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Arlington, VA Seeks Artist for Shade Structure Public Art

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Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Arlington, VA Seeks Artist for Shade Structure Public Art


Arlington County, Virginia is accepting qualifications from artists or artist teams interested in a shade structure public art opportunity at Oakland Park, located in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington, VA. The selected artist/team will design, fabricate, and install a permanent work of art that will function as a shading element in the park that is being upgraded for enhanced user experience.

Oakland Park was one of several pocket parks planned for the County as part of a smart growth plan from the 1980s. Originally named Oakland Mini-Park, the park was surrounded by a wooden split-rail fence. At the time it was founded, the park had few trees until the 1990s when a neighborhood resident-led initiative worked with Arlington County Parks and Recreation to plant more trees which are in abundance today.  The park is predominately used by young people and retirees who reside in the neighborhood for a number of activities including pedestrian traffic, dog walking, gathering, play, picnics, feeding the homeless, recreation, Easter egg hunts, and children’s crafts. Arlington County Parks & Recreation will be upgrading the Park to include new site furnishings, pervious paving, ornamental plantings, and new park signs. Public art in the form of a shading element will be a welcome and iconic addition to the park.

Public Art Goals
The design concept and the completed work of art shall:

  • Consist of a vertical element which provides some degree of shade for park visitors.
  • Serve as a focal point for the southwest corner of the park and a counterpoint or bookend to the large tree in the park’s northeast corner.
  • Complement the materials palette selected for park improvements and enhance user’s experience of the passive use space.
  • Make a statement that relates to the sense of place associated with the park.
  • Provide a whimsical, natural, and non-sterile addition to the park.
  • Demonstrate structural and surface soundness, durability, and resistance to vandalism, weathering, excessive maintenance, and repair costs.
  • Meet ADA standards.


The total project budget, including artist design fee, materials, fabrication, engineering, installation, travel and expenses, is $85,000.

Professional artists and design professionals are invited to apply as individuals or teams. Candidates must have collaborative, project team experience working with other artists and design professionals (engineers, architects, urban planners, landscape architects) on similar public art projects.

July 8, 2016……………………………………………Announcement of RFQ
August 8, 2016, 5:00 PM EST……………………….Deadline for receipt of application materials
week of August 15, 2016…………………………….Review of qualifications and artist selection
August – October, 2016………………………………Concept development
late Fall 2016…………………………………………..Construction drawings completed for permitting
late Fall 2016 – spring 2017…………………………Fabrication
summer 2017……………………………………….…Installation

Selection Criteria
The panel will use the following criteria to make their selection:

  • Artistic merit as evidenced by submitted digital representation of past work.
  • Appropriateness of the artist’s medium, style, and previous professional experience as they relate to the goals and opportunities of this project.
  • Experience with projects of similar scale and scope, including a demonstrated ability to successfully collaborate with public agencies, engage in a successful public review process, work well with diverse community groups, and plan and carry out successful community engagement
  • The ability of the artist to successfully work within the project timeline and budget.

The Panel will review qualified applicants’ submitted materials and make a recommendation for the commission. The Panel may also decide to recommend a short-list of artists who will be invited to be interviewed and/or create site specific proposals for a design fee. Following reference checks, the Panel will recommend a single artist/team to the Public Art Committee (PAC) of the Arlington Commission for the Arts for selection. Upon the PAC’s review, the selected artist/team will be issued a design contract. The selected artist/team will be required to present a final design proposal and/or maquette to the Art Advisory Panel and the PAC for review, prior to issuance of a contract for fabrication and installation.

How to Apply
Qualifications must be submitted through SlideRoom, an online system for applying to requests for qualifications. There is no charge to artists to use SlideRoom. If you are a first time user, please allow adequate time to learn the system. Qualifications will not be accepted after the deadline. To submit
your qualifications for consideration for this project, go to Sign up for a free SlideRoom account and then navigate to Public Art and search for Oakland Park Public Art Project. A complete submission must include all the information and materials described. All
materials can only be submitted through SlideRoom.

Please review the full Request for Qualifications document for complete project, site and application information.

Questions?  Contact Elizabeth Carriger, Public Art Project Manager,, 703-228-3771.


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