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Austin Art In Public Places Pre-Qualified Local 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 seeks exceptional emerging and established public artists working in a variety of visual media and artistic approaches for its 2017-2019 Local Pre-Qualified Artist Pool. Selected artists or artist teams from the Pool may be contracted to design and fabricate potential public artworks 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.

Possible artwork opportunities include but are not limited to public art 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.
Budget Description
Individual project budgets between $20,000 and $250,000

By ordinance, the funds for public art are derived from 2% of the City of Austin’s 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 project 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 this artist Pool are projected to range between $20,000 and $250,000 (or potentially more). Please note that inclusion in the Pre-Qualified Pool does not guarantee a commission.
Project Description
The purpose of the Pre-Qualified 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 once to review all eligible applications. The Selection Panel will then recommend artists for approval to the Art in Public Places Panel and Austin Arts Commission. Once approved, all artists in the 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 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 may also be made available to private developers or independent public art commissioning entities for consideration for their use. Selection from the Pre-Qualified 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 within a civic spaces. The Austin Art in Public Places program anticipates approximately 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/or 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.
City of Austin is seeking qualified artists and artist teams who have demonstrated success working with budgets of $10,000 (or equivalent) or more; materials suitable for indoor and/or outdoor public settings; site-specific design; project management and collaboration with other artists, design professionals, or community members.


Professional visual artists, or artist teams, at least 18 years of age who live in Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Burnet, and Blanco counties 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 as a professional possessing serious intent and ability.”

Full-time, permanent City of Austin employees and project consultants and their employees are ineligible to apply. Artists who are currently under contract to produce a commissioned artwork through the City of Austin Art in Public Places program are eligible to apply. However, artists may only have one active permanent artwork commission contract with the Art in Public Places program at a time.
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.

The City of Austin Art in Public Places encourages artists from diverse demographic backgrounds and geographic locations to apply, in order to select from a diverse pool of artists for public art commissions. A demographic survey will be part of the application materials required for submittal.
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 Austin 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:

• Henry Estrada, Senior Project Manager, Public Art San Antonio
• Eddie Chambers, Professor of Art History and Independent Curator
• Sylvia Orozco, Visual Artist, Curator and Executive Director of the Mexic-Arte Museum
• Leslie Moody Castro, Independent Curator and Writer, TX and Mexico
• Clay Odom, Visual artist specializing in media arts; Asst Professor, Interior Design Program, UT Austin
• Rebecca Marino, Associate Director at Texas State Galleries
• Dario Robleto, Visual artist, researcher; Houston, TX
• Ryan N. Dennis, Public Art Director, Project Row Houses; Houston, TX
• Candace M. Briceño, visual artist, Serie Project, Austin, TX
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 the Pre-Qualified 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.

» The 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

October/November 2017
Artist Information Meetings

Artist information meetings will be held from mid-October through November 2017-check for dates and times. AIPP staff will present information on the project and answer questions from interested artists. AIPP staff will also review the application procedures. The presented materials, along with Q&A, will be posted to City’s website after the meeting:

Where: Four meetings in various areas of the City (North, South, East, West)
When: October/November 2017

Open Office Hours
AIPP staff are available to answer questions about the AIPP program during Open Office Hours (third Wednesday of every month).

Where: CAD Offices, 201 E. 2nd Street, Austin, TX (Phone number: 512-974-7700)
When: Wednesday, November 15, 1 – 3 pm CST
Wednesday, December 20, 1 - 3 pm CST
Parking: Park in the Austin Convention Center 2nd Street garage (access from Brazos, between Cesar Chavez and 2nd St) and we will validate your parking.

Open Application Hours
AIPP staff will be available at the African American Cultural Heritage Facility (AACHF) to answer questions and provide assistance to artists seeking to apply for the Local and/or National Pre-Qualified Artist Pools. There will be public computers available for artists’ use.

Where: 912 E 11th St, Austin, TX 78702 (Phone number: 512-404-4411)
When: November 14, 4 - 6:30 pm CST
Parking: Park for free in the lot behind the AACHF, off of Juniper Street, or find on-street parking.

Sunday December 31, 2017
Deadline for application

January 2018
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
(512) 974-9310
Submission Instructions