The Studios Of Key West Announces Call For Public Art


The Studios of Key West announces a Call for Public Art in Key West, FL. There are two primary locations as well as other opportunities for artists to apply at this 16000 square foot art center with galleries, classrooms, a theater, roof terrace, and a bookstore.  The Rickie Report shares the details.  The DEADLINE for proposals is November 21, 2021.

The Studios of Key West
533 Eaton Street    Key West, Fl 33040

[email protected]



Public Art at 533 Eaton Street

Call for Artists/Request for Proposals

Deadline: November 21, 2021



The Studios of Key West is seeking proposals for public art at its primary facility at 533 Eaton Street, a three story, 16000sf art center with galleries, classrooms, a theater, roof terrace and bookstore. Although any proposals will be considered, our interest is centered on two locations:

  1. the Lower Roof area, which is not regularly accessible by the public, but visible from the roof terrace; and

  2. the Stairwell, four stories high with blank walls and an open central space stretching 57’ from floor to ceiling.


The Studios has $26,438 designated for public art as the remaining portion of its 1% for Art obligation from the renovations of our facility. However, that figure is a minimum, not a limit; depending on the proposals we receive, our final budget may be up to twice that. Our goal is to place art in both locations (or more), but the funds do not need to be apportioned evenly between the spaces.


This request is open to artists and design professionals working in all media who demonstrate creativity, professionalism, and relevant experience. Artists living or working in Monroe County, or who have a previous relationship with The Studios (eg. former artists-in-residence) will be given some preference, but quality and suitability for the project are our primary concerns.

About the Building – 533 Eaton Street

The Studios’ primary facility was built in 1950 as a Scottish Rite Masonic Temple and designed in the Streamline Moderne style by notable architect Henry Hohauser. It was purchased by The Studios in 2013 and reopened after thorough renovations in 2015, with a roof terrace added in 2020. The first floor houses two galleries, box office and bookstore; the second floor a lobby gallery and 200 seat theater; the third floor has two classrooms, a gallery and 8 artist studios; and the roof terrace has a small stage, patio bars and some of the best views on the island.

Location 1: The Lower Roof

For structural reasons, our new raised roof terrace covers only about 40% of the entire roof area, leaving a Lower Roof area roughly 2800sf that is viewable from the terrace, but only accessible for maintenance purposes. It houses 6 HVAC units of varying sizes and was recently resurfaced with a bright white Duro-Last roofing membrane (Miami-Dade NOA: 17-0202.05).

Proposals for public art on the Lower Roof should add interest and/or aesthetic appeal to the view from the roof terrace. Ideas may include, but are not limited to:

Images or designs applied directly to the roof surface and/or HVAC units, using adhesive vinyl, paint or other materials.

Sculptures or other objects which may or may not mask the views of the HVAC units. All of the above

Technical considerations: Proposals for the Lower Roof should factor in its exposure to the elements: intense sun, rain and periodic storm events. For example:

  • Surface treatments should be designed for easy touchup and maintenance.
  • Penetrations of the roof surface, eg. to anchor objects, should be kept to a minimum.
  • Objects should be designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, or to be removed with reasonable effort in advance of major storms.
  • Design and placement of objects should reflect the load bearing capacity of the Lower Roof, which is modest except in areas supported by lateral joists.


Location 2: The Stairwell

Among the building’s most dramatic features, the interior Stairwell is a primary means of travel from floor to floor. The space is roughly 12’2” x 15’ wide, with the stairs wrapping around an open rectangular shaft roughly 4.5 x 7’ wide and running the full height of the building, 57’ from the ground to the ceiling. The stairs themselves are speckled black and white, with red toe molding, but the walls are blank. The black iron railing on the interior of the stairs was designed by the original architect, Henry Hohauser.

Proposals for the Stairwell might include surface treatment (eg. painting or mosaic) of the walls, and/or sculpture hanging in the open space.

Technical considerations:

Open trusses at the top of the Stairwell can easily support up to 250 lbs., or potentially more if reinforced.

Selection Process & Timeline

The selection process will be conducted by a committee consisting of Studios staff, Board members and Artist Advisors.

1) In the First Phase, artists are invited to submit their qualifications and proposal concepts, preferably including sketches or other images, as well as written descriptions and a preliminary cost estimate. Proposals are due by November 21 and initial decisions will be made by December 10, 2021. See below for details on what to submit.

2) In the Second Phase, selected artists will be commissioned to elaborate fully on their proposals, with complete details on all materials and vendors to be used, engineering requirements (if any) and a final cost proposal. An artist’s fee will be paid for this work, envisioned as $1,000 plus hard costs, though subject to negotiation. The Studios may or may not commission more artists for full proposals than are ultimately selected.

3) In the Final Phase, The Studios will negotiate final contracts with selected artists. Our goal is for final contracts to be signed by January 31, 2022, with all work completed by June 30, 2022.


How to Submit Your Proposal – First Phase

All submissions for the first phase must be received via email to Jed Dodds, Executive Director, at [email protected], no later than November 21, 2021. Hard copies are not encouraged and will not be returned.


Complete submissions for the first phase should include:

  1. Contact info: Your name, email address and phone number.
  2. Statement of Qualifications. This may be in the form of a resume, or a written history ofyour background as an artist, including any relevant experience. You may choose to includereferences of clients with whom you’ve worked on similar projects.
  3. Written project proposal. This may be brief, but should identify the location, methods andmaterials you propose to use, and an initial cost estimate including your fee and all costs. Please address any particular challenges either to the installation or maintenance of your proposed work. You may also of course describe the artistic intent behind your proposal.
  4. Proposal images (optional, but encouraged). Images may include mockups or sketches of the proposed work. They are less necessary in instances where your examples of previous work provide a good sense of what you are proposing.
  5. Previous Work Images. Up to 12 images (and no less than 4) of previous work that demonstrates your artistic sensibility and experience with similar projects.
  6. Image narrative. A separate document with numbered descriptions of your Proposal and Previous Work Images. Typically, this would include title, dimensions, materials, and year completed.

Notes on submitting images: Images should be approximately 1MB, preferably .jpg files. Filenames should include your name and be numbered to correspond to your image narrative (eg. “Smith1.jpg”, “Smith2.jpg”, etc.)

Reference Images – Location 1: Lower Roof


Reference Images – Location 1: Lower Roof



Reference Images – Location 2: Stairwell


Reference Images – Location 2: Stairwell





About The Studios of Key West:

Founded in 2006, The Studios of Key West serves as the hub of Key West’s thriving arts community. We were founded with the dual vision of both creating spaces for local artists and audiences to learn and connect, and of bringing world class artists to our island as a place to explore and experiment. In our galleries, theater, classrooms and artist residencies, we’ve hosted world renowned artists and musicians, and introduced thousands of our constituents to different ways of seeing and working.

The Studios of Key West
533 Eaton Street    Key West, Fl 33040

[email protected]

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