Call for Expressions of Interest: Indigenous Landscape at Mulock Park, Town of Newmarket

All images/renderings courtesy PLANT Architect Inc.

Indigenous Artists or Artist Teams are invited to submit expressions of interest for the Indigenous Landscape component of the Mulock Park Public Art Program in the Town of Newmarket. This National call is open to Indigenous artists, including, but not limited to the Williams Treaty First Nations, namely Beausoleil, Rama, Chippewas of Georgina Island, Mississaugas of Scugog Island, Hiawatha, Curve Lake, and Alderville First Nations to develop an artwork concept to be embedded and adapted to/within architectural elements of the Park with an emphasis on locally-rooted cultural knowledge. The selected artist will consult with representatives of the Georgina Island First Nation and PLANT Architect Inc. to create an integrated work that supports the function of the site.

Mulock Park
On June 8, 2021 the Town of Newmarket Council unanimously approved the development of the Mulock Property into a public park, designed and implemented by PLANT Architect Inc., transforming the former estate into a new four-season park. More than 3,000 area residents took part in consultations, and the Town selected a plan that presented a nature-focused scheme preserving the woods, gardens and lawns of the property. The plan creates a range of possible new community uses, and focuses on ecological regeneration and the use of the site for many types of cultural activities, as well as passive recreational activities.

At the heart of the Public Art Program is a celebration of the landscape. The Public Art Program aims to enhance the landscape of the site and has created opportunities for renowned regional and international artists to install site-specific commissioned works that respond to or interpret the natural surroundings on site. The program has a focus on sustainability and is ecologically conscious. To date, 7 artists have been engaged in the various public art opportunities across the Mulock Park site.

Opportunity
The Indigenous Landscape opportunity is part of a larger grouping of public artworks in Mulock Park, referred to in the Mulock Park Public Art Plan as the Art Opportunities Across the Site. This overall program component consists of a series of large and small commissions that spread across Mulock Park, creating connected experiences of place and diverse scale of opportunities for artists.

The Indigenous Landscape site is one installation within Art Stops: Gardens program element. These are sites where human presence is expressed through landscape, where humans frame the scale of experience and interaction at the site.

This call launches the first stage in a National open two stage competition for one (1) Indigenous Artist or Artist Team to develop an artwork to be integrated into the Mulock Park site.

NOTE: Artists are NOT asked to make a proposal at this time for initial artist selection.

This call is open to Indigenous professional Artists or Artist teams from Canada, from emerging through established art practices. This call adheres to the Ontario Arts Council definition of professional artist.

The selected Indigenous artist will consult with Georgina Island First Nation’s community (Elder, Knowledge Keeper, and/or Cultural Advisor) as identified by the community in the conceptual development of an artwork that will be a symbolic gesture and representative of a land acknowledgement and/or Indigenous knowledge keeping elements. The selected Indigenous artist will work collaboratively with PLANT Architect Inc. to support design placement and integration of the artwork/design into the surrounding landscape.
Concept design and all construction documents will be developed in 2024, the artwork will be implemented in tandem with landscape construction, through 2025.

The budget for this project is $50,000 CAD, excl. HST. This budget covers all fees, including production and installation.

Selection Process
Artist selection will be facilitated by ART+PUBLIC UnLtd, working with a specially convened Indigenous Landscape Project Review committee (composed of active members of the arts and culture sector, including Indigenous artists and curators as well as designers working within the public art realm). Members of the project team (PLANT Architecture Inc and Town of Newmarket) will participate in an ex-officio capacity.

Stage 1: From this call, the Project Review Committee will be reviewing submissions against the following criteria: Demonstrates understanding of the opportunity; Experience working both independently and collaboratively within a professional context; Examples of past work demonstrate artistic excellence, are relevant to the project objectives and evidence ability and readiness to scale work into a public commission. A short list of up to three (3) Indigenous artists will be selected.

Stage 2: Shortlisted artists will be provided a project brief and required to attend an information session and/or conversation with representatives from Georgina Island First Nation. During this session, artists will receive contextual information about the land and its relations to/with the community.

Shortlisted artists will be invited to interview with the Indigenous Landscape Project Review committee who will select the successful artist for this opportunity. During this interview, artists will be asked to speak about their past work, practice and approach to this opportunity. Shortlisted artists will be requested to articulate their relationship to the land, community, and/or treaty territory as an integral component of their approach to the work.
Shortlisted artists will be selected and notified in the Spring of 2024.

Submissions Requirements
Please submit an application as a single PDF to submissions@artpluspublic.com with the subject line: Application – Mulock Park: Indigenous Landscape. Submissions must not exceed 20 MB total size.

Interested Indigenous artists are asked to submit the following together as one file:

  • Expression of interest statement (max 1 page text)
  • Images of recent relevant work (max 8)
  • Image list including Title, Date, Media, Dimensions
  • CV and Short Bio (250 words max)
  • Self ID*. Please provide a statement certifying/declaring your identity as First Nations (Status or non-Status), Inuit or Metis. Please provide further information regarding your relationship by identifying your nation, specific community, clan, affiliation (provincial/national) etc.
    *To ascertain confirmation, the committee may contact you for further information.

Submissions are due by Wednesday, March 20 2024, at 12:00pm EST and successful artists will be notified by late April, 2024.