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City of Sugar Land, Festival Site Overlook Public Art Project (RFQ 2017-17), Texas


Budget: $151,500
Activated: 07/07/2017
Deadline: 08/22/2017 9:00 AM Central Time
Call Summary
Submittals are requested from artists and/or artist teams interested in providing permanent artwork to be installed at the City of Sugar Land’s Festival Site Overlook. At the Overlook, a retaining wall and colonnade exists that would be highly suitable for an applied artwork, in a material such as mosaic or ceramic tile.

Artists/artist teams that are short-listed after the RFQ Open Competition process will be provided with an $800 stipend to develop preliminary project design concepts as part of the subsequent Request for Proposal (RFP) process.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTAL: Thursday, August 22, 2017, 9:00 am CST
Location: Sugar Land, TX
Eligibility: National

Description of Opportunity
The City of Sugar Land’s Public Art Program via the Economic Development Department is pleased to offer this opportunity. Opened in March 2017, the Sugar Land Festival Site is adjacent to U.S. Highway 59 and the Brazos River and includes 52-acres of beautiful, open land. The site will be used for large-scale events such as the City’s Fourth of July celebration, Cultural Kite Festival, large-scale civic events, and possibly commercial festivals. It is expected that this site will be bringing in many attendees locally, regionally, and beyond to experience an array of events. The wall is curved and measures roughly 200’ long with a gradual slopping from the tallest section at mid-point. At its tallest, it is 6’ high; at the end of the colonnade section, it is 53” high; at the end of the handrail, it is 33” high; and the wall terminates at 6” high.

The City of Sugar Land Cultural Arts Division proposes that a permanent artwork be installed at the Festival Site Overlook, which will be a location for large outdoor events and gatherings. The Overlook serves as a link between the Brazos River Park and the Festival Site. At the top of the Overlook is a long retaining wall and colonnade, which would be highly suitable for an applied artwork, in a material such as mosaic or ceramic tile.
Budget Description
The public art budget is $151,500. All costs associated with the public art project including, but not limited to, artist design fee, structural engineering, insurance, materials, fabrication, transportation, installation, installation equipment, building or above and beyond site modifications, travel to and from the site, per diem expenses, project documentation, and any other costs related to the project are covered by this budget.

The city is prepared to provide modest site preparation, landscaping, lighting and signage.
Project Description
Project Background
With the support of its highly educated and diverse population, the City first identified cultural arts as goal in its Comprehensive Plan. The plan established that the goal for cultural arts was to “provide and/or support activities and facilities that enrich the artistic, cultural, educational, and historical character of Sugar Land.”

This goal was reaffirmed by residents and the City Council through a community summit and with the adoption of Vision 2025 in 2009. Included in Vision 2025 is a guiding principle titled, “Outstanding Cultural Arts, Educational and Recreational Opportunities,” with objectives such as: variety of cultural art opportunities, programs and venues serving as regional destinations; public art throughout the city; major museums having educational significance; and performing arts centers - large community and small venues. Additionally, the City’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan contains elements of arts and culture support.

In 2014, the City of Sugar Land City Council approved the Cultural Arts Strategic Plan and Implementation Guide, which recommended the development of a Public Art Plan. In December 2016, the City of Sugar Land adopted its first Public Art Plan. The Sugar Land Festival Site Overlook project is identified as a two-year project beginning in FY17, which is the inaugural year of the city’s Public Art Program.
Artwork Goals
Create a signature artwork that:
• Relates to the landscape and the architectural elements.
• Makes the Overlook and its terrace a destination in and of itself.
• Reinforces the connection between public art and Sugar Land’s most important destinations.
• Beautifies the Festival Site.
Artwork Location Description
City Overview
The City of Sugar Land, Texas, located 20 miles southwest of downtown Houston, has a population of approximately 80,000 residents. Located in northeast Fort Bend County, the corporate city limits have a total area of 32.52 square miles, with another 20.93 square miles within the City’s extra-territorial jurisdiction.

Founded as a sugar plantation in the mid-1800s and later a company town for Imperial Sugar Land, the City incorporated in 1959 and is now the largest city and economic center of Fort Bend County – as well as a major population and business center within the Houston metropolitan area. Sugar Land also boasts one of the most affluent and diverse populations in the State of Texas, with a median household income of $93,025 in 2010 and with an Asian population – including, among others, Chinese, Indian and Pakistani residents – representing, more than 35% of its residents. The City continues to receive awards and recognition as one of the safest and best places to live and raise a family in America.

Sugar Land is home to the headquarters of its namesake, Imperial Sugar, whose main sugar refinery and distribution center were once located in this city. As part of this heritage, the City’s logo and seal include a crown element reminiscent of the Imperial crown logo, and the preservation of the old Imperial char house is the center of a current major redevelopment project. The city is now also home to more than 40,000 jobs and many major national companies, including Fluor Corporation, Nalco, Schlumberger and Aetna US Healthcare, as well as the national headquarters of Tramontina USA and Minute Maid. Sugar Land is characterized by sectors such as energy, engineering, manufacturing, water, health care and education.
Site History
Location and History of the Area:
The Overlook is located within the Brazos River Park, a multi-phase series of sub-parks. The Brazos River flows through Sugar Land along a nine-mile corridor. The City has acquired approximately 1,200 acres of land along its banks, and ultimately hopes to own almost 3,600 acres for parks, open space, and conservation along the corridor.

The Overlook provides a link between the Festival Site and Brazos River Park. The 52-acre Festival Site is an event venue location that will play a large role in attracting residents to the Park and will help boost Sugar Land’s economy. The Park and Festival Site include a parking lot, meadows, and an Overlook plaza that connects the Festival Site to the Park. It will accommodate multi-day festivals, cultural celebrations and large-scale events like the City’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Additionally, it provides access to trails, play areas, and the river.

Within the area there are also other important facilities and parks such as the University of Houston at Sugar Land and Sugar Land Memorial Park. The University of Houston System has a 375-acre campus adjacent to the Festival Site and just northeast of the Brazos River, and entered into a 100-year Ground Lease Agreement (Ground Lease) with the City. Under the Ground Lease, UH has leased 52-acres to the City for the construction and operation of the Festival Site; the Festival Site is seen as a benefit to UH faculty, staff, and students.

In 2014 the City entered into a Lease Agreement (Lease) with ACE SL, LLC (ACE) to lease and operate the City’s performing arts center now known as the Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land. Per the Lease, and as also provided for in an earlier, 2013 Development Agreement between ACE and the City, ACE is intended to be the exclusive booking agent for commercial use of the Festival Site, provided that ACE and the City agree to the terms of such booking arrangement. If an agreement cannot be reached, ACE has a right of first opportunity to be the presenter of any commercial event proposed to be held at the Festival Site, subject to the terms of the Lease.
• Artists in the United States are eligible to apply. Sugar Land- and Greater Houston-area artists are strongly encouraged to apply.
• Subcontractors may be used and are defined as those providing technical implementation including but not limited to construction, fabrication and/or assembly for portions or all of a finished product under direct supervision and control of an artist.
• Staff members, board members, advisory board members, City Council members and/or family members of City of Sugar Land are ineligible to apply.
Application Requirements
Resume: 1 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 3 - 5  
  • Image dimensions: 1920 x 1920 pixels
  • Video submissions are not permitted.
Letter of Interest: 500 word maximum
Letter of Intent: Include contact information and a description of how the artist or artist team meets the criteria listed in the RFQ (500-word maximum).
Artists are allowed to apply in teams.
Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.
Selection Information
Selection Process
Artist Selection Process
This artwork will be a commission. The first phase of the artist selection process will be an Open Competition, wherein artists should submit evidence of their qualifications and interest for a specific project. This RFQ serves as the Open Competition.

A Selection Panel will be established to review the artist credentials and evidence of their qualifications. The panel will consist of five people who represent various stakeholders for the project, as well as art and design professionals. At least one PARCS Advisory Board member will be on the panel, and at least one representative from ACE, LLC, and one representative from University of Houston Sugar Land.
Selection Criteria
Evaluation Criteria
The panel will use the following criteria—equally weighted—when reviewing submittals:
• Artistic quality: artists or artist-led teams are of the highest artistic caliber as demonstrated by examples of past work.
• Responsiveness: submittal successfully addresses the overall goals of the project, including creating an inviting space for visitors.
• Demonstrated Technical Abilities: applicants demonstrate that the artist or artist-led team has the necessary capability to accomplish all artistic, technical, budgetary, and engineering aspects of the project and to have the project successfully merge with the space and the architecture.
• Project Management Ability: submittal demonstrates that the artist/artist team has the ability and the capacity to complete the project on a very tight schedule and within budget. Applicants demonstrate their ability to successfully collaborate with the architects and the contractor and sufficient relationships with potential vendors and manufacturers.

• Artists in the United States are eligible to apply. Sugar Land- and Greater Houston-area artists are strongly encouraged to apply.
• Subcontractors may be used and are defined as those providing technical implementation including but not limited to construction, fabrication and/or assembly for portions or all of a finished product under direct supervision and control of an artist.
• Staff members, board members, advisory board members, City Council members and/or family members of City of Sugar Land are ineligible to apply.

• If you require more information or clarification, please contact Lindsay Davis, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Sugar Land at 281-275-2969 or no later than Wednesday, July 26, 2107 at 9:00am CST.
• The city proposes that this project be designed by the end FY17 fiscal year (September 2017), and that fabrication and installation begin at the start of FY18 fiscal year (October 2017).

Estimated Completion Timeline (subject to change)
Thursday, August 22, 2017, 9:00 am CST Artist RFQ Deadline
Week of September 12th or September 19th at 5:30pm - Selection Panel meeting
Friday, September 29, 2017 - Short-listed artists contacted; provided with stipend for RFP to fund preliminary project design concepts upon completion
October 23, 2017 - Due: preliminary project design concepts from short-listed artists
Week of October 30, 2017 - Selection Panel meeting
Friday, November 17, 2017 - Due: Final project design with architectural/engineering drawings from selected artist
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - Selected artist to being fabrication/installation process
Additional Resources
Festival Site Overlook_Aerial (JPG)
Festival Site Overlook_Facade (JPG)
GIS Festival Site_Location Map (PDF)
GIS Festival Site_Close Up (PDF)
Festival Site Overlook (JPG)
Contact Information (for questions about the details of this call. For site questions email us.)
Lindsay Davis
Cultural Arts Manager
P.O. Box 110
Sugar Land TX 77487 United States
Delivery Information
Applications will NOT be accepted by Postal Mail
Applications up to 5 MBs can be sent as email attachments to the email address above.
Artists may send applications via
Artists may send applications via
If you decide to mail your application, it must be received (not postmarked) by August 10, 2017, 9:00am CST.