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NRHC Ranch Life Learning Public Art


Budget: $74,500
Activated: 08/26/2022
Deadline: 10/06/2022
Call Summary
The Texas Tech University System seeks to commission a professional artist to create site-specific exterior sculpture(s) to be integrated into the new Ranch Life Learning Center (RLLC). Ideal submissions should incorporate a piece that will visually enhance and complete the outdoor strata wall. The RLLC is located within the National Ranching Heritage Center on the Texas Tech University campus, located in Lubbock, TX. Construction of the new facility will be completed by June 2023.
Budget Description
All inclusive
Project Description
Original commission - see full RFQ document in "Additional Requirements" for all details or online at
Artwork Goals
The concept of the RLLC is to engage visitors of all ages through visual, auditory, sensory and hands-on demonstrations into the world of ranch life; the people, the animals, the built structures and environment. This project will include interior renovation (3,500 gsf) and a new addition (725 gsf) that include multiple exhibits, instruction space and gift shop. Exterior exhibits are focused on water resources, wildlife, livestock nutrition, ranch work, horses, and home life on a ranch. There are numerous opportunities to develop public art that is integrated into the exterior spaces of the RLLC. Specifically, the RLLC includes a covered porch and three (3) shade structures, including a water resources pavilion with windmill exhibit, a covered amphitheater for programmed exhibits and a small group patio with pergola. The eastern perimeter features a masonry skirt wall with wood and steel fencing and a pedestrian gate.

The exhibits in the RLLC tell the story of modern-day ranching in a fun and engaging way. The RLLC will bring to life the challenges, wonder and soul of the ranching industry. It will show how ranchers see opportunities to make a living in the natural world around them, demonstrate the wonder of how cattle turn forage into beef, allow a glimpse into the natural environment of ranch life and invite visitors into the world of the cowboy and his horse. Exhibits will be aimed at visitors 10 years old and up but will have features that engage visitors of all ages.

Safety is imperative; durable, low-maintenance materials are recommended to withstand West Texas’ intense weather conditions. Ideal submissions should incorporate a piece that will visually enhance and complete the outdoor strata wall (see rendering in attachments). This piece should be outdoors and available to visitors to the RLLC. Water features are highly discouraged, but the selected artist will have an opportunity to collaborate with landscape architects for the project.

Among relevant concepts to consider are natural resource management, prairie/grazing ecology, and ranchers’ stewardship of the land. Any concepts that may be considered polemic or political should be avoided. Also, ranching/cowboy stereotypes (such as cowboy hats, stars, spurs, etc.) should be avoided. Artists should attempt to create a design that speaks to the diversity of stewardship, business and lifestyle represented at the RLLC.

Public art near this location includes “The Rancher” by H. Holden, “Windmill” by Jesus Moroles, Four Sixes Ranch benches by Garland Weeks and “On the Banks of the Bosque” by Bruce Greene (see photos in attachments).

In order to be considered, submissions must comply with the requirements outlined in this document. Objects that are mass-produced or of standard manufacture are not eligible for consideration.
Artwork Location Description
Site-specific artwork to be incorporated on the exterior portion of the National Ranching Heritage Center's (NRHC) Ranch Life Learning Center (RLLC), located on the Texas Tech University campus in Lubbock, TX.
Site History
The National Ranching Heritage Center is a 27-acre complex with a 44,000-square-foot museum and 19-acre historical park. The museum includes seven galleries emphasizing Western history, art, and artifacts while the park contains over 50 ranching structures dating from the 1780s to the 1950s. The structures were chosen to represent the birth, growth, and maturity of ranching west of the Mississippi just as Williamsburg represents the nation’s history east of the river. The structures include a log cabin, half-dugout, bunkhouse, Four Sixes Ranch barn, and a Queen Anne-style home. The center is free, wheelchair and stroller accessible, and open daily.

The RLLC is designed to continue telling the story of ranching by answering the question, “What is a ranch?” The RLLC will be able to achieve this goal because of its unique partnership with John R. Erickson, author of the popular “Hank the Cowdog” children’s book series. Erickson’s fictional characters have spanned the globe with 70 books and 9 million copies sold in 6 languages. These books have brought ranching to life and educated people of all ages about ranch life as seen through the eyes of a cowdog.

Erickson has written a series of books called “The Ranch Life Series”. These books are the inspiration for the RLLC. While the Ranch Life Series has the same characters as the Hank books, the series’ purpose is to educate readers about all aspects of ranching. The RLLC will bring those books – and ranching – to life.

To learn more about the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University, visit:
All professional artists
Application Requirements
Resume: 2 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 5 - 15
Artist Statement: 500 word maximum
Letter of Interest: 500 word maximum
Please describe your initial impressions of and projected approach to this public art project for the NRHC's Ranch Life Learning Center. Specifically, please address your thoughts on location and medium and, if applicable, discuss any projects for which you used a similar approach (limit to 250-500 words).
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
Attachment A PDF Form
Selection Information
Selection Process
Texas Tech will select the Artist that best meets the requirements, based on the information contained in their response to the Request for Qualifications, any reference checks conducted, and the information presented during any interviews conducted as part of the selection process.
Selection Criteria
Specifically, in the selection of finalists, Texas Tech University System and its University Public Art Committee will review and consider the following:

1. The conceptual basis for the Artist’s body of work as defined in the written statement.
2. The quality – technical and aesthetic – of the artist’s past work as represented in the image submissions.
3. The experience of the artist in successfully designing, fabricating, administering, and completing public art projects and/or custom architectural elements on time and in budget.
4. The artist’s training and education.
5. The quality and comprehensiveness of the submission package.

After evaluating the artists’ submissions, Texas Tech will narrow the pool of applicants to approximately two to five finalists to develop a design and model for presentation to the University Public Art Committee in Lubbock, Texas. Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $2000 for the development of their Design Proposal and to facilitate travel for the presentation. The model will not be returned to the artist if they are selected.

The Design Proposals will be subject to review and acceptance by Texas Tech University System’s University Public Art Committee, the President of Texas Tech University, and the Chancellor of the Texas Tech University System.
Post RFQ: August 26, 2022
Written Inquiries must be received by September 15, 2022
Responses to Inquiries: September 20, 2022
Artist Submission due by 3:00 PM, CDT, October 6, 2022
Finalist(s) selected and notified: Nov./Dec. 2022
Finalist(s) design Presentations: Jan/Feb. 2023
Commission awarded: TBD
Project Completion: Summer 2023

Texas Tech reserves the right to modify this schedule as required.

Additional Resources
Contact Information
Emily Wilkinson
Director of Public Art
Box 42014
Lubbock Texas 79409 United States



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