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Public Art 101. What is public art?. • Public art is source of community pride and engagement. • Public art is highly collaborative and seeks to engage the community. • Public art can take a wide range of forms.

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what is public art
What is public art?
  • • Public art is source of community pride and engagement.
  • • Public art is highly collaborative and seeks to engage the community.
  • • Public art can take a wide range of forms.
  • • Public art can include murals, sculpture, memorials, integrated architectural or landscape architectural work, community art, digital new media, and even performances and festivals!
  • • Public art artists endeavor to create works that generate a dialogue with the community.
public art is a collaborative process
Public art is a collaborative process…

Collaborate with/take feedback from:

Project manager, architect, landscape architect, site manager, engineers, staff

Respond to a particular site/context:

Project site, its history, future, challenges “What has the site given me?”

Work with/in:

Community: “Who is the community? Who will see my artwork everyday?”


Work with defined budget (stewards of public money)

Commitment to project/community: schedule


Durability, conservation, safety

Letitia Huckaby

TITLE, 2014

Highland Hills Library

6200 Bonnie View Lane, Dallas

the pre qualified list for city of dallas public art
The Pre-Qualified List for City of Dallas Public Art
  • • Projects for emerging artists
  • • How to sign up for consideration for the Pre-Qualified list
  • • How the list is selected
  • • What types of projects are available?
the submission process
The Submission Process

Asks artists to submit their qualifications to be reviewed by the selection panel


Request for Qualifications for projects over $100,000

submission requirements
Submission Requirements

Letter of Interest



Image List


City of Dallas Public Art Program


Deadline: October 31, 2007

questions to ask yourself before applying
Questions to ask yourself before applying…
  • Is project described in the RFQ right for me?
  • What materials do I currently use? Are they durable/permanent enough for the site? Am I willing to learn about more durable materials?
  • Do I like collaborating with others? Or do I prefer to work alone in the creation of my artwork?
  • Do I respond well to deadlines? Am I able to work within a defined budget?
  • Am I willing to take input and criticism? Can I take feedback and incorporate it into my work?
  • Am I willing to adapt to changes in project schedules?
  • Am I willing to work with the community? How am I willing to engage the community?
  • Am I prepared to develop a proposal if I’m selected?
  • Can I accept rejection? Am I persistent enough to keep applying?

Questions for artists

submission requirements1
Submission Requirements

Follow directions: some programs will reject/return your submittal if something is missing or labeled improperly.

Make sure your contact information is included: mailing address, e-mail address, phone number

Visit the website for all the details and submission requirements. OCA Public Art submissions to (Call for Entry)

Clearly label everything and make sure your name is on every page.

bishop arts district submission requirements
Bishop Arts District Submission Requirements
  • • Submit the following on a CD. All items must be digital and labeled as directed. A hard copy of all items except the images is also requested.
  • • Letter of interest (Label as ArtistLastNameLetter.doc or .pdf). Please be sure contact information is included.
  • • Current résumé (Label as ArtistLastNameResume.doc or .pdf)
  • • Images of previous, relevant work, not to exceed 10 total images. Please send each image as a jpg and label with artist’s last name, image number, and image title. For example: Smith01TitleofPiece.jpg , Smith02TitleofPiece.jpg , etc.
  • Images must be less then one MB each.
  • Image list listing image number, title, media, size, date, and brief description if necessary (Label as ArtistLastNameImageList.doc or .pdf)
  • References (Label as ArtistLastNameReferences.doc or .pdf) – do not send letters; contact information only.
  • 10 Slides with image key will be accepted as an alternate if digital images are not available but digital is preferred. The selection panelists will not be able to preview slides prior to the first panel meeting.
letter of interest
Letter of Interest

October 9, 2007

Dear Eric McGehearty,

Please include me in the artists’ list for potential candidates for the Bishop Arts District project.

I am very interested in the project and have completed a number of commissions for private clients.


Beth Taylor

  • Make sure your contact information is provided.
  • Address letter to the selection committee.
  • Be specific about your experience: give examples (exhibition and/or commissions).
  • If you haven’t completed a public art project, visit the space and include possible approaches.
  • If you haven’t worked with durable materials in the past, address what materials you would use or how you could adapt your work for the space.

Example: Montage 48/61 Letter

r sum
  • • Make sure your contact information is provided.
  • • Include your name on all pages.
  • • Be specific about your experience: don’t mislead your audience. (Examples: Dallas Museum of Art, temporary exhibitions)
  • • Provide venue and date for exhibitions.
  • • Separate your experience into categories (solo exhibitions, group shows, curatorial experience, commissions, teaching experience, public art projects)
  • Quality of your images
    • If you don’t have the equipment, have a professional or fellow artist photograph your artwork
  • Digital Images
    • Saved to a CD as JPEGs, less than 1 MB each
    • Titled as LastName01Title.jpg…LastName02Title.jpg
    • National Standards for images: JPEG format, 1920 pixels maximum on the longest side, 72 dpi, with compression settings resulting in the best image quality under 2MB file size

• Be strategic in order of images

• Using Photoshop to Resize Images (in folder)

• CAFE site: (in folder)

• Great resource for artists—calls to artists—upload images using their square image format

• Guide on slide conversion, photography, film & lighting, formatting images

image list
Image List

Etty Horowitz

Family Tree, 2002

Stainless steel and concrete

6’x24”x9” / 5’x24”x8” / 3’x20”x12”

The project is located at the City of Dallas Beckley-Saner Recreation Center

Budget: $10,000

Commissioned by the City of Dallas Public Art Program

Example: Horowitz Image List

image list1
Image List
  • • Include title, date completed, medium, dimensions in inches.
  • • Include a brief description if you think the artwork warrants/needs it.
  • • If the artwork is a public art project, also include budget, location, commissioning entity.
  • • If you fabricated the artwork for another artist who designed it, you must credit that artist.
  • • If you worked with another artist, state that the artwork was the result of a collaboration and provide the other artist’s name.

Charlotte Lindsey and Carol Wilder

Dallas Executive Airport, Terminal Lobby (formerly Redbird Airport), 2003-2006

“The objective of this project was to work with GRW Willis Architects to identify ways art could be incorporated into the new building. This terrazzo floor design is composed of elements and symbols from aeronautical charts. Curved and straight lines radiate from the design through the glass entryways on both sides of the lobby. The artwork was designed to compliment the angles and lines of this metallic building. This project was designed in collaboration with Carol Wilder.”


• Three academic/professional references

• Contact information only; no letters of reference

• Include mailing address, phone number, and e-mail

what happens next
What happens next?

1) Public art program staff reviews submissions

2) All materials from artists who meet the published qualifications are are reviewed by the selection panel

  • 3)The Artist Selection Panel is composed of five/six voting members, three artists/arts professionals and two community members.
  • 4) Panel may also include advisory members, such as the project manager or other City of Dallas staff, Cultural Affairs Commissioners and additional members of the community.
  • 5) The panel reviews the images, letters, and résumés and selects a “short list” of typically three artists.
  • 6)These “short-listed” artists are asked to develop site-specific proposals for review at a second panel meeting.
understand the process
Understand the process

While Public Art Program staff encourages artists, please realize that we must keep the process fair for all everyone:

  • We are not able to grant deadline extensions.
  • We are not able to give out contact information for selection panelists.
  • We will not give one artist more information about a project/site than another.
  • We can answer questions at the artist selection panel meetings but cannot advocate for a particular artist.
  • We are not able to disclose which artist was selected for a project until the selection has been approved by both the Public Art Committee and the Cultural Affairs Commission.
  • We have to work within schedules set by other City departments and wait for necessary information and authorization to proceed to the next step.

Understand that a completely different artist selection panel is appointed for each project:

  • Community members respond based on their own experiences.
proposal development
Proposal Development
  • Congratulations you have been selected to develop a site-specific concept design-NOW WHAT?
scope of project
Scope of Project
  • Artist will prepare a conceptual design proposal comprised of drawings, digital renderings or, where applicable, a maquette, for a site-specific work or series of works at one of the proposed locations.
  • Proposed artwork must be responsive to the published scope of the project, for example
  • Coombs Creek 
  • Be highly visible in the landscape,
  • Not be highly visible to private residences along the trail,
  • Respond to the history, environment, vegetation, fauna or current location within the City of Dallas of the Oak Cliff community and the Coombs Creek Trail,
  • Complement the existing elements of the trail landscape and environment,
  • Be resistant to graffiti and vandalism,
  • Be durable-the work should have a life span of at least 20 years,
  • Require little or no maintenance,
  • Be free of safety hazards for bikers, hikers and anyone using the trail,
  • Comply with trail requirements,
  • Works need to compete with the trees and the scale needs to be taken into consideration.
  • There is no electrical access at these locations.
the concept design
The Concept Design
  • The Artist Selection Panel and Community Feedback provided by Public art Staff will be provided to the artist. The artist will provide a copy of a site-specific concept design to the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Staff on or before October 17, 2014 for review and approval by the Selection Panel, the Public Art Committee and the Cultural Affairs Commission in November 2014.
  • Artist will perform all services in accordance with the following conditions:
  • Will prepare and present a visual illustration (digital images or maquette) of the proposed artwork and materials for the artwork as well as a written description, estimated budget and proposed timeline for fabrication and installation to the Office of Cultural Affairs Public Art Staff. All services are subject to the approval of the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, in accordance with the City of Dallas Cultural Policy. The tasks identified in this contract must be completed between the following dates: August 29 to October 17, 2014.
the selection process
The Selection Process
  • Review by the Selection Panel
  • Review by the Public Art Committee
  • Review by the Cultural Affairs Commission
  • Approval by City Council
questions often asked during the selection process
Questions often asked during the Selection Process
  • Can the project be done for the budget and time line?
  • Don’t propose use of materials you are not familiar with.
  • Can the concept be engineered?
  • Are there any safety issues with the proposal
  • Will it hold up for 20 years?
  • Does the design inhibit inappropriate interaction?
  • Is it appropriate for the viewers
  • Does it have a maintenance plan?
  • How does it reflect the community?
congratulations you have been selected for the project
Congratulations! You have been selected for the project!
  • The Contracting Process
  • The Project timeline
  • Installing the Project
  • Documenting the project
things you need to know
Things you need to know
  • Insurance for artists
  • Engineering reports
  • Fabricators
  • Installers
  • Working with the team-effective communication
  • Invoicing