Request for QUALIFICATIONS : Public Art

DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 15, 2017 by 5:00:00PM CST

Crowd Funded Public Art Sculpture for the Plaza District Association

Not to exceed $5,000 for the design, creation, and installation of an exterior public art piece

5:00PM, September 15, 2017

Click here to Submit RFQ

The Plaza District Association announces this call for professional artists to submit their qualifications and be considered for a crowd funded public art piece in the Plaza District.  The District Association will select an artist or team of artists interested in co-authorship of the public art landscape in the Plaza District.

The Plaza District Association works to develop the Plaza District as a vibrant commercial district where arts, local business and neighborhood community thrives. This mission is achieved by:

  • promoting the district to a wide audience through events and marketing
  • encouraging investment in the district through property and business location
  • working with the City of Oklahoma City to address the needs of the district
  • engaging the neighborhood and community to support the progress of the district
  • creating place and opportunity for the community to interact with the arts and artists

The Plaza District Festival is the District Association’s largest annual catalyst, generating awareness, affinity, and funds necessary for the ever-growing Plaza. We’re expecting between 25,000 and 30,000 people to attend this year’s Plaza District Festival, Saturday, September 30, and be introduced to our unique restaurants, retail shops, Oklahoma artists, and cultural experiences.  The festival will feature visual, culinary and performing Oklahoma artists on 16th Street between Indiana and Blackwelder, in addition to a dedicated children’s area with free, hands-on activities.  The Plaza District Association is proud to jury quality artists as exhibitors and select the most popular and diverse musicians and food trucks in order to draw thousands of consumers to our area. The Festival will boast at least eight popular food trucks in addition to ten Plaza District restaurants.

Returning for the third year in a row, ‘Sponsored by YOU’ is a crowdfunding initiative that gives the local community a chance to support and take ownership of the Plaza District Festival. ‘Sponsored by YOU’ donations are accepted online at By accepting individual online micro-donations, the Plaza District Association will recognize the community, name by name, as official sponsors of this annual event.  Last year, $4,000 was raised to support Plaza Walls, a curated, rotating mural project in the Plaza District.  20 artists debuted 20 new murals at the Plaza District Festival, covering over 5,200 square feet of walls!  It has received a tremendous amount of support from the surrounding businesses and community – including Mayor Mick Cornett, features on the morning news, Channel 4 and 5, and many publications like Art Focus, Territory and The Oklahoman. 

This year, the Plaza District Association would like to use the ‘Sponsored by YOU’ initiative to fund a public sculpture in the Plaza District. We are hoping to raise $5,000 through micro-donations from supporters who value public art and providing artist opportunities. The selected artist or team of artists will also have the opportunity to present their project at the Plaza District Festival, on September 30.

This opportunity is open to all practicing artists, at least 18 years of age. Artists with prior public art experience who reside in the Oklahoma City area are encouraged to apply. Artists may apply and be considered independently, as part of a team, or both.

Applications will be submitted on

Artist Statement
An artist statement will be required by the artist who will be the principal contact and project manager.  Prepare a brief letter explaining why you want to be a part of this project and what you can contribute to the Plaza District’s culture. If a team, explain the team members’ roles and why your combined experience makes you the best candidates to be considered for this project.

Include a current professional resume for each artist emphasizing your public art experience.

Six Digital Images for each team member
Include six digital images of COMPLETED WORK ONLY (NO RENDERINGS OR PROPOSALS WILL BE ACCEPTED) The six images will be reviewed by the Selection Committee. The initial committee review is “blind”, requiring that no identifying information or the artist/curator or anything but the artwork itself should appear on the images.

Image ID Sheet
An Image ID Sheet to describe your digital images.


- Artistic excellence, originality and ability to produce a consistent body of work, as evidenced by representation of past work in images and other supporting materials.

- Experience with projects of a similar scale and scope.

- Appropriateness of artist’s approach and style to the project’s intent and site.

- Availability to work within project time frame and to be present in Oklahoma City during the design review public meetings.

- Price and current market value of artist(s) work in relation to the scope and value contemplated for this commission.

- Technical feasibility of proposed project.

- Good work habits: ability to meet deadlines, experience with budgeting, good communication skills, good problem solving abilities—as supported by references.

- Important consideration will also be given to: safety, accessibility, durability, maintenance requirements, permanence of materials, protection against vandalism, and timelessness of the artwork proposed by the Artist(s).

- Other criteria as may be established by the jurors--any additional criteria shall be outlined in the jury’s written instructions provided to artist(s) invited to compete in the second stage of the competition.

Artist applications will be evaluated to determine whether the artist(s) involved possesses the creativity, technical skills, and discipline required for this public art project.

Proposers must register with Submittable at in order to submit an electronic proposal. The Plaza District Association recommends potential proposers register and become familiar with the Submittable electronic proposal process in advance of submitting a proposal. There is no charge to the proposer for registering or submitting an electronic proposal through Submittable. Click here to submit your application.

After the submission deadline, artist application materials will be screened by staff to ensure completeness of applications and conformity to the standards outlined in this Call to Artists before presentation to the selection committee. Incomplete submittals will not be considered.
The selection committee will be comprised of:

  • Board President of the Plaza District Association
  • Executive Director of the Plaza District Association
  • Plaza District Festival Co-Chair
  • Classen Ten Penn Neighborhood Stakeholders
  • Oklahoma City Arts Commissioner
  • Professional Artist

The committee will not be announced prior to the jury. The selection committee will be highly involved in the selection of artists and recommendation of project award. At the first selection meeting, the committee will evaluate all submittals to produce a short-list of three to five finalists. The finalists will then be invited to participate in an in-person presentation interview with the selection committee, where the artists can discuss their ideas for the project. The artist may also present dimensioned sketches, renderings and/or a model of their proposed design, along with a detailed budget for all design elements, or a maintenance plan with an estimate of costs to operate and maintain the work proposed.

The following schedule is slated for this Call to Artists. Please note that The Plaza District Association reserves the right, as deemed necessary, at its sole discretion to adjust this schedule by written notice to the Artists who have registered to receive notifications through Submittable.  All artists are strongly encouraged to register on Submittable as soon as you know you’re interested in this project.

August 15 - RFQ Release

September 4 - Sponsored by YOU campaign begins

September 15 - RFQ deadline

September 20 - Artist notification

September 30 - Festival, featured area for the artist + donation capacity

TBD by Contract - Design Review and Installation

The artist recommended by the selection committee shall be required to enter into contract with the Plaza District Association for the entire duration of the project. Depending on the specific scope of the project, prior to the issuance and throughout the duration of the contract, the artist/curator shall be required to maintain insurance, as required by the Plaza District Association. 

The selected artist must be willing to negotiate a contract satisfactory to the Plaza District Association. In the event the Plaza District Association is unable or unwilling to successfully negotiate with the artist submitting the best entry, the Plaza District Association reserves the option of rejecting the artist and negotiating with the artist submitting the next best entry. In an attempt to satisfy the legal requirements of the Plaza District Association, the contract will require that artist waives rights under the Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA); however, after the written waiver, the Plaza District Association is willing to reinstate to the artist certain VARA Trademark rights. The extent of VARA rights to be reinstated is open for negotiation between the Plaza District Association and the artist; however failure to come to terms on this issue will preclude the contract award to the artist.

Plaza District