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Airport Playscapes Public Art Opportunity, Austin, TX


Budget: $632,850
Activated: 03/27/2023
Deadline: 04/27/2023
Call Summary
The City of Austin (Texas) Art in Public Places (AIPP) Program and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) invite artists and artist-led teams to submit qualifications to be considered for collaboration, design, fabrication, and installation of a series of up to three playscapes located throughout the airport’s concourse areas. Interested artists should approach the opportunities with an open mind and should not attempt to conceptually propose solutions as the sites are directly related to the Airport Expansion Development Plan AEDP and do not yet exist.

Deadline for Submissions – April 27, 2023, 5:00 PM CST

Register here to attend the April 12, 6:30 p.m. CST virtual Artist Information Meeting to learn more about AIPP's current open calls:
Budget Description
The total artwork project budget is $632,850 inclusive of artists’ design fees, engineering, permitting, machining and fabrication, transportation, installation, travel, shipping expenses, insurance, and other artwork project-related costs.
Project Description
AIPP compliments AUS’s current and ongoing planning for the future. Although the primary function of an airport is to get people to and from their destinations safely and efficiently, a frenzied travel experiences can be eased by designing an airport ambiance that imparts welcoming and calming feelings as well providing customer experiences that may offer intuitive guidance and directions to restrooms, gates, concessions and other passenger amenities.

The Playscapes opportunity is imagined as a series of installations intended to advance the power of connection by engaging and entertaining young travelers and those who are young at heart. Aspects of the installations could provoke interplay with end-users as they become integral contributors to functional components of the artworks. A key element of this opportunity will be for the artist-led team to create hands-on infrastructure that could include technology while helping users navigate the confluence of art, technology, and place. Interactive elements should demonstrate design flexibility and the ability to add new components for easily upgrading and adding new programming as needed. Additionally, design features along with entrances and exits of playscape areas must meet requisite codes of the American with Disabilities Acts and should be designed with consideration given to users of all abilities.

There will be up to three installation sites located within the security areas. One artist or artist-led team will be expected to design the setting, components and thematic context for each interactive environment. Design and installation of the playscapes sites may progress in distinct phases in alignment with facilities design and construction schedules.
Site History
AUS is owned by the City of Austin and operated by the Department of Aviation. Located on the former Airforce base, Bergstrom field, it is the busiest non-hub airport in state of Texas. On any given day, over 40,000 passengers pass through the airport. The Airport Expansion Development Program (AEDP) intends to add twelve boarding bridges with three new gates, expand food court/retail marketplace, increase security screening areas and improve outbound baggage handling systems, add a “Mobility Assistance Zone and Lounge” as well as build a significant atrium infill project. Related airside expansion will include improvements to aircraft apron facilities, taxiway areas and remain over-night accommodations.

AUS is designed to make you feel as though you are right in the heart of the region. Located about five miles southeast of Downtown Austin, the airport is not just Austin’s airport, it is the gateway to the Central Texas Region that provides international air travel access to the Greater Austin Metro (includes five counties with nearly 2.5 million people) as well as to parts of Waco and Houston, Texas. AEDP Programmatic documents will continue to change until iterations of design development are complete. The AEDP will provide near-term improvements though a series of design-build construction projects taking place to five years on the south side of AUS’s airfield. These projects will help the airport meet current and future air service demands by enhancing passenger and aircraft flow, terminal amenities, roadways and airfield improvements.
Austin-area artists and artist-led teams as well as those working nationally (over the age of 18) with demonstrated experience creating multi-media artwork and artwork suitable for high-impact public spaces are considered eligible for this opportunity. Members of an artist-led team could include (but not limited to) visual artists, sculptors, digital programmers and lighting designers.

The City of Austin AIPP program strives to commission a broad range of artworks which contribute to the current dialogue in the field of visual art by broadly awarding commissions among local, state and national artists. AIPP defines artist as an individual recognized by critics and peers as a professional practitioner of serious intent and substantial ability in the visual, performing, or literary art.

Applicants not meeting minimum qualifications will be withdrawn from consideration.

Design professionals, including architects who do not have a consistent visual art practice are ineligible to apply as team leads, but can be a part of an artist-led team.

Artists who have more than three permanent artworks represented in the City of Austin’s Art in Public Places public art collection; artists who currently are under contract with the City of Austin for a permanent Art in Public Places project; and artists who have completed an AIPP project within the past year are ineligible to apply.

Additionally, City of Austin full-time employees and architects or other designers currently contracted with AUS are ineligible.
Application Requirements
Resume: 2 page(s) maximum
Work examples: 1 - 10
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: Communities
Demographics Survey: Gender
Demographics Survey: Pronouns
Demographics Survey: Race/Ethnicity
Demographics Survey: Veteran Status
Short Answer Q1 - AUS Playscapes Text
Short Answer Q2 - AUS Playscapes Text
Short Answer Q3 - AUS Playscapes Text
Selection Information
Selection Process
A five-member selection panel comprised of visual arts professionals and members of the AUS design team will review all eligible submissions. Up to five artists or artists-led teams may be shortlisted, invited to interview and requested to prepare a conceptual proposal as a part of the interview process for a fee of $1,500. The selection panel reserves the right to recommend one artist or artist-led team and one alternate at the time of initial review. Only one artist or artist-led team will be awarded this commission.
Selection Criteria
The panel will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:
- Technical quality and aesthetic appeal of past work
- Relevant and applicable experience
- Authenticity, creativity and innovation of work as presented
- Communication of ideas and intentions


- Submit up to ten images of previous work OR five videos of previous work limit two minutes each
- For team applications, please indicate the lead artist for each Artwork Sample Submission; or provide an annotated image list as a separate document.
- Limit one image per page/file uploaded

- Three Professional references (names, phone numbers and email addresses)
Information Meeting: April 12, 2023
Submission deadline: April 27, 2023
Short-listed artists notified: May 15, 2023
Interviews: June 26, 2023
Selected Artist under contract: October 2023

Timeline subject to change. Submit all information via
Additional Resources
AUS Playscapes RFQ - English (PDF)
AUS Playscapes RFQ - Español (PDF)
Contact Information
Constance Y. White



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