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Austin Art In Public Places Pre-Qualified National Artist Pool (2017-19)


Activated: 10/04/2017
Deadline: 12/31/2017 5:00 PM Central Time
Call Summary
The City of Austin Art in Public Places (AIPP) program of the Cultural Arts Division, Economic Development Department (EDD) seeks exceptional established public artists working in a variety of visual media and artistic approaches for its 2017-2019 Pre-Qualified National Artist Pool. Selected artists or artist teams from the Pool may be contracted to design and fabricate artwork for eligible Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) of various scopes, timelines, and budgets throughout the City of Austin. Certain projects may offer opportunities for an artist to work as part of the sponsor project design team.

The City of Austin’s five year Capital Improvement Plan includes, but is not limited to, construction projects involving the following City departments: Austin Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Austin Public Health Department, Austin Public Library, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and the Austin Convention Center. Examples of recently commissioned City of Austin Art in Public Places projects include CAW by Christian Moeller for the new Central Library, Power Picket by NADAAA for the Seaholm District, Time Lines by MikYoung Kim and Tadarida (working title) by Janet Echelman for the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
Budget Description
Individual project budgets of $300,000 or more

By ordinance, the funds for public art are derived from 2% of the City of Austin’s contribution to the estimated construction budget for each CIP. The total award for an artist contract must include design, fabrication and installation, including permitting fees, travel and shipping expenses, insurance and other project-related costs. The individual projects budgets anticipated through the City of Austin’s current and upcoming CIP Plan (2012-2017 Bond Program, the 2016 Mobility Bond Program and possible future bond program) for the Pre-Qualified Open Artist Pool are projected to be $300,000 or more.
Project Description
The purpose of the Pre-Qualified National Artist Pool is to provide a streamlined application and selection process for artists interested in being commissioned for public art projects through the City of Austin Art in Public Places Program. The process requires one application from interested artists. The Selection Panel will convene to review all eligible applications. The Selection Panel will then recommend artists for approval to the Art in Public Places Panel and Arts Commission. Once approved, all artists in the National Pool remain eligible for contract opportunities for a two-year period, which may be extended by staff as needed.

Program staff and the Art in Public Places Panel will use the Pre-Qualified National Pool, in whole or in part, for commission opportunities based on project timeline, scope, previously identified project outcomes, and/or a highly specialized field of opportunity. The list of artists in the Pool will also be made available to the public, private developers and independent art commissioning entities for their use. Being selectedSelection from the National Pool is not an exclusive way for artists to be considered for artwork commissions. More details listed under “Selection Process,” below.

Program Background

The Austin Art in Public Places program manages a diverse range of public art projects within the City of Austin. Since AIPP’s inception in 1985, nearly 300 public artworks have been created in City sites and facilities, including but not limited to libraries, streetscapes, public safety facilities, parklands, pools, recreation centers, trails and bikeways, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, and Austin Convention Center. The CIP Projects are managed in coordination with many City departments who are collaboratively dedicated to deepening the community experience with civic spaces. The Austin Art in Public Places program anticipates approximately 10-15 new public art projects to be initiated each year. For additional information about the Austin Art in Public Places program, please visit
Artwork Goals
The Art in Public Places program seeks artists whose work advances public understanding of visual art and enhances the aesthetic quality of public places through innovative and thoughtful design. An artist, or artist team, is expected to design artwork that:

» Supports the artwork goals set for the respective CIP project for which the artist or team is chosen;

» Reflects a high level of aesthetic and technical quality;

» Identifies and considers opportunities for innovation or enhanced civic engagement;

» Transforms a space or the user experience;

» Contributes to a local, regional and national contemporary art dialogue;

» Enriches or adds to the depth/breadth of the City of Austin’s public art collection;

» Is low maintenance and vandal-resistant.
Ideally qualified artists and artist teams will have demonstrated success:
• working with budgets in excess of $100,000;
• working with materials suitable for indoor or outdoor public settings;
• working with site-specific design;
• working with public entities; and/or other artists, design professionals;
• in public art project management; and
• collaborating with community members.

Certain projects may also offer opportunities for an artist to work as part of a project design team along with the project architect/designer. The City of Austin requests qualifications from professional visual artists or artist teams who live in the United States. Artists from the Austin metropolitan area are encouraged to apply.


Professional visual artists, or artist teams, at least 18 years of age who live in the United States are eligible to apply. Full-time, permanent City of Austin employees and CIP consultants and their employees are ineligible to apply. Since there will be a new selection panel reviewing applications, those who applied to the 2015-2017 Pre-Qualified Artist Pool and were not selected are encouraged to apply.

Artists under current City of Austin AIPP contract are eligible to apply. Artists who already have artwork in the AIPP collection are eligible to apply.

A professional artist is defined as “A practitioner in the visual arts with an original, self-conceptualized body of work, generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional possessing serious intent and ability.”
Application Requirements
Resume: 4 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 10
Letter of Interest: 600 word maximum
If applying as a team who is sharing equal responsibility for the commission, please state all team member names in your introductory paragraph. * Describe your interest in working in public art, or what intrigues you about integrating your work into public spaces. * Please explain your previous experience creating public art, including your role(s), responsibilities, etc. • State what materials you most often work with (or are interested in working with) and how these materials might provide long-term (20 years at minimum) compatibility within interior or exterior settings. * Describe any experience in: collaborating with community members, commissioning entities, or other art or design professionals; research/input that might inform your work; or public process/siting of artwork in public spaces. * Additional note for applicants: Please only upload video of artwork which cannot be adequately evaluated through a still photo (i.e., kinetic, time-based, etc.). For all other work, please upload high-quality photos. Please complete our applicant demographics survey:
References: 3
Artists are allowed to apply in teams.
Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.
Additional Requirements
Demographic Questionnaire Agreement/Certification
Selection Information
Selection Process
Applications must be received by the deadline via Applications include: a Letter of Interest; 10 images of completed relevant artwork with descriptions; resume; and 3 professional references. For technical assistance submitting your application online, please contact or
210-701-0775 (9:00 am – 5:00 pm CST ).

Art in Public Places will convene a Selection Panel to evaluate artist qualifications. The Selection Panel will review the applications, including letter of interest, images of recent and relevant work, resume(s), and professional references and recommend a list of artists for the Pool to be approved by the Art in Public Places Panel and Arts Commission.

A 5-member selection panel made up of visual arts professionals (at least two must be local) shall be convened, which includes at least two visual artists. Possible selection panel members may include:
• Louis Grachos, Director, The Contemporary Austin
• Jason Huff, Artist, Public Art Project Manager Lead, Seattle, WA
• Laurie Frick, Visual artist, Austin
• Caroline Vincent, Director of Public Art & Placemaking. Metro Nashville Arts, Nashville, TN
• Walter Hood, Public Artist and Landscape Architect, Oakland, CA
• Juan Miró, Architect, FAIA, Austin
• Constance White, Dallas, TX
• Lucas Cowan, Public Art Curator, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA
• Bryan C. Lee Jr, Director, Colloquate Design (designing spaces of racial, social and cultural equity)

For each individual CIP artwork opportunity, staff works with the Art in Public Places Panel and Arts Commission to identify the best artist selection process, which may or may not use the Pre-Qualified Pool. If using the pool, the Panel and Commission may recommend an artist directly from the Pool, recommend a short-list of artists for interviews or paid proposals, or recommend inviting the artists in the Pool to apply for a limited or open Call to Artists.

Once an artist is recommended by a Selection Panel for a commission, the Art in Public Places Panel and Arts Commission must approve the selection process recommendation. The Austin City Council must then approve authorize negotiation of any contract over the established administrative authority. Then the selected artist or team will be placed under contract and coordinate with City staff and the design team to develop a comprehensive artwork design. The artist or team’s final design is subject to approval by the Art in Public Places Panel and the Arts Commission and may be subject to review by other relevant City Boards and Commissions and stakeholder groups.
Selection Criteria
In addition to the standard project selection criteria found on the Art in Public Places website (, the selection panel will consider the following evaluation criteria:

» Artistic merit and technical expertise;

» Demonstrated ability to successfully execute innovative public art projects in a complex design environment;

» Demonstrated ability to successfully execute a public art project on time and within budget; and

» Expressed interest in creating public artwork.

Additional Policies

» The Austin Art in Public Places program reserves the right to decline all submissions, cancel any qualified list at any time, or commission an artist through another process.

» Inclusion in a Pre-Qualified Artist Pool does not guarantee a commission.

» Additional eligibility criteria may be set for commission selections. Artists may only have one active permanent artwork commission contract with the Art in Public Places program at a time.

» Each Pre-Qualified Pool may be shared with community members, developers, or entities desiring to commission an artist for a public artwork project, and limited information on artists in the Pool may be promoted on the City of Austin website.

» The Austin Art in Public Places program may open the Pool for new applicants as needed.

» Artists who are successfully commissioned may be required to participate in a peer-to-peer artist skill building program as part of their commission. Entitled LaunchPAD (PAD = Public Art Duo), the program provides an opportunity for local artists who are working to gain traction in the field of public to acquire technical and administrative expertise needed to compete within the field of public art while providing services benefitting a commissioned artist’s public art project. For more information about the LaunchPAD program, please go to
(dates subject to change)

Monday, October 2, 2017
Call to Apply for Pre-Qualified National Artist Pool released

Sunday, December 31, 2017
Deadline for applications

January 2017
Selection panel review of qualifications and recommendation of Pool

February 2018
Approval of Pool by AIPP Panel and Austin Artist Commission

February 16, 2018
Pre-Qualified National Artist Pool announced
Additional Resources
Printable PDF of this Call (PDF)
Contact Information
Curt Gettman
201 East 2nd Street, Suite A
Austin Texas 78701 United States
Submission Instructions