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.


Houston Arts Alliance on behalf of City of Houston Parking Management Division

Designs for Art Parking Meters

Deadline: Friday, September 23, 2016, 11:59 p.m. (CST)

Artist Commission: $10,000 design fee for ten meters, total

Eligibility: Open to all artists living in the Greater Houston area

Project Locations: On Allen Parkway, between Downtown and Taft Street, alongside Buffalo Bayou Park

1. Summary

Houston Arts Alliance (HAA), the City of Houston General Services Department (GSD) and City of Houston Parking Management Department (Client) invite professional artists to submit digital wrap designs for ten new Parking Management solar parking meters.

One or more artists will be commissioned for the ten meters (found on Allen Parkway, between Downtown and Taft Street, alongside Buffalo Bayou Park). Original artworks will be printed onto adhesive vinyl wraps and applied to the chassis’ of each parking meter. Printing and installation of the wraps will be accomplished through a company contracted by HAA.

The successful project will:

  • Possess high artistic merit and have imagery appropriate for view by the public realm;
  • Require artists to collaborate with HAA, Parking Management and Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) in the generation of multiple designs (toward the realization of the end result); and
  • Have the ability to address multiple meters with visual cohesion and variety.

2. Budget and Scope of Work

The selected artist(s) will receive a fee of up to $10,000 (for up to 10 parking meters). This fee includes the following:

  • Up to three client meetings and up to two fabricator meetings;
  • The artist(s) providing sample designs—for up to two artwork options—for final selection and approval. Selected artwork will be continuous on each of the ten meters, with the option of variety at each (but keeping the overall theme of the artwork).
  • The artist(s) providing digital files that meet manufacturer printing specifications. (A design template will be provided.)

The parking meter costs of fabrication, installation, and transportation will be the responsibility of the Client and the company contracted to wrap the meters, not the artist(s). Selected artist(s) will be expected to receive feedback from the Client on their design draft and integrate that feedback where necessary. PLEASE NOTE: Commercial liability insurance is not required.

3. Evaluation Criteria

  • Artistic quality: Artist(s) or artist-led teams of the highest artistic caliber, as demonstrated by examples of past work
  • Responsiveness: Letter of intent, examples of past work, proposal images, and final artwork both successfully address the overall goals of the project and aesthetically integrate with Buffalo Bayou Park (buffalobayou.org).
  • Project management ability: Artists(s) demonstrate that the artist or artist-led team has the necessary capabilities to accomplish the project; ability to collaborate with the Client; and capacity to both create and deliver the digital design files on schedule.

4. Eligibility

  • Artists living and working within the Greater Houston area are eligible.
  • Staff, board, advisory board, committee and immediate family members of Houston Arts Alliance (as well as the City of Houston) are ineligible to apply.
  • Applicants not meeting all eligibility criteria will be withdrawn from consideration.

5. Application Requirements

  • Resume, no more than three pages.
  • Letter of Intent, to include contact information and a description of how the artist(s) intends to meet the criteria listed above (1,500 words maximum).
  • Work Examples: Up to twenty (20) samples of previous work. Only JPEGs up to 5 MB in size will be accepted. Draft sketches or digital images of possible concepts may be included.
  • Image List for all Work Examples, to include artist name(s), title, date completed (where applicable), dimensions, and material/medium.

All documents should be in (at least) 12-point font, single-spaced, with a minimum ½” margin.

If selected, artist(s) will be required to sign an agreement for the project, with HAA, and follow project guidelines. A sample agreement is available by request. Images of the parking meters are available at http://houstonartsalliance.com/publicart/opportunities/.

6. Submission

To submit, visit https://houstonartsalliance.submittable.com/submit.

7. Timeline

  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016: RFQ released
  • Friday, September 23, 2016, 11:59 p.m. (CST): RFQ submission deadline
  • By Friday, September 30, 2016: Selection panel meeting
  • By Wednesday, October 26, 2016: Proposals are voted on by the HAA Civic Art Committee
  • By Monday, November 7, 2016: Proposals are voted on by the HAA Board of Directors
  • By Friday, November 11, 2016: Final approval of artist selection by Client
  • By Monday, November 14, 2016: Finalist notification
  • By Friday, November 18, 2016: Contracting with HAA and artist(s) is complete
  • By Friday, December 2, 2016: Artist(s) and Client meet to review draft designs and discuss feedback
  • By Saturday, January 1, 2017: Deadline to deliver digital files for fabrication (at/to manufacturer specifications)
  • January 2017: Wrapping of the parking meters by a contracted company

PLEASE NOTE: This schedule is subject to change.

Any questions pertaining to this Request for Qualifications should be submitted in writing—via email—no later than 5 p.m. (CST), Wednesday, September 21, 2016 to civicart@haatx.com. Required subject line: “Parking Meters 2016.”

Parking Meter Image: http://houstonartsalliance.com/images/uploads/main/Art_Meters_-_Dimensions.jpg

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: Bimonthly, approximately 2 weeks before an HAA Civic Art Committee (CAC) meeting
Committee Review: Bimonthly
Notification of Review Results: Bimonthly

Upcoming Deadlines

CAC meeting dates and Temporary Placement of Art on City Property application deadlines for HAA’s 2016-2017 fiscal year are forthcoming. Please contact civicart@haatx.com if you have questions about submitting applications before the 2016-2017 deadlines are announced.

*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.

2017 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool (for Civic Art Commission Request for Qualifications)

Eligibility: International

Issued: Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Extended Deadline:      Friday, September 23, 2016, 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 2017 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool. The Houston Prequalified Artist Pool will be used to select artists for a range of permanent public art projects associated with the construction of new civic buildings, parks, and other areas within the City of Houston. Prequalified artists will be invited to send proposals in response to HAA Requests for Proposals.

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 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool is to provide a streamlined application and selection process for 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 pool. HAA is then able to utilize the pool, in whole, or in part, for artwork opportunities. Selection from the pool is not an exclusive way for artists to be considered for artwork commission. Additional open calls may be posted for individual projects. A selection panel will be convened for each individual project to review the qualified candidates and make short list recommendations.

The list of artists in the pool 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); 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 Prequalified Artist Pool, “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 Artist Selection Panel will consist of regional and national public art professionals.

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 2017 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool.

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

7. Applicant Notification

Applicants to the 2017 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool are expected to be notified of their status by mid December 2016.

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 and no larger than 1600 x 1500 pixels in size. 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 www.houstonartsalliance.submittable.com/submit.

10. Timeline

  • Wednesday, July 6, 2016: RFQ released
  • Wednesday, September 21, 2016: Deadline for questions
  • Friday, September 23, 2016: RFQ submission deadline
  • By Tuesday, November 8, 2016: RFQ selection panel 
  • By Wednesday, November 16, 2016: Selected artists are presented for a vote to the HAA Civic Art Committee
  • By Monday, December 5, 2016: Selected artists are presented for a vote to the HAA Board of Directors
  • Mid December 2016: Finalists are notified in writing, by HAA
  • January 2017 – December 2017: Artists in the 2017 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool are considered for civic art commissions and are invited to submit proposals for specific projects
  • July 2017: Application cycle for the 2018 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool opens

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

12. Contact

For questions about the 2017 Houston Prequalified Artist Pool, 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.