Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is the local nonprofit arts and culture agency that enhances the city’s quality of life through advancing and investing in the arts and diverse cultural programming. The work of HAA encourages Houston’s development and shapes its global reputation by fostering tourism and supporting and promoting the city’s creative economy.

HAA distributes grants to approximately 220 nonprofit arts organizations and individual artists each year. In addition, HAA manages the City of Houston Art Collection of over 500 artworks, as well as commissions, new acquisitions and conservation.

1. Summary
Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) and the City of Houston (The City) support the community’s desire to place temporary works of art on City property. Each City Department has discretion over temporary art within its jurisdiction and sole responsibility to review matters of safety. At the request of the City Department, HAA will serve in an advisory capacity during the review process and recommend pieces for placement on their property. For projects proposed in the TXDot right-of-way, please email civicart@haatx.com for their additional guidelines.

The City may permit temporary placement of a work of art on City property for a period of time not to exceed 90 days, subject to the approval of the Director of the City Department having jurisdiction over the site upon which the work of art will be placed. The Director may extend the temporary placement for two consecutive periods of time not to exceed 90 days each, for a total of 270 days.

If the department determines that there is a safety issue, the organization or individual proposing the exhibition will be required to have an engineer’s seal. Drawings with an engineer’s seal will be required for artwork consisting of vertical structures over eight feet, surfaces subject to displacement by wind, structures requiring a foundation, sharp surfaces or any other safety concern. These drawings can be submitted to HAA for review after the project has been approved.

The cost of the installation and de-installation of the artwork will be paid by the applicant. The artist or proposing organization is responsible for maintenance and for any damage to the artwork during the time the artwork is on view. The applicant may also be required to pay a bond conditioned on the timely removal of the artwork.

Please note that this application is for outdoor works only. Should you like to propose a temporary display of work inside a City building, please contact the relevant City department directly.

2. Application Requirements

  1. Proposal letter (three-page maximum) including the following:
    • Contact information from the proposing artist or organization;
    • Artwork description including: title and year completed, artist name, artwork medium/material, dimensions and weight. For video, performance and time-based media, artwork duration is also requested;
    • Specific location(s) of proposed installation;
    • Installation plan - specify materials, equipment and utilities to be used;
    • Site maintenance plan - specify schedule and method of upkeep;
    • A detailed timetable covering placement and removal of the artwork and a clear commitment for its timely removal and plan to return site to original condition.
  2. Photographic Documentation of the artwork, showing all views. For new works, please include detailed drawings or renderings; Up to 10 images.
  3. Artist C.V. or Resume; up to three pages;
  4. Drawings with an engineer’s seal will be required for artwork consisting of vertical structures over eight feet, surfaces subject to displacement by wind, structures requiring a foundation, sharp surfaces or any other safety concern.

All text documents should be in at least a 12 point font, single-spaced, with at least a ½” margin as Microsoft Word Documents (.doc) or Adobe PDF (.pdf). Images must be in Jpeg format. All files must be readable using Microsoft Windows.

3. Application Submission
To complete the application form and submit your application requirements, please visit: https://houstonartsalliance.submittable.com/submit

4. Submission Schedule
Application Due: Monthly, approximately 2 weeks before an HAA Civic Art Committee (CAC) meeting
Committee Review: Monthly
Notification of Review Results: Monthly

Upcoming Deadlines

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, January 4, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. CST

*Please note that CAC meeting dates are subject to change.

5. Review Process

  1. Submit a temporary art proposal to HAA using the Submittable application.
  2. Proposals will be reviewed by the HAA Civic Art Committee during their bi-monthly meeting. HAA will perform an aesthetic, content and material review of the proposal for the affected city department.
  3. Proposals which pass the review will be recommended to the affected City Department or to TXDot for installation.
  4. If the proposal is accepted by the affected City Department, a release from the artist or sponsoring organization on a form approved by the City Attorney will be required before installation can begin. If the Director of the affected City Department determines it advisable and requires it, a bond not to exceed $2,000.00 conditioned on the timely removal of the object shall be posted by the applicant.
  5. The affected City Department can issue a permit to install and display the artwork for a period of 90 days, at its own discretion.
  6. The artist or proposing organization will remove the artwork after 90 days and will return the site to its original condition.

PLEASE NOTE: HAA approval DOES NOT guarantee approval by the City department. The affected City department has final discretion over temporary art in their jurisdiction.

For questions or more information regarding the Application for Temporary Placement of Art on City Property, please contact civicart@haatx.com.


2018 Houston Arts Alliance Artist Roster


Issued: Monday, September 18, 2017

Deadline: Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 11:59 p.m. (Central Standard Time)

1. Summary

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA) is Houston’s designated, local arts and culture agency. Through its Civic Art + Design department, HAA manages the process of commissioning, acquiring, and conserving artworks for the City of Houston Art Collection. HAA accomplishes this by entering into contracts with City departments and with affiliated local government corporations, including Houston Airport System and Houston First Corporation. Civic art projects thus constitute a collaboration between HAA and City of Houston departments and corporate entities.

In anticipation of future commissions and opportunities, HAA invites artists and artist teams to submit qualifications for potential inclusion in the 2018 HAA Artist Roster. The roster will be one tool for rapid response artist selection for a range of permanent and temporary public art projects associated with the construction of new civic buildings, parks, and other areas within the City of Houston.

HAA seeks to include visual artists working in a wide variety of media and artistic approaches. Certain projects may also offer opportunities for an artist to work as part of a design team along with the project architect/designer.

2. Purpose

The purpose of the HAA Artist Roster is to provide a streamlined application and selection process for quick turnaround public art project commissions. The process requires one application from interested artists. A panel of public art professionals will convene to consider all eligible applications for selections. Artists will be invited to apply annually. The selection panel will recommend artists to the HAA Civic Art Committee and Board of Directors, who formally approve the artists selected for the roster. HAA is then able to utilize the pool, in whole, or in part, for artwork opportunities. Selection from the Roster is not an exclusive way for artists to be considered for artwork commission. Additional open calls will be posted for individual projects. Selection panels will be convened for each individual project to review the qualified candidates and make short list recommendations.

The list of artists in the Roster and their websites will also be made publicly available for consideration by private developers or independent public art commissioning entities.

3. Evaluation Criteria

  • Artistic quality: Artists or artist-led teams exhibit excellence, innovation, technical experience and originality as demonstrated by examples of past work.
  • Responsiveness: Availability to meet with the design team during the final design phase; willingness to sign contract with HAA upon selection (a contract template is available for review by request); ability to respond effectively to the goals and parameters of particular projects.
  • Demonstrated technical abilities: Ability to successfully execute innovative public art projects in a complex design environment; capability to accomplish the technical aspects of the project.
  • Project management ability: Demonstrated ability to successfully execute a public art project on time and within budget; ability to successfully collaborate with architects, contractors, potential vendors and manufacturers.

4. Eligibility

  • As a global city, this opportunity is open to professional visual artists or artist-led teams from the U.S. and abroad.
  • Houston-area artists, artist-led teams and team members are strongly encouraged to apply. Our goal is for more than half of the selected artists represent the Greater Houston area.
  • Artists who apply as part of a team may not apply as individual artists.
  • Artists must have strong communication skills as well as a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and meet project deadlines.
  • Subcontractors may be used and are defined as parties providing technical implementation including, but not limited to: construction, fabrication and/or assembly for portions of all of a finished product (under direct supervision and control of an artist).
  • Staff, board, advisory board and family members of HAA – as well as the City of Houston, City Council and its affiliate entities – are ineligible to apply.
  • Applications not meeting all eligibility criteria will be withdrawn from consideration.

5. Qualifications

Qualified applicants will have demonstrated experience working with five figure budgets; materials suitable for public indoor or outdoor settings; site-specific design; and collaboration with other artists, design professionals or community members. Certain projects may also offer opportunities for an artist to work as part of a design team along with the project architect/designer.

For the purposes of this open call, “professional artist” is defined as “a practitioner in the visual arts with an original, self-conceptualized body of work, generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional possessing serious intent and ability.”

6. Artist Selection Process

HAA will convene a selection panel to evaluate artist qualifications. The selection panel will consist of arts professionals from the region.

Applicants will first be screened for the following minimum qualification criteria:

  • Complete application;
  • Application submission represents the artist’s own original creative work;
  • Application submission reflects basic professional quality of craftsmanship, mastery of skills/techniques, professional approaches to processes and presentation, and/or communication of a unique vision or perspective; and
  • The artist’s resume reflects evidence of professional competence. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist; an exhibition record in museums, commercial art galleries and/or nonprofit art spaces; previous public or private commissions; and/or participation in artist-in-residency programs (as well as other related activities indicative of a professional practice).

The panel will then use the following criteria to score all remaining eligible portfolios:

  • Artistic excellence;
  • Appropriate imagery or style for public spaces. A broad range of imagery and styles appropriate for a public place may be considered (figurative, representational, abstract or non-objective). Examples of non-appropriate imagery include artwork with religious and sexually explicit content;
  • Professional experience; and
  • Suitability for the City of Houston Art Collection.

Artists that score within a competitive range will be included in the 2018 HAA Artist Roster.

PLEASE NOTE: Inclusion in the roster does not guarantee a commission.

7. Applicant Notification

Applicants to the 2018 HAA Artist Roster are expected to be notified of their status by mid to late January 2018.

8. Application Requirements

  1. Resume of artist(s) and team members (3 page maximum, each).
  2. Letter of Intent: One page only, to include: Your contact information; a brief description of the inspirations/interests reflected in your work; and an executive summary of your professional experience as an artist. You may specifically want to address how that experience may qualify you for public art projects. If you have not previously executed a public art project or worked with permanent outdoor materials, you may want to address how you might envision making this transition. If you are applying as a team, address the justification for the collaboration.
  3. Biography/Artist Statement: 500 words, maximum.
  4. Work Examples: Ten (10) maximum. Digital images should be at least 72 dpi. Video files should be kept to less than three (3) minutes each and should be used to show work that is kinetic or time-based. Please do not submit video documentation of static work or artist interviews. For team applications, please indicate the lead artist for each project. Teams must submit one application and are limited to ten (10) images total. Submit only images of your own original work or collaborative work for which you share ownership credit. Do not submit images of works by other artists for which you played a supportive role (fabricator, engineer, et cetera). Do not include more than two (2) images of the same work. Composite images are acceptable, but please keep them simple and readable.
  5. Image List: To include artist name, title, year completed, dimensions, material and retail or commission budget for each image selected in your portfolio.
  6. References: To include name, phone number and email address for up to three (3) professional contacts – on one page.

All documents should be in at least 12 point font, single spaced, with at least a ½ inch margin.

9. Application Submission

To submit the application components noted above, visit houstonartsalliance.submittable.com/submit.

10. Timeline

  • Monday, September 18, 2017: RFQ released
  • Monday, October 16, 2017: Deadline for questions
  • Wednesday, November 1, 2017: RFQ submission deadline
  • By Monday, December 4, 2017: RFQ selection panel
  • By Friday, December 22, 2017: Selected artists are presented for a vote to the HAA Civic Art Committee
  • By Monday, January 8, 2018: Selected artists are presented for a vote to the HAA Board of Directors
  • Mid-January 2018: Finalists are notified in writing by HAA
  • January 2018 – December 2018: Artists in the 2018 HAA Artist Roster are considered for fast track civic art commissions and are invited to submit proposals for specific projects
  • August 2018: Application cycle for the 2019 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool opens

PLEASE NOTE: This schedule is subject to change at any time.

11. Contact

For questions about the 2018 Houston Arts Alliance Artist Roster, email Sara Kellner, Director of Civic Art + Design, at civicart@haatx.com.


Artists interested in other HAA public art commissions and opportunities are encouraged to visit both http://houstonartsalliance.com/publicart/opportunities/ and Artshound.com. New calls will be posted there as they arise.

All information contained herein does not constitute either an expressed or implied contract. These provisions are subject to change.