Mayo Co Co responds to artists’ enquiries: Westport Public Sculpture commission

Further to artists’ enquiries regarding the public sculpture competition for Westport, Public Art Co-ordinator for Mayo County Council, Gaynor Seville, responds: 
"Attendance at the site visit is not essential. Images of the site are included in the brief and these can be provided in larger file sizes if required. Artists who can not attend the site visit are welcome to get in contact in advance of the site meeting with questions which will all be responded to. Mayo County Council Arts Office acknowledges the time and effort it takes artists to prepare submissions and the decision to run this competition as a one-stage process was taken to ensure that all artists have a fair and equal chance to submit an idea and an approach. Mayo Co Co has found in some previous instances, when only a CV and examples of previous work have been requested at the first stage of a two-stage process, it has been more difficult for emerging artists to make it through to the second stage. The support of emerging artists is of great importance to the Mayo public art programme and we wish to ensure that all artists get a chance to present ideas. The panel, see below, will be encouraged to look at both a candidate’s potential, as well as an artist’s previous work where relevant. The public art programme in Mayo appoints artists by way of a combination of selection methods: limited competition, direct commission, and open-competition such as being used for this commission. We hope our reputation for commissioning innovative, contemporary and ambitious projects will ensure that a wide variety of artists apply. 
The selection panel will be made up of Irish Times representatives, including art critic Aidan Dunne, local expertise and a practicing professional artist. If, for any reason, a decision is not be reached by the panel, the panel may draw up a shortlist of artists, who will be paid a fee to develop proposals for a second stage. 
Significant discussion and negotiation has taken place with the Town Council to ensure that the commissioned artist will receive excellent additional support regarding the preparation of the groundworks, the foundations and of any physical amendments to the site and the surrounding area. This ensures that the budget is primarily used for the preparation and production of the artwork and for the artist’s fee”. Gaynor Seville.

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