Three sound tips from an artist and curator.
1. Always negotiate a good detailed contract where there is an accepted understanding that the final work may be, and most likely will be, different from the one in the initial proposal and especially macquette (if one was made). Allowances should be made for shifts that can occur in the creative/production/fabrication process.
2. It's amazing how little information is consulted by adjudication panels. Always provide top class graphics or macquettes to visualise the proposed work. Time is always short with reviewing proposals and the pages of text, while important in describing the work, are generally only quickly scanned.
3. Develop an honest relationship with your commissioner/project manager. Cultivate a friendship even. It's important to break some of the professional barriers so that if things twist and change it can be worked out effectively and without too much drama and unnecessary bureaucracy.
Alan Phelan's practice involves the production of objects, participatory projects, curating and writing. Recent shows by Alan Phelan include Points of View In Transition, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan, 2008; Ralph Eamon Odo Barbara, Mother's Tankstation, Dublin, 2007; Fading Fast, Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown, Northern Ireland, 2006 and Felons, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, 2005 (artist-curated project), Concourse Off-site for Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, 2008.
Greystones Educate Together National School appointed a voluntary committee with relevant expertise to oversee the per cent for art commissioning process. An external curator, Máire Davey, was appointed specifically for her expertise in working in a highly collaborative way as meaningful involvement from the students and school was viewed as central to the process. The procurement route chosen was limited invited competition.