“Metro Arts” is the office of Arts & Culture for the city of Nashville and Davidson County. We believe that arts drive a more vibrant and equitable community. We strive to ensure that all Nashvillians have access to a creative life through community investments, artist and organizational training, public art and creative placemaking coordination and direct programs that involve residents in all forms of arts and culture.

Metro Arts is seeking to expand its Percent for Public Art Collection by identifying Nashville-Davidson County artists from whom to purchase original artworks for its permanent collection. Artworks may include 2-dimensional artworks and 3-dimensional wall-hung artworks. Artworks may be portrait or landscape in orientation.  They may be no larger than 60” (h) x 192” (l) with most artworks measuring 36” (h) x 48” (l) or smaller.  Three-dimensional wall-hung artworks may protrude no more than 6” from the wall.

Art WORKS is a multi-phased initiative that will result in the installation of artworks in many Metro buildings. By applying for the Metro Office Building Collection Purchase, the artist may be considered for future calls at other Metro buildings


Professional artist. An artist of least 18 years of age with the following qualifications: 

  1. at least two years of visual art exhibition history, or 
  2. at least two years of commissioned visual or public art. 

Architects, landscape architects and other design professionals are not considered professional artists under this definition, unless they meet the criteria. Exhibitions, commissions or public art created during or as part of an artist’s undergraduate education shall not count towards these criteria.

Galleries and artist’s representatives are encouraged to submit materials on behalf of their artists.

Davidson County residency. Artist must maintain primary residency or studio in Davidson County. List residency in Letter of Interest.

**These qualifications must be demonstrated in artist resume**

Employees of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission or the Metro Nashville Government are ineligible to apply. Family and household members of Metro Arts employees are also ineligible. Members of the Metro Nashville Arts Commission or Public Art Committee are ineligible for public art commissions or projects. Artists may reference section VII of the Public Art Guidelines online at http://publicart.nashville.gov.

Art WORKS Budget

Metro Arts will select up to 11 artists from whom we will purchase artwork for locations in public spaces throughout the First Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor, and Fourth Floor of the Metro Office Building. Typical values will range from $250 to $5,000 per artwork.

Site for Art WORKS

The Metro Office Building is located at 800 Second Avenue South on the Richard H. Fulton Campus at the corner of Second Avenue South and Lindsley Avenue. On its first floor is Water Services and the Development Services Center which brings together permits, plan reviews, and zoning from multiple Metro departments. The Planning Department offices are on the second floor. The third floor houses Codes and Building Safety. On the fourth floor is the Election Commission satellite office and Metro Arts Commission offices.

All artworks for this acquisition will be located in public areas. Successful artworks will stimulate, visually represent, and contribute to the character and texture of Nashville and Davidson County, Metro government, and the Metro Office Building environment. Artworks will be installed along the central hallway and in conference rooms.

Vision for Art WORKS: Metro Office Building Collection

Artists are encouraged to consider the following vision for this acquisition:

Artwork for the Art WORKS: Metro Office Building Collection should reflect one or more of the following:

  • natural or built environment of Davidson County
  • distinctive character of Nashville neighborhoods
  • transformation over time and new beginnings in our city

In a broader sense, the collection may:

  • stimulate creative thinking and foster artistic development in the community.
  • serve as a tool for community development and/or social impact

Metro Office Building History

This building at 800 Second Avenue South was originally conceived in 1909 as a teaching hospital to be called Galloway Memorial Hospital, a joint venture between Vanderbilt and Methodist Episcopal Church. Construction of the new hospital began in 1912 at the old University of Nashville campus and the cornerstone was laid in 1913. However, Vanderbilt decided instead to move its medical school closer to its main academic campus, leaving the structure only partially completed. The building was left vacant until the City of Nashville purchased it for $100,000 in 1939 around the time it bought acreage for Howard School. The building was remodeled, with the addition of an elevator, for the city’s Health Department, Humane and Juvenile Court, and crime prevention bureau. By 1965, the building had become Metro’s Juvenile Court Detention Building. In 2005, new windows and utility systems were added and the building was renovated again, this time for use by Metro Codes Administration, Election Commission, Human Relations commission, Planning Department, and Arts Commission. In 2006, the Metro Council changed the name of the Howard Office Complex to the Richard H. Fulton Complex in honor of the former mayor. The Development Services Center, established in 2014 and administered by Codes, brings together permit offices from multiple Metro departments

Artist Submission Instructions

Please read through carefully before submitting. Incomplete submissions will not be reviewed. No submissions will be accepted after the deadline. Technical questions about the online submission process (i.e. image upload, Submittable account set-up, etc.) should be directed to http://help.submittable.com/

All Submissions must be submitted via Submittable and are due Friday, April 13, 2018 by 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time. In order to be considered, artists are required to submit the following materials:

  1. Letter of Interest. A brief (no more than one-page) artist statement, which should encompass why your work is appropriate for this Collection.  Indicate location of artist’s primary residency or studio in Davidson County
  2. Artwork Images: Artist must upload six (6) digital images representative of your artwork*. (File types accepted: JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF). Artists are required to include basic specifications of each image (title, media, dimensions, year and retail price). *Artists will be selected based on their portfolio of works. Specific artwork purchases will be conducted via studio visit after artist selection. Commissions of new works are not desired at this time. Please do not submit composite images as they are hard to view by the selection panel.
  3. Current Artist Résumé: not to exceed four single-sided pages or 2MB. Resume must demonstrate artistic practice as defined by the Public Art Guidelines.  
  4. References: three artistic professional references (those who can speak to your artwork and your experience as an artist) 

Selection Criteria

Artists will be selected based on the following criteria of their work:

  • Artistic quality
  • Aesthetic merit
  • Appropriateness of artworks for a public and workplace setting
  • Ability of work to add vibrancy and/or visual impact to a professional workplace
  • Artist’s work reflects project vision
  • Diversity of work and artists represented in the Metro Public Art Collection
  • Small-to-medium scale artworks that can be easily stored and moved as space needs change
  • Artwork that is in good physical condition and its projected future maintenance and conservation needs are not cost prohibitive

Selection Process

  1. Applications Due by 11:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Friday, April 13, 2018. 
  2. Image and Application Review: From the submissions received, a citizen selection panel made up of visual artists, arts and design professionals, community representatives and those representing the site (Metro Office Building), will choose up to 11 artists.
  3. Review and Recommendation: Selected artists will be recommended to the Public Art Committee, who will make final artist recommendations to the Metro Arts Commission. Metro Arts will notify all artists regarding the Commission’s selection.
  4. Purchase: Metro Arts staff will visit artists’ studios to select specific artworks for purchase. Artists must complete: Vendor Short Form, a Purchase Agreement, and a Conservation Plan.  Artist will deliver unframed artworks to a secure location provided by Metro Arts.

Project Timeline

Note: The following timeline is a working guide for planning purposes and may be adjusted as necessary.

  • Issue Call to Artists - March 13, 2018
  • Artist Submissions Due - 11:59 p.m. CDT April 13, 2018
  • Selection Committee Review of Artists – late April-early May 2018
  • Public Art Committee Review and Recommendation- late April-early May 2018
  • Arts Commission Review and Recommendation - May 17, 2018
  • Artist Awards late - late May 2018
  • Artwork Selection by Metro Arts - June 2018
  • Artist Purchasing Process - July 2018
  • Artwork Framing, managed by Metro Arts - August 2018
  • Artwork Installation - September 2018


Direct all questions related to this Call to Artists to: anne-leslie.owens@nashville.gov with MOB Collection Purchase in the subject line or (615) 862-6732.  Questions will be taken through 4:00 p.m. on Monday, April 9, 2018.

ADA Compliance and Accessibility

Questions, concerns, complaints, requests for accommodation, or requests for additional information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act may be forwarded to Metro Arts’ ADA Compliance Coordinator: Laurel Fisher, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, (615) 862-6720, TTY Relay Service 800-848-0298

INTERPRETATION SERVICES: Should an individual need language interpretation, Metro Arts will secure assistance using a Metro approved over-the-phone or in-person translation service.

Metro Nashville is interested in supporting artistic and cultural activation throughout the city.

Metro allows artists or organizations who are working with a professional artist(s) to install artworks in the Metro Right of Way. Artworks, with prior approval and appropriate agreement, may include signal box covers, sidewalks, retaining walls, or other locations deemed appropriate by Metro.

An agreement, appropriate permits and final artwork design must be approved in writing before installation begins. Metro shall also have the final determination on where artwork can be located.

Artwork Criteria

Artworks in right-of-way will not be approved, if the artwork design violates any of the following:

  • Artwork is not allowed to contain inappropriate or offensive images or words.
  • Artworks that convey messages appearing to advertise or promote a commercial entity (corporation or for-profit business) will not be accepted.
  • If the artwork promotes an organization or non-profit entity, a sign permit may be required.
  • Images that create a driver distraction or could be confused with traffic control devices will not be accepted.

In addition to the Artwork in the right-of-way agreement, applicants will be required to obtain a permit for any activity occurring in the right-of-way. This may include temporary sidewalk or traffic lane closures.

Physical structures (sculptures or objects) planned to be located in the right-of-way will require an encroachment permit. Encroachment permits must be approved by the Metropolitan Council. An artwork with a below ground foundation also requires an excavation permit.

Details and requirements related to permits. (General Liability insurance is a requirement of the ROW permit)

Applicant must notify, in writing, any abutting property owners (street, road, alley or right-of-way or fee owner of easement) and the district member of council representing the area of such artwork before Metro approval and agreement may be executed. Documentation of such communications may be required.

Installation, Safety and Maintenance Requirements

  • By approval of an Artwork in the Right of Way, Metro does not accept ownership of said artwork nor any responsibility for future maintenance. Any on-site liability of the artwork or installation of artwork is assumed by the applicant/artist.
  • No artwork can obstruct or cause American with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations in the right-of-way.
  • Any art placed on a sidewalk must be made of an anti-skid resistant material. The material must comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
  • All artwork materials used should be designed for use on the particular surface to be painted (or adhered to). Metro reserves the right to review and approve any materials.
  • The applicant shall clean and prime surfaces prior to the application of materials unless this requirement is waived in the agreement.
  • Paint and other materials shall be applied according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Vinyl wraps must be professionally installed.
  • Ventilation channels on utility boxes shall not be covered with paint or other materials.
  • Anti-graffiti coatings are encouraged. Removal of graffiti often results in the removal of the anti-graffiti coating as well so it may need to be reapplied.
  • If artwork is tagged with graffiti or damaged within the time period approved in the Artwork in Right of Way agreement, Metro will contact the applicant to repair. The applicant has 3 days from notification to abate graffiti and 30 days from notification to repair any other damage. If graffiti is not removed within 3 days, Metro reserves the right to paint over the portion of the artwork where the graffiti is located.
  • Metro reserves the right to remove or cover any artwork if it is determined to be a safety hazard, is too large, interferes with the flow of pedestrian or vehicular traffic, creates a maintenance problem, interferes with public service or other activities in adjacent areas or is otherwise inappropriate for the space.
  • If the Metro-owned property including utility boxes, retaining walls, sidewalk, etc. needs to be repaired or replaced -in part or whole – while the artwork is in place, there is no obligation on the part of Metro to replace, repair or reinstall the artwork. However, the applicant will be given notice so that the artwork can be removed or relocated – should that be possible.


  1. Applicant/artist submits application form, plus attachments to Metro Arts.
  2. Metro Arts reviews in collaboration with Metro Public Works.
  3. Both teams make a joint recommendation for approval or disapproval.
  4. If approved, applicant/artist to install artwork must submit signed agreement form and obtain any other required permits.

Grant Review Panelist: Metro Arts seeks volunteers to serve as grant application reviewers. No experience required. We provide sufficient orientation so all panelists may serve confidently. Panelists review all submitted application materials online, attend required orientation and review meetings, and score each grant application. Scores are averaged and used to help Metro Arts determine grant awards.

Public Art Selection Panelist: A public art Selection Panel is comprised of artists, community and business representatives, architects, landscape architects and other design professionals and Metro representatives. These panels review submissions for public art projects and makes recommendations to the Public Art Committee.

Metro Arts strives to form selection panels that are diverse and appropriate to the specific project or program. Though voluntary, the demographic data and resume upload included in this form will assist Metro Arts in accomplishing this goal.

Metro Arts looks for individuals who are thoughtful, willing to listen to others' opinions and are able to represent a specific viewpoint that is relevant to the public art project. Self nominations are welcome.

Panelist Eligibility Criteria:

Every Metro Arts panelist must work or live in Davidson County, have a keen interest in the arts (as an artist, participant, audience member, donor, educator, etc.), and must not be an employee of Metro government (including Metro Nashville Public Schools) or any applicant organization. All panelists must declare real or perceived conflicts of interests in advance.

When Metro Arts assembles a review panel, we:

1.    seek to achieve diversity among panelists in age, race/cultural identity, council district residency, physical abilities, personal and professional interests, expertise, etc.;

2.    trust all panelists to honestly declare all applicant-related real or perceived conflicts as soon as they become aware that a conflict exists;

3.    expect all panelists to take the review process seriously and honor their commitment to serve as instructed;

4.    recruit panel members who truly care about the arts in our community, as non-artists or artists.

Please understand that not all recommendations will be used.

Thank you!

Metro recently adopted an ordinance and guidelines for the purpose of evaluating potential donated artworks. This policy plans for the fact that there are limited suitable sites on public property for placement of donated artworks and limited public funds for maintenance and conservation of donated artworks. Each artwork will be evaluated by the Public Art Committee and the Metro Arts Commission in addition to the Metro Department accepting the donation.

In order for Metro to evaluate donations, donors are required to provide information about the artwork donation via Submittable at least six (6) months prior to the anticipated donation acceptance date. You may also download the donor checklist/worksheet to assist in the process of gathering information about your artwork.

***PLEASE NOTE** Donations of artwork that require the city to pay for costs such as installation, transportation, site preparation or repair are not encouraged. Artwork requiring high or excessive maintenance may be declined.

Ordinance No. BL2015-1277 "D. Unless the metropolitan council has appropriated funding specifically for the installation and maintenance costs for the donated artwork, a donor’s proposal shall include funding adequate to cover all costs for the design, fabrication, insurance, transportation, storage, installation, and maintenance of the proposed artwork for a period of ten years from the date of acceptance, plus contingency funds for reasonable unforeseen circumstances."

THRIVE is a micro-funding program designed to build, strengthen, and cultivate communities in Nashville and Davidson County by supporting artist led projects that encourage artistic and cultural experiences, community investment, and neighborhood transformation.

Note: Application may be saved and edited. Staff will not be able to read you applications until submitted. Staff can re-open applications for editing.

Questions or requests for accommodations? Please contact lauren.fitzgerald@nashville.gov.

Applicants must read the FY18 Funding Guidelines before submitting an application for a project.


•             September 30, 2017

•             November 30, 2017

•             February 28, 2018

THRIVE Proposal Application Requirements:

·         In-person, phone or webinar consultation with staff

·         Completed Online Application

Required Attachments

·         Artist resume or curriculum vitae demonstrating artistic experience of at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.

·         Artwork or artistic samples

·         Two letters of recommendation

·         Completed budget form 

·         Project Timeline

·         Completed Metro Arts Vendor Form  *This form requires a social security number or federal tax identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

·         If requesting funds in the category of Public Arts, a completed Public Artwork Information Form. (url link)


Funding Categories

•                     Community Art Sharing and Celebration ($3,000): A Community Art Sharing and Celebration project will support artist fees for projects that strategically shape the physical, social character and celebrate our Nashville neighborhoods through the sharing of an artistic practice. In this category, the community informs the artist’s vision for the work. A competitive application will include an intention of social impact beyond a traditional audience experience.

•                     Community Co-design & Collaboration ($4,000): A Community Co-design & Collaboration project will focus on collaboration with the community by actively engaging participants in the art-making process. These projects must involve a strong, committed partnership between the artist and a specific group, organization or neighborhood. The needs of the partner and the community should determine the vision for the artwork. The artwork should be largely process-based. In this funding category, the public is required to participate in the physical creation and/or design of the artwork.

•                     Public Art ($8000): Public Art is a new category introduced to THRIVE in fiscal year FY18. This category supports the creation of temporary and permanent public artworks in a public space. A competitive application in this category will exhibit an intention of social impact beyond a traditional audience experience and/or show strong committed partnerships between the artist and a specific group, organization, or neighborhood. The needs of the partner and the community should determine the vision of the artwork. The artwork should be largely process based and the community is required to participate in the physical creation and/ or design of the artwork in this category. This funding category requires the approval of the Metro Art Commission’s Public Art Committee in addition to the Metro Art Commission.


•                     Individual artists, businesses and organizations that reside or conduct programming in Davidson County are eligible to apply. Individuals requesting or receiving funds must be at least 18 years of age.

•                     Organizations that receive funding from any grant administered by Metro Arts in the same fiscal year are not eligible to apply for THRIVE funds.

•                     Applicants (and immediate family members) cannot serve as a member of the Metro Arts Board of Commissioners, nor can they be employed by the Metro Nashville Davidson County Government or Metro Nashville Public Schools.

•                     For the purposes of the THRIVE program, artists are defined as individuals who practice in the unique creation and public display or performance of visual arts, craft, sound and performance art, film and television (including production), theatre, dance, music or literary arts and can demonstrate at least two years of exhibition, performance or professional history.