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East 51st Streetscape, Austin, TX


Budget: $48,000
Activated: 01/11/2019
Deadline: 03/07/2019 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 to commission professional visual artists, or artist teams, to design and fabricate artwork for the East 51st Street Mobility and Transportation 2012 Bond Project. The project scope is from I-35 to Berkman Drive on the north and south sides of 51st Street. This project includes District 9 to the south and District 4 to the north of 51st Street.
Budget Description
The funds for this project are derived from the 2% for public art portion of the City of Austin’s contribution to the estimated construction budget. Each opportunity is inclusive of design team collaboration, design, fabrication, and installation of artwork, including shipping expenses, insurance, travel, and other project related costs. The total artwork budget is $48,000.
Project Description
Approved by Austin voters as part of East 51st Street Mobility and Transportation 2012 Bond Project, the East 51st Street improvements stem from the East 51st Street Vision Plan to create a community vision and promote coordinated redevelopment for both sides of the corridor, with the Windsor Park neighborhood to the north and the Mueller redevelopment underway to the south. The East 51st Street Vision Plan achieved wide consensus and support from area neighborhood groups and was endorsed by the City Council April 26, 2012. The City Council also passed a resolution directing the City Manager to identify funding sources to implement the plan. The East 51st Street Improvements Project was later added to the 2012 Bond, Proposition 12 – Transportation and Mobility, as a community-based project during the bond development process. The project is sponsored by the Austin Transportation
Department (ATD) and managed by Public Works (PW), with the Economic Development Department (EDD) serving as the stakeholder department and coordinating the project with the Mueller redevelopment, Catellus (Mueller master developer), and the Council-endorsed East 51st Street Vision Plan.

Final design is underway, with construction anticipated to start Spring-Summer 2019 (18-24 Months construction duration). Project features include, but are not limited to: tree-lined sidewalks on the north and south sides; protected bicycle lane on the north and south sides; protected bicycle intersections at Berkman Drive, Mueller Blvd., Lancaster Drive, and Cameron Road; on-street parallel parking; Rain gardens and detention ponds for runoff and water quality enhancements; Controlled pedestrian crossings at intersections to provide safer pedestrian access.

East 51st Street Vision Plan includes:

• 51ST Street is a multi-modal urban street that accommodates safe pedestrian and bicycle movement as well as calm vehicular traffic.
• 51st Street west of Berkman Drive is lined with buildings and developments that promote a safe, interesting and lively pedestrian environment, with strong linkages and an appropriate scale transition to the Windsor Park neighborhood.
• East of Berkman Drive, 51st Street is a narrow parkway with generous landscaping, bike lanes and trails alongside.

More information can be found at
Artwork Goals
The Art in Public Places program seeks to commission works of art of redeeming quality that advance public understanding of visual art and enhance the aesthetic quality of public places through the selection of an artist or artist team who can innovatively and thoughtfully respond to the design within the context of this project.

The goals of each opportunity are to select artists, in collaboration with project stakeholders and City staff, who will design artwork that:

» Supports calming vehicular traffic and a safe, interesting and lively pedestrian and bicycle environment;
» Conceptually connects the Windsor Park and Mueller neighborhoods;
» Integrates seamlessly into the construction of the streetscape or crosswalk;
» Is made from durable and low maintenance materials; and
» Enriches or adds to the depth/breadth of the City of Austin’s public art collection.

The proposed artworks should be integrated into the available scope of construction, to the greatest extent possible, without impeding operation, safety and access. Artwork should be sited in areas accessible to the public within the public right-of-way. A range of materials and conceptual approaches are welcome, as long as the parameters and goals of the project are met.
Artwork Location Description
The selected artist will be charged with integrating artwork into the overall design of the streetscape, per the East 51st Street Vision Plan. The artwork may consist of multiple parts, extending from I-35 east to Berkman Drive on both the north and south sides of 51st Street.

• Multiple sites and options for artwork will be considered – the selected artist will work with the project design team to determine the best placement for the artwork.
• An artwork that focuses on viewers who will experience the artwork at the speed of a pedestrian and/or bicycle is encouraged.

*See Appendix at end of the RFQ.pdf document in Additional Resources for more specific ideas on the opportunities.
Artist Eligibility
Professional visual artists, or artist teams, at least 18 years of age who live and work in Williamson, Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Burnet and Blanco counties are eligible to apply. A professional visual 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.” All artists on the 2018-2020 Local Pre-Qualified Artist Pool are eligible to apply.

Full-time, permanent City of Austin employees including employees of the Austin Transportation and the
Economic Development Department are ineligible to apply. Employees of the project consultants and sub-consultants are also ineligible to apply.

Applications not meeting all eligibility criteria will be withdrawn from consideration.

Application Requirements
Resume: 2 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 10
Letter of Interest: 700 word maximum
Please explain why you are interested in this project and what makes you a good fit.
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
Demographics Survey Agreement/Certification
Selection Information
Selection Process
A Request for Qualifications will be solicited to professional visual artists who live and work in
Williamson, Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Burnet and Blanco counties. The City of Austin Art in Public Places Panel will convene a selection panel to evaluate the submissions. The selection panel shall review qualifications (portfolio, resume, letter of interest, references) and select one artist or artist team and one alternate for the opportunity. Up to three finalists may be selected for interviews. This recommendation will be presented to the Art in Public Places Panel and Arts Commission for approval.

The selection panel recommendations will be presented to the Art in Public Places Panel and Arts Commission for approval. The selected artist(s) will be put under a design contract to coordinate with the City and the project’s design team to develop a comprehensive design for artwork. The final design is subject to approval by the Art in Public Places Panel and the Austin Arts Commission and may be subject to review by other relevant City Boards and Commissions and stakeholder groups.
Selection Criteria
Evaluation Criteria
The selection of an artist, or artist team, shall be based on whose qualifications best meet the requirements contained in this Prospectus. In addition to the standard project selection criteria found on the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places website
(, the Selection Panel will review and consider the following evaluation criteria:
Artistic merit and technical expertise;
demonstrated ability to successfully execute innovative public art projects in a complicated
design environment;
demonstrated ability to successfully execute a public art project on time and on budget; and
expressed interest in creating artwork for East 51st Street
Schedule (subject to change)

December 3 and 10 Prospectus approved by AIPP Panel and Arts Commission

January 11 Request for Qualifications released (eight weeks)
January 26 Artist Information Meeting
March 7 Deadline for RFQ submissions
March 19 Selection panel review of applications
March 29 Artist interviews
April 1 & 15 Approval of artists and alternates by AIPP Panel and Arts Commission
April 16 Artist enters design contract
April 30 Project kick-off meeting
May-June CIP project construction begins
June 3 Mid-Design to AIPP Panel
September 9 & 19 Final Design Approval to AIPP Panel & Arts Commission
October 1
2020 Artist enters commission contract & artwork fabrication begins

2021 Artwork installation coordination and installation
January Anticipated project completion
Additional Resources
E. 51st Street RFQ (PDF)
Contact Information
Anna Bradley
Art in Public Places Coordinator
201 E. Second Street
Austin TX 78701 United States