Ends on March 15, 2019


A project of the Hillsborough Arts Council and the Orange County Arts Commission with support of the Town of Hillsborough, Hillsborough Tourism Authority, and the Hillsborough Tourism Board


The Hillsborough Arts Council (HAC) and the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC), in partnership with the Town of Hillsborough, are seeking an artist to design, fabricate, and install an exterior, permanent piece of public art for the gateway entrance to River Park in Downtown Hillsborough, NC. This prominent sculptural element will incorporate and celebrate wood salvaged from the historic Calvin Street Tree that fell during Hurricane Florence. 


The Calvin St. Tree was a Southern Red Oak located at 408 Calvin Street in Hillsborough, NC, that fell during Hurricane Florence. It was estimated to be approximately 250 years old and was one of the first selected for the Hillsborough Treasure Tree program, which singled out the oak “for the grandeur of its large spreading limbs.” The tree’s trunk measured 27 feet in circumference and stood approximately 100 feet tall from its base. 

Wood has been milled to be used for an artist-created piece of public art in River Park in Downtown Hillsborough, NC (see cut list). This prominent sculptural element will be located close to Churton Street, the main artery through Downtown Hillsborough. The goal of the work is to serve as highly visible welcome for visitors to town, symbolizing the importance of art, history, and the natural environment for the Hillsborough community. The art installation coincides with a major improvement plan for River Park (see  site plan).

Project Specifications:

The project partners seek an artist to design, build, install and maintain the Calvin St. Tree project. The project must adhere to the following specifications:

  • Fit within the geographic boundaries illustrated on the attached map and be outside of NC Department of Transportation right-of-way. 
  • Incorporate and celebrate the wood from the Calvin St. Tree, alone or in combination with other natural materials including additional wood, glass, stone, brick, concrete, ceramic, or metal.
  • Not contain any synthetic materials, with exception elements needed for structural support.
  • Include maintaince plan and be maintained by artist for three years. 

Budget and Submittal Requirements:

Funding for the project is provided by HAC, OCAC, the Town of Hillsborough Tourism Board, the Hillsborough Development Tourism Authority, and donations from the community. 

The artist’s contract for artwork will be $20,000, inclusive of all artist fees, and associated expenses for design, structural engineering, fabrication, insurance, transportation and consultation during installation. The salvaged wood from the tree will be provided to the selected artist and is not part of the $20,000 budget. An additional $2,000 is available for installation costs that may be required beyond the scope of the artist. 

The selected artist(s) will be required to meet the following insurance requirements:

  • Commercial General Liability: $1,000,000/$2,000,000 Per accident
  • Automobile Liability: $1,000,000 (CSL) Per occurrence
  • Umbrella Liability: $1,000,000
  • Workers' Compensation: Required if contract holder has employees; statutory coverage as required by the State. Owner Waiver is acceptable for a Sole Proprietor.

A certificate of insurance for property coverage, as well as general liability coverage, naming Orange County and Hillsborough Arts Council as additional insured, will be required. In lieu of property coverage, a performance bond of $20,000 is also allowed. 

For more information regarding minimum insurance requirements, please click here. Artists needing insurance assistance or coverage may contact:

David Ballard

Ballard Insurance Agency, Inc.

105 West King Street, Hillsborough, NC 2727

(919) 732-2158

The selected artist will receive a contract for design, fabrication, installation and maintenance services from the OCAC. The artwork shall be owned by Orange County, NC. The artist shall retain copyright, and must allow Orange County, OCAC, HAC, and the Town of Hillsborough permission to use images for educational and promotional purposes.

Selection Process:

A review panel will evaluate all submittals and select three finalists based best qualified to execute the project as evidenced by examples of past work. The panel will consist of the following individuals:

  • Marabeth Carr: landscape architect, Orange County Department of Parks and Recreation
  • Gail Cooley: board member, Hillsborough Arts Council
  • Patrick Dougherty: sculptural artist
  • Anita Mills: board member, Orange County Arts Commission
  • Torey Mishoe: director, Hillsborough Arts Council
  • Katie Murray: director, Orange County Arts Commission
  • Stephanie Trueblood: public spaces manager, Town of Hillsborough

The panel will identify three finalists who will be invited to develop conceptual site-specific proposals after meeting with the project team and key stakeholders and a site visit. These finalists will be paid an honorarium of $1,000 for development of a proposal. One final proposal will be selected and submitted for permitting. 

Required Submission Materials:

  • Completed application
  • Statement of interest, including relevant past projects/experience
  • Resume or CV 
  • Three to five relevant work samples with a corresponding numbered list describing each image. Samples may include website links and/or digital images in pdf or jpg format 

Artist Selection Considerations:

The project is open to artists age 18 and over, regardless of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, age, religion, political affiliation or beliefs, national origin, or handicap. Priority will be given to artists residing in North Carolina. Teams of two or more artists can apply.

Additional considerations:

  • Complete application submitted prior to the application deadline. 
  • Artwork examples submitted represent the artist’s own original creative work. 
  • The artist’s work reflects artistic excellence, innovation and originality, as evidenced by professional quality of craftsmanship and mastery of skills, techniques; professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communication of a unique vision or perspective. 
  • The artist’s work is judged to be appropriate to the goals of the project. 
  • The artist's professional experience is adequate to meet the demands of the project. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist, an exhibition record in museums, commercial art galleries,  and/or non-profit art spaces, previous public or private commissions; participation in artist-in-residency programs, or other related activities indicative of a professional art practice. 
  • The artist is available to participate in the design, approval and implementation of the project as required, as well as promotional efforts possibly including photos and interviews with local media.
  • Assessed ability to meet project deadlines and to perform work in a timely and professional manner.
  • Results of reference checks for project finalists.


Friday, March 15, 2019: Deadline for submissions due at 11:59p.m.

March, 2019: Committee review and selection of finalists

No later than April 1, 2019: Notification of finalists

Friday, May 31, 2019: Final proposals due

June - July, 2019: Committee review, finalist interviews, and selection of final artist, permitting

August, 2019: Fabrication to begin

Spring 2020, tentative: Installation and unveiling


Katie Murray

Director, Orange County Arts Commission 



To view site photos and the River Park Site Plan, click here.