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“Eye On Art” Window Installations for The Ion District, Houston, TX


Budget: $40,000
Activated: 05/18/2022
Deadline: 06/20/2022
Call Summary
The Ion and Rice Management Company request qualifications and preliminary installation proposals from artists or artist teams for the “Eye On Art” 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 in each of the display window banks to be exhibited for 6 months.
Budget Description
Commission budget is $20,000.00 per window display inclusive of all work including, but not limited to, artists’ fees, final design, wall prep, engineering, insurance costs for the project, lighting (if necessary), software, studio and project administration, travel, fabrication, all materials, installation, de-installation, maintenance and required documentation.
Project Description
The “Eye On Art” program pays homage to the original department window store displays of the beloved Sears building on which The Ion was built by engaging local artists to create site-specific art installations. Strategically placed, as the entry points and eyes of the building, the two highly visible display windows facing Fannin and Main Streets serve as beacons to draw the community in. The display windows are a unique opportunity to reimagine Sears' store windows and build on the collective memory of the space’s past, present, and future through the lens of artistic and creative expression. The Ion is committed to creating opportunities for Houston-based artists by providing long-term platforms to create, innovate, and collaborate.
Artwork Location 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 according to the following exhibition schedule and is subject to change:

Fannin Window Installation 1: November 2022 – May 2023
Main Street Window Installation 1: November 2022 – May 2023

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.
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.
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 our partners. We encourage non-local applicants to team with local partners whenever possible.
Application Requirements
Resume: 2 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 5 - 15
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
Letter of Intent/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
• 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.
All dates are subject to change.
RFP release: Wednesday, May 18, 2022
RFP deadline: Monday, June 20, 2022 at 5:00pm CST
Selected artists notified: Friday, July 1, 2022
Contract finalized: July 15, 2022
Project design, fabrication, and installation: July - October 2022
Final Completion: Monday, October 31, 2022
Eye On Art Opening: Thursday, November 3, 2022
Fannin Window Installation: November 2022 – May 2023
Main Street Window Installation: November 2022 – May 2023
Additional Resources
Plans (PDF)
Fannin Window Exterior (JPG)
Fannin Window Interior (JPG)
Main Street Exterior (JPG)
Main Street Interior (JPG)
Contact Information
Piper Faust



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