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Art Showcase Windows for The Ion District

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Budget: $40,000
Activated: 08/25/2021
Deadline: 10/01/2021
Call Summary
The Ion and Rice Management Company request qualifications and preliminary installation proposals from artists or artist teams for two showcase display windows located at The Ion, the newly renovated historic Sears building that is the hub of Houston’s innovation economy. Two artists/teams will be selected to create site-specific installations at each of the showcase windows to be shown in 6-month rotations.

Budget Description
Commission budget is $20,000 per window display inclusive of all work including, but not limited to, artists’ fees, final design, wall prep, engineering, permitting, insurance costs for the project, lighting (if necessary), software, studio and project administration, travel, fabrication, all materials, installation, de-installation, maintenance and required documentation. Two artists/artists teams will be awarded a contract.
Project Description
We are seeking the creation of site-specific art installations for two showcase display windows at The Ion, facing Fannin and Main streets respectively. The displays are highly visible from the streets and will ideally engage and attract visitors from the community and beyond. Each installation will be on display for six months.

Fannin Window Installation 1: February – August 2022
Main Street Window Installation 1: February – August 2022

Interdisciplinary teams, innovative partnerships, new media, digital art, interactive installation concepts are all encouraged and welcome. Each art installation must be site-specific and created for the context of The Ion District.

Power and lighting are available in the displays.
Artwork Goals
• Artwork should consider The Ion and The Ion District’s vision and mission of accelerating innovation, connecting communities and facilitating partnerships to create growth and opportunity in Houston.
• Artworks should be sensitive and/or responsive to the diverse history, culture, and identity of the surrounding community.
• Artworks should invite passersby to pause, reflect, play and engage in unexpected and innovative ways. Thinking outside the box (figurately and literally) is encouraged.
• Artworks must be family friendly, suitable for public display, and free of safety hazards.
• Artworks should be resistant to graffiti and vandalism and require minimal maintenance.
Artwork Location Description
The Ion showcase windows once displayed those offerings from the former Sears department store for over 75 years. During renovations, many original features of the Sears building were kept in tact both on the interior and exterior, including the display windows. Each showcase window faces out from the building toward Fannin and Main streets, respectively. Lighting and electrical are available. Plans and elevations are attached.
Site History
Ion District is a new kind of urban district to Houston initiated by Rice Management Company that prioritizes street life, public space, and a mix of uses that embrace technology, community, and sustainability. It is a centrally located at the heart of innovation activity in Houston, encompassing over 16 acres in the Midtown. At the center of the district is The Ion, a 266,000-square foot structure designed to bring Houston’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities together into collaborative spaces and programs. The showcase window art installations will be the first public art projects executed within The Ion District, kicking off the ambitious The Ion District Public Art Program.
Open to all artists and artist-teams over 18 years of age residing and working the Greater Houston Area, which encompasses Harris, Fort Bend, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Chambers and Austin counties.

The Ion District is committed to providing opportunities that advance Houston’s economy by not only seeking to involve local businesses, but also for those who are racially and ethnically underrepresented. Creatives and artists are a vital part of a complete community, and it is our goal to foster inclusivity and diversity with all of our partners. We encourage non-local applicants to team with local partners whenever possible.
Application Requirements
Resume: 2 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 1 - 5
Artist Statement: 300 word maximum
References: 2
Artists are allowed to apply in teams.
Each artist is to submit the full allotment of work examples.
Additional Requirements
Method of Approach Document Upload
Selection Information
Selection Process
• Piper Faust Public Art, Rice Management Company and The Ion District Art Advisory Council consisting of art experts, community members and stakeholders will review the applications.
• Two artists will be awarded the commission.
Selection Criteria
• Demonstrated successful, innovative, and effective approach to public art projects
• Quality, interest and originality of method of approach concept
• Preliminary concept is both site-specific and responsive
• Ability to design and create work that is sensitive to social, environmental, historical, and/or other relevant contexts

All dates are subject to change.
RFP release: Wednesday, August 25, 2021
RFP deadline: Friday, October 1 at 5:00pm CST
Selected artists notified: October 11 - 15
Contract finalized: November 1
Project design, fabrication, and installation: November 2021- February 2022
Fannin Window Installation: February – August 2022
Main Street Window Installation: February – August 2022
Additional Resources
Plans and Elevations (PDF)
Main Street Showcase Window Exterior (JPG)
Main Street Showcase Window Interior (JPG)
Fannin Street Showcase Window Exterior (JPG)
Fannin Street Showcase Window Interior (JPG)
Contact Information
Piper Faust



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