Northminster Presbyterian Church is actively seeking artist qualifications to commission artwork that fills a 12’ high by 10’ wide church chancel wall with abstract artwork meant to facilitate faithful meditation. Below you'll find information on who we are as well as details on the space and scope of the project. You'll also find information on how you can submit a proposal.
Who We Are
Northminster Presbyterian Church (“NPC”) is part of the PC(USA) and Covenant Network of Presbyterians, which seeks equity for LGBTQIA2S+ people in church and society. NPC’s mission is “Seek, Serve and Embrace” and we affirm the right of all people to fully participate in the life of the church. We are located in Indianapolis, Indiana.
For more than three-quarters of a century, our church has grown from a small group meeting on Sunday evenings in another church to hundreds of members in our current building with four expanded sections to accommodate all our activities and ministries. Today, we are an active and dynamic force in Broad Ripple and in communities around the world, with a vision of “engaging with neighbors near and far in Christ’s love.”
From the landmark steeple along Kessler Boulevard East Drive to the outstanding music program that is an integral part of our worship, we offer a welcoming presence and a warm family feeling. While primarily a worship space, the chancel also serves to gather diverse groups for weeknight lectures, international musical acts, and neighborhood activities.
We are a congregation that has met challenges and triumphs with the curiosity of seekers, the attitude of servants, and the embrace of Christ’s love.
To learn more about our congregation, please visit our website: https://www.northminster-indy.org/
In 2021, our chancel was transformed with the installation of a new C.B. Fisk LLC organ. While much of the Doric-style chancel remained the same, the surrounding pilasters and pediments were modified to create a more open acoustical space. A 6’ wooden cross by Erich Thompson Sacred Spaces LLC, hangs above the table 20’ in front of the organ.
Worship art, predominantly banners of paper or fabric, is changed following the church’s seasonal themes and colors by congregant artists. Imagery is often representational. These banners are usually hung from different locations along the pediment at the front of the chancel.
A 30–40-person choir occupies the space in front of the organ and facilitates worship weekly for three-quarters of the year.
A video of a traditional service in the space can be accessed via this link on YouTube.
Following a 2021 recommendation by liturgical consultant, David A. VanderMeer, NPC would like to commission an artist to produce artwork to fill a 12’11” high by 10’10” wide space to the right of the organ. (See red area in the image below.)
There are additional walls in the chancel that could also be included as part of this project if desired by both the Artist and NPC, and if the addition(s) can be included within budget. (See green areas in the image below.)
Ideally, the commissioned artwork would be subtle enough that it would not overpower seasonal liturgical art in the space, but also compelling enough to be used as a permanent meditation piece.
Recommended materials would be an oil or acrylic painting or metal, wood, or glass sculpture to prevent affecting the acoustics of the space.
The anticipated project budget will be between $25,000-$40,000 inclusive of all expenses.
This project must be completed by November 22, 2024. (Prior to Advent.)
The Artist (or Artist Team) will primarily interact with the Art Commission Team comprised of Project Manager, Rebekah Ryan, Co-Chairs of Worship Team, Lisa Longo and Jeff Schmahl, Pastor/Head of Staff, Brian Shivers, and Director of Music Ministries, John M. Wright.
Round 1 Application Requirements:
Applications must be submitted electronically and include all of the following to be considered:
- Letter of Interest (no more than 1 page)
- Professional resume (no more than 2 pages)
- Three professional references
- Up to 10 digital images (jpg, tiff, or png) of previous artwork AND a corresponding annotated list
Successful applications will demonstrate experience with projects of similar scope.
The Art Commission Team will be joined by 3-4 additional congregants and one consultant artist to review all applications. Two to three finalists will be selected and invited to visit NPC (in person or virtually in September 2023) to discuss concepts for formal Proposals with the Art Commission Team.
Round 2 Proposal Requirements:
Finalists will receive a $250 stipend for completed Proposals that include all of the following criteria:
- Proof of concept: drawings/designs (you may use the NPC’s Sketchup model, if helpful)
- Justification: Explain how the proposed work relates to the mission, vision, and goals of the congregation. (No more than 2 pages)
- Budget: all-inclusive (e.g. labor, materials, fabrication, equipment, insurance, travel, and shipping)
- Timeline: preparation, fabrication, and completion of installation
Stipends will be paid no later than November 15, 2023, pending submission of complete IRS W-9.
Final Proposals will be initially reviewed by The Art Commission Team and a panel of 3-5 additional congregants/consultant art professionals to ensure Proposals meet all requirements. The Art Commission Team will then present the final recommendation(s) to the Session (i.e. church leadership) for an approval vote.
If approved, the commission will be awarded no later than December 1st, 2023. A contract will be signed and 50% payment will be made no later than January 15, 2024.