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Artist Sought for Decorative Railing Project

Posted by City of Johnson City ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artist Sought for Decorative Railing Project



The Public Art Committee of Johnson City, Tennessee, is seeking qualifications from artists or art teams for the commission of a decorative railing in a pollination-themed park in downtown Johnson City.

Budget Description
The selected artist will be paid up to $118,500 for the commissioned work. Artists are responsible for own travel costs, materials, housing, and personal liability insurance.

This opportunity is open to all professional artists over the age of 18. Artists are allowed to apply in teams. Artists applying as a team must split the allotted number of work examples between themselves.

Project Description

Johnson City, with an elevation of over 2000 feet, is located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It is surrounded by farmland, undulating hills, lush valleys, and many lakes and rivers. Johnson City has an abundance of unspoiled natural beauty and four distinct seasons.

The eighth-largest city in Tennessee, with a population of 65,000, Johnson City was founded in 1856 and later became a major rail hub for the Southeast.  Johnson City is distinguished as a community that embraces art, the environment, commerce, science, community, and education. It is home to a broad-based economy and to East Tennessee State University.

Johnson City is restoring and enhancing a portion of the Brush and King Creek watersheds through the development of a new park in the heart of the city. With a focus on sustainability, stormwater mitigation, and pollination, the park design will allow for increased storm water storage capacity and include features such as terraced grass areas with stone seat walls, on-street parking utilizing permeable pavers, a loop trail, glowing pathway, LED lighting, plaza areas, and native landscaping. The park will also include a new mural on an adjacent building, and future interactive art pieces and water features.

The design includes three wall sections that will require protective guardrails, located over the three culvert headwalls. It is the desire of the Johnson City Public Art Committee that these railings be public art pieces that complement the park design and further integrate the themes of sustainability and the watershed environment. The guardrails shall be decorative metal railings, utilizing materials that will withstand exposure to water during flooding conditions, and not be malleable by the human hand. The support posts shall be core drilled and grouted into the wall cap (in the field) to accommodate the proposed railing design. Building code requires the guardrail height to be 42 inches tall, and have no openings that will allow a 4 inch sphere to pass through. The approximate length of the three railings is as follows.

Railing #1 (Culvert at King Street) – 30’-6”
Railing #2 (Culvert at McClure Street) – 102’-0”
Railing #3 (Culvert at Commerce Street) – 160’-0”

The selected artist will be responsible for providing design (including structural design and post spacing), fabrication and installation. The artist will coordinate with the General Contractor on installation. In the qualifications statement, the artist shall demonstrate previous experience with installed pieces, similar in style and scale to this project. Three finalists will be selected to provide a more detailed proposal, including design concept, budget information and a maintenance plan.

Application Requirements

  • Resume: 1 page(s) maximum
  • Work examples: 10
  • Letter of Interest: 500-word maximum
  • References: 3


Selection Criteria
The Johnson City Public Art Committee will review the qualifications of applicant artists and will select up to three finalists. Each finalist will then be paid a $500 stipend for a proposal. Their selections will be based on the following criteria:

• Artistic excellence as demonstrated in 10 digital images of the artist(s) previous work
• Experience in design and installation of projects of a similar type and scale
• Experience working in community settings
• Willingness to meet all contractual guidelines
• The use of content appropriate for all audiences
• Ability to interact with public for educational purposes


  • Deadline for Application: January 9, 2017
  • Notification of three finalists: January 16, 2017
  • Finalist Proposals Due: February 6, 2017
  • Final Artist Selection: February 16, 2017
  • Final park construction completion:  July 26, 2017 (the railing must be complete and installed prior to the park opening)

When submitting your RFQ, please confirm that you can work within the construction schedule noted above.

How to Apply

Submit a digital packet at under the “Call For Entries” tab. Applications will NOT be accepted by postal pail.
Do NOT send applications by email.

Additional Resources
Download the full RFQ and project visuals at

QUESTIONS?  Contact Cheyenne Peavler,