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For more information, please contact

Sean Starowitz
Assistant Director of Economic and Sustainable Development for the Arts


Holly McLauchlin
Assistant to the Director
City of Bloomington Utilities

Call to Artists: Water-Themed Artwork for City of Bloomington Utilities

Bloomington, In. - Nestled in the geologically unique landscape of southern Indiana, far from a large body of water, Bloomington has always had to be creative to sustain its municipal water supply.  Lake Griffy was one of the earliest responses to the water question; Lake Lemon and Lake Monroe provided subsequent solutions. During Bloomington’s bicentennial year, the City of Bloomington Utilities (CBU), in collaboration with the City’s Department of Economic and Sustainable Development, is turning to the city’s artists for their own creativity.  The city departments are issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for original artwork informed by Bloomington’s unusual water history. The winning submission is to be installed in the lobby of the City of Bloomington Utilities (600 E. Miller Dr.) for one calendar year. The artist will retain ownership of the artwork.

Artwork Details:

  • Work in a variety of two-dimensional media will be considered:  painting, photography, printmaking, and textiles, among others.

  • Work in many styles will be considered, including traditional forms, abstraction, and more.

  • Work should demonstrate a thematic connection to the history of water in Bloomington and Monroe County.

  • A series of up to five individual works will be considered for installation.  Exhibition space includes four 40” x 40” places and one 26” x 26” place.

  • Artwork must be ready to display in terms of framing and mounting hardware, etc.

  • Proposal deadline: 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25

  • Email proposals to with subject line, RFQ-Utilities Exhibition

Stipend: Artist will receive $500 to lend artwork to the city for a period of 12 months. This amount is to cover materials and equipment necessary to complete the artwork and prepare it for installation.  There is no fee to submit a work of art for consideration.

Completion Date: All work must be installed by Friday, July 31.

What to send:

  • Full name

  • Address

  • Telephone number

  • Email address

  • Images of completed work or illustration(s) of the proposed artwork

A description of the work, including the following:

  • An artist’s statement describing interest in the project/exhibition

  • A description of the concepts in the proposed and/or completed artwork

Support materials/previous work:

  • Resume - maximum of two pages

  • Files should be submitted in a .pdf/jpg format and will be acknowledged upon receipt.

Project Goals:

To recognize local visual artists, raise awareness about Bloomington and Monroe County’s unique geology and water history, and to celebrate milestones in establishing a water source and developing water treatment technology.  Themes, landmarks, and milestones for artists to consider include the following:

  • The local karst topography and porous limestone

  • Indiana University’s role in securing a reliable water source

  • The first water treatment plant in 1890

  • Past and current water sources: Bean Blossom Creek, Griffy Reservoir, Lake Lemon, Lake Monroe, Twin Lakes, Leonard Springs, Wapehani Lake

  • Past and current plants: Monroe Water Treatment Plant, Winston Thomas Wastewater Plant, Blucher Poole Wastewater Treatment Plant, Dillman Road Wastewater Treatment Plant and Lab


The winning artist will be selected by the City of Bloomington Utilities Department, members of the Utilities Service Board, members of the Bloomington Arts Commission, and City staff.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to reach out to Utilities staff for a tour of various water treatment facilities and the site where the artwork will be installed in the CBU lobby. Please contact Holly McLauchlin at or 812.349.3650 to arrange a tour.

Submissions must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, May 25. Artists will be notified about the selection by Friday, June 15th. Send electronic submissions to with the subject line RFQ-Utilities Exhibition.