struggling artists on the island and the public in general. They certainly won’t be able to justify it, but I would like to hear something from them about why we are so undeserving of an adequate compensation and lack of consideration of artists who produce three dimensional art/sculptures.

    Anybody home Skyport?

    Bermuda Blue

    • Seriously? says:

      I’m sorry, but when has being an artist ever been a lucrative career choice? I would love to sit home all day in my studio and create art but I don’t have an independent income and therefore have to work full time to survive. I’m not denigrating the hard work and talent of the many artists here in Bermuda but to blame Skyport and lament their pathetic compensation is ridiculous. No one owes local artists a living. I would love to invest in some of the great art pieces I’ve seen but I’m struggling to pay my bills right now. No one owes anybody anything and that is the cruelest truth we must learn in our lives. Art is a luxury and these competitions are an opportunity, not a given.

      • Bermuda Blue says:

        “I’m not denigrating the hard work and talent of the many artists here in Bermuda”

        Yes you are actually. That is precisely what you are doing.

        You’re saying that they aren’t worthy of an income to sustain themselves. You’re saying that by choosing the career of an artist they are stupid because it is not “lucrative” and they get what they deserve for being so foolish.

        By your logic we should all be lawyers or accountants or in some other “lucrative” profession. Why even bother to have the arts taught in schools? Such a waste of time.

        That is a backwards way of thinking, but clearly it’s the pervasive mindset here as you have just demonstrated.

        A community without artists is a community that is dead, devoid of its own culture and unable to express itself in any meaningful way and with no discernible identity.

        Art is not a luxury! It is a necessity for any self respecting community that claims to have a culture to call its own.

        What I was pointing out was just how little consideration our local artists are given on a project that is costing hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.

        Most airports around the world have dedicate significant amounts of space for beautiful installations that showcase their culture and feature their local artists prominently. It’s why people travel,to experience other peoples unique way of life.

        You’re suggesting we shouldn’t bother and that our artists aren’t worth it. I strongly disagree and I feel the vast majority of local artists feel the same way.

        Skyport fell way short in this “competition” in their support of local artists and have now changed the rules on a whim, with no justification.

        Bermuda Blue

        • Question says:

          If you don’t think it’s adequate compensation, then don’t sell them your art.

  2. wa says:

    “You’re saying that they aren’t worthy of an income to sustain themselves.”

    No, you’re the only one saying that.

    What hes saying is that no one owes you, or me anything. If you’re not making enough money as an artist, get another job. Stop expecting handouts.

  3. Bermuda Blue says:

    And where exactly did I say I was expecting a handout?

    What I am quite clearly saying is that I, and all the other local artists, are expecting to be adequately compensated for a piece of art that will be seen by tens of thousands of people, every year, for many years to come in one of the most visible locations on the island.

    And by the way, as you seem to be unaware, there are very few local artists who can survive on the income from their artwork alone. Most do have one or two other jobs in order to survive.

    Maybe you don’t care about the artist community in Bermuda and what they contribute to our islands culture but I certainly do.

    A handout is what a guy from Atlanta and his local partners got from Government to build a recording studio in Dockyard. An $800,000 handout to be precise, that has produced nothing to date and appears never will.

    Instead, they could have awarded a $10,000 grant to 80 different artists to produce all manner of fantastic art: music, sculpture, mosaics, photography, paintings, video productions etc that they could be installing in the new airport.

    That would be like awarding eighty Charman prize winners in one fell swoop. Wow, that would be something. That would have produced such a dramatically positive and uplifting effect for the art community and Bermuda in general.

    But of course I’m just an artist. And a dreamer apparently.

    Bermuda Blue

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