Freedom: A Shared Dream

Project Description

The private nonprofit Farhang Foundation is looking for professional artists to submit their qualifications for a major public urban art opportunity in Los Angeles, California, USA.  This innovative project has been inspired by the unprecedented visit of the 2500 year old Cyrus Cylinder to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles during 2013.  The Cylinder narrates the historic role of Cyrus the Great of Persia as a world leader for peace and freedom.  Written in Babylonian script, the Cyrus Cylinder has become the most influential and celebrated declaration of religious freedom and political multiculturalism from the ancient world (See Inspirational Facts).

The Foundation is looking for artists from all cultural and political backgrounds, who have had experience working in the public sector, to create a site-specific artwork that commemorates the concepts of religious diversity and freedom as human rights as inspired by the ideals of Cyrus the Great. Once completed, this artwork will be gifted to the city of Los Angeles on behalf of the Iranian American community by Farhang Foundation.

Farhang Foundation, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a non-religious, non-political foundation dedicated to celebrating, promoting, studying and researching Iranian art, culture and history for the benefit of the community at large.


Site History

Working with the City of Los Angeles, the Foundation has selected a prominent location for the permanent Freedom: A Shared Dream installation (for specific information regarding the site please see the Site Plan).

Located in a very affluent business and residential district at the heart of west Los Angeles, this site receives a large number of vehicular and pedestrian visitors annually.

The actual artwork site is located on a median strip bordered by a 6 lane avenue and the estimated max dimensions will be as follows:  15’ (4.57m) H by 12’ (3.65m) W by 20’ (6.09m) L. The median itself measures 22’ (6.70m) wide. 


The Artist/Art work estimated budget for the design, fabrication and installation is not to exceed $300,000.


Project Goals

It is expected that the final project when completed and installed will reflect and capture the concepts of religious diversity and freedom as Human Rights, as inspired by the ideals of Cyrus the Great and the Cyrus Cylinder.  The completed project is intended to resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds and should further a sense of spirit and unity.  The final art project should inspire the principles of freedom, unity, justice, equality, universality, friendship, and humanity.

The selected proposal should be visible and appealing for both drive by and pedestrian viewing.  It must take into consideration the safety of the public. The material and structure of the artwork must be suitable for an outdoor environment, and be able to withstand local weather conditions and earthquakes. The selected proposal must not require more than minimal maintenance.

Artists Eligibility

This competition is open to experienced professional public artists including sculptors or other visual art professionals, experienced with the design and implementation of public art projects, as well as the management of installation costs.  Artists must be at least 18 years of age. Previous experience in the creation of a project for a public place is desirable.

Artist who believe their past experience may not be adequate can send a cover letter with their resume explaining their idea and make a case for their qualification. 

Jury Panel

Kamran Diba: Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art - Founder and Architect
Shazad Ghanbari: Farhang Foundation Trustee & Competition Chair
Linda Komaroff: Curator of Islamic Art and Department Head, Art of the Middle East, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Scott Jay Schaefer: Vice President, International Fine Arts at Sothebys and former Senior Curator, J. Paul Getty Museum
Bennett Simpson: Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles

Selection Process

The artist selection process will involve an Art Selection Panel that will consist of five prestigious jurors including curators from major museums of Los Angeles.

In Phase One artists will be selected as semi-finalists based on their qualifications. 

In Phase Two the qualified artists will be invited to submit a brief typed narrative (pdf format) including sketches and any visuals that will inform the selection committee as to your vision of the final project.

In Phase Three five to seven finalists will be invited to develop detailed proposals. Each finalist will receive an honorarium of $5,000 upon submission.  One artist will be selected for the Freedom: A Shared Dream Project.

Projected Timeline

March 23, 2014 Competition Announcement
May 1, 2014 Competition Starts - Phase One
August 15, 2014 Artist Qualification Application Deadline—Phase One
September 1, 2014 Qualified Artists Invited to Submit Narrative & Sketches – Phase Two
October 27, 2014 Artists Narrative & Sketches Deadline—Phase Two
December 15, 2014 Finalists (5-7) are invited to Submit Proposals – Phase Three
February 2, 2015 Finalists Proposals Deadline – Phase Three
November 11, 2015 Winner Announcement
March, 2017 Installation of Freedom: A Shared Dream


Phase I - Deadline: August 15, 2014

Artist Submittal Requirements

  1. Current Resume/CV should include information about the artist’s education; work, exhibition history, awards, internships, professional recognition and relevant information
  2. Professional references:
    1. List of three (3) people with whom you have worked on relevant projects who can describe your participation
    2. Include name, title, address, email and current contact information
  3. Up to eight (8) digital images of recent work - Each image upload shall include the following information:
    1. Title of the artwork or project
    2. Media
    3. Dimensions are (H x W x D)
    4. Project Budget
    5. Date of artwork or project completion
    6. Project/artwork description and location, if available. (500 words limit)


All submissions must be submitted virtually through www.callforentry.org

Incomplete and/or late submissions will not be accepted. Farhang Foundation reserves the right to reject all submittals.


Phase I Artist Selection Criteria

All submittals will be evaluated on the following:

  • Artistic Merit
  • Artist’s experience applicable to this project
  • References regarding ability to perform according to schedule and budget


Phase II - Deadline: October 27, 2014

Artist Submittal Requirements

  1. Up to 8 Sketches and any visuals that will inform the selection committee as to your vision of the final project.
  2. A brief typed narrative explaining the proposal, medium, size and specifics of the artwork and the expressed interest in and understanding of the project.


All submissions must be submitted virtually through CallForEntry.org

Incomplete and/or late submissions will not be accepted.  The Farhang Foundation reserves the right to reject all submittals.


Phase II Artist Selection Criteria

All submittals will be evaluated on the following:                               

  • Artistic Merit
  • Expressed interest in and understanding of the project
  • The Art’s compliance with the theme and goals of the project

Phase III - Deadline: February 2, 2015

Artist Submittal Requirements

Please submit the following as part of your proposal application:

  1. Conceptual Design—No more than six (6) drawings, images, a short video or any other type of media showing the proposed art project in the specific site to scale and all details. They must all be in .jpeg format, 72 ppi, 10 inches at longest point
  2. Description of all materials, colors and textures
  3. A written proposal including a description of the fabrication process, means of transportation and long-term maintenance 
  4. Estimated budget, including all travel and transportation fees, fabrication and installation costs 
  5. Timeline for design, fabrication, transportation and installation


Phase III Artist Selection Criteria

All proposals will be evaluated on the following:

  • Artistic Merit/Innovative Thinking
  • Appropriateness of Work in an Urban Public Setting
  • References Regarding Ability to Perform According to Schedule and Budget
  • Expressed Interest in and Understanding of the Project
  • The Proposal’s Compliance with the Theme and Goals of the Project


Phase III Selection Process

The Art Selection Committee will recommend the top three (3) selected Artworks to the Farhang Foundation Board of Trustees for their final review, selection and ranking, subject to the final approval of the City of Los Angeles.



The finalists selected at PHASE II of the competition will each receive a $5,000 award upon receipt of their models for the third phase. (up to 7 finalists)

Farhang Foundation is not obligated to pay any costs incurred by the semi-finalist Artists in the preparation of a proposal over and above the honorarium provided.

The selected finalist will be awarded the commission to further design, fabricate and install their Freedom: A Shared Dream proposal. If for some reason the project is cancelled, the artist finalist will receive an award of $20,000.


Questions & Info

For further information about Freedom: A Shared Dream please see Terms & Conditions and FAQ or contact Freedom@Farhang.org.  

Download the above call for submission in English or in Persian.

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