Call for Expressions of Interest: Public Art Honouring Black Presence at Concordia University

Image from Canada’s largest student protest against anti-Black racism, 1969 (Hall Building, Concordia University)

Call for Submissions
Public Art Program: Honouring Black Presence at Concordia University

Application Deadline: July 25, 2023, 11:59 p.m. EDT
Production Budget: $85,000 CAD


The commissioned artwork will be located in the Hall Building at 1450 De Maisonneuve Boulevard West., in Montreal, Quebec. Please refer to the information package for detailed plans, delineated spaces and specifications.


Concordia University invites individuals or teams of professional artists, both emerging and established, to submit an Expression of Interest to create a temporary artwork for the inaugural Honouring Black Presence at Concordia Public Art Program.

The intentions of the project are to:

  • Commission a series of outstanding works of art that centre around Black aesthetics, knowledge and identities as well as the longstanding and continued Black presence at Concordia;
  • Serve as a platform for a wider debate on the role of public art and civic spaces in Montreal;
  • Recognize the vital contributions of Black communities and Black students which have historically been undervalued;
  • Support and initiate commissions of temporary contemporary art and raise the profile of the commissioned artists;
  • Support Black artists and showcase the plurality of Black voices and experience.

Program description

Concordia University is launching a long-term program of ephemeral public artworks dedicated to Black Concordians’ histories, presence, and futures and seeks to commission an individual or team of artists to create the inaugural public work. The work will be available to the public for approximately three years. There will be a total of four cycles of three years and each cycle will showcase the work of a different artist/group of artists.

The format of the program aims to bring visibility to many Black artists, create educational opportunities for an individual or team of professional artists, both emerging and established, and allow Black artists to be commissioned for public art. This program speaks to the importance of mobilizing art for the empowerment of communities, fostering solidarity, and uplifting the voices and presence of Black communities at Concordia and beyond. The artwork will center around the totality of experiences of Concordia’s Black communities and will reflect on the passage of time and the (hi)stories that have shaped the University into the postsecondary institution that it is today and that it aspires to be.

Emmanuel Ayo, Akoko (Time), 2022 (Artwork commissioned by the President’s Task Force on Anti-Black Racism)

We are looking for work that:

  • Is contemporary and site-specific: referring/responding to the conceptual, historical, social, cultural or formal framework of the site;
  • Can be of different typologies, durations, and media;
  • Can take the form of non-traditional mediums such as media art, performances, digital art, sound or light art, virtual, or other forms yet to be identified;
  • Fosters solidarity and uplifts the voices and presence of Black communities at Concordia and Montreal;
  • Centers around the experiences of Black communities at Concordia and Montreal;
  • Engages with communities within and beyond the University during the various phases of the project, such as during the proposal, creation and installation phases;
  • Is interactive, socially engaged and/or community-based;
  • Takes into consideration sustainability and environmental impact.

How to Apply:

Please submit the form online: Expression of Interest
Consult the information package.

Artist Eligibility:

This call is open to all professional artists with an interest in public art. Artists who have limited experience in creating public art can apply if they are appropriately supported by professionals with experience. Due to the nature of this project, preference will be given to artists or artist teams who identify as Black. Selected artists or artist teams should also have connections to Concordia University and/or Montreal’s Black communities.

Project Dates and Timelines:

  • July 4, 2023: Workshop for artists who need assistance with the application process. Details here.
  • July 25, 2023: Artists‚Äô Expression of Interest Deadline
  • August 14, 2023: Invitation to Selected Shortlisted Artists to submit a proposal
  • December 14, 2023: Shortlisted Artists submit proposals for technical evaluation
  • February 14, 2024: Technical notes shared with Shortlisted Artists
  • March 14, 2024: Artists present their final proposal including technical updates to the Jury
  • March 18, 2024: Artists notified of results
  • Spring 2024: Announcement of selected artist or team of artists
  • March ‚Äď October 2024: Creation of Artwork
  • Spring 2025: Installation/Unveiling/Launch event

Nicolas Baier and Cabinet Braun-Bra√ęn, Untitled, 2003 (Public Art Collection, Concordia University)

About Us

Located in the vibrant and multicultural city of Montreal, Concordia is the top-ranked university in North America founded within the last 50 years. Concordia’s innovative approach to experiential learning and cross-functional research benefits its 51,500 enrolled students.

The Sir George Williams campus is made up of a pastiche of buildings located within the western downtown precinct. In partnership with the city of Montreal, the university has taken an active role in advancing a planning initiative called Quartier Concordia, one of the priorities of which has been the integration of art within the public sphere.

About the Public Art Collection

Concordia‚Äôs permanent public art collection was brought to life over 50 years ago with the integration of painted glass windows by Jean McEwen into the newly built mezzanine of the Henry F. Hall Building at Sir George Williams University. Today, the eclectic collection ‚Äď composed of primarily sculptural and two-dimensional art integrations ‚Äď features over 40 artists and is presented across Concordia‚Äôs two campuses on building facades, city sidewalks, tunnels and atria.

Questions: Please do not hesitate to contact Sandra Margolian, Public Art Lead:

Additional information: Concordia Public Art ‚Äď Call for Submissions

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Concordia University
1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal QC H3G 1M8

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