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Cedar Rapids Convention Center Seeks Light-Based Public Art

Posted by City of Cedar Rapids ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Cedar Rapids Convention Center Seeks Light-Based Public Art




The City of Cedar Rapids, Iowa is requesting proposals for a public art installation to be located in the City of Cedar Rapids Convention Center and U.S. Cellular Center Complex. An enclosed glass room that protrudes over 1st Avenue NE, commonly referred to as “the Lantern,” has been selected by the VAC as the future location of a high-profile work of public art that will further the mission of the VAC by enhancing the vitality and identity of the community, thereby improving the quality of life of those who live in or visit Cedar Rapids.

Budget: $100,000
Eligibility: Professional artists over 18
Deadline: 09/05/2019 5:00 PM Central Time

Project Description
The proposed artwork must be site-specific, taking into account the site’s various elements. The artist must commit to the outlined time schedule associated with the project. The artist must be willing to sign an artist agreement with the City of Cedar Rapids at the time of being chosen as the artist. Artist must be able to provide proof of professional liability insurance. The artist must be willing to travel or submit additional information. The artist must be willing to engage with the selection committee to refine and design the final art piece. The artist must agree to payment within 30 day of delivery or secure a performance bond for the completion of the piece. The artist will negotiate a contract with the City of Cedar Rapids which identifies a payment schedule based upon agreed upon deliverables.

Artists are responsible for the installation of the art piece within the timeframe. The artist is responsible for assuring that the costs of installation including shipping, materials, lighting, lifts etc. are within the allotted $100,000 budget.

Artwork Goals

  • The artwork should have an aesthetic interest in daylight and at night.
  • The selection committee will show preference for artwork that utilizes programmable, kinetic, and colorful eco-friendly lighting.
  • The design shall be suitable and acceptable for public viewing of all ages.
  • The artwork should be an original piece of work and unique to the Convention Center Complex and the City of Cedar Rapids.
  • The artwork should be sensitive to and complement the site.
  • The artwork must not exceed the allotted budget of $100,000 and must include installation, creation, lighting, transportation, etc. Additional costs will not be reimbursed by the City of Cedar Rapids.
  • Artwork should be durable and low maintenance.

Artwork Location Description
The Lantern serves as the downtown view terminus to our community’s “main street,” 3rd Street SE, and thus is one of the most visible sites in Cedar Rapids.


  • Qualifications Submission Deadline: September 5, 2019
  • Selection of Finalist(s): September 12, 2019
  • Proposal Deadline: November 4, 2019
  • Final Selection of Artist: November 14, 2019
  • Artist Meetings 1-3: TBD
  • Completion and Installation: Summer 2020

Selection Process
The RFQ is an opportunity for the artist to complete the application and demonstrate their desire and commitment to the project. While the artist will be required to work with the selection committee, the artist should state their desired approach to the project including suggested materials and lighting in the submission. Finalists will be chosen and asked to create a physical or digital model for review by the selection committee. After review, the selection committee will choose one artist to work with to complete the project.

The selected artist will meet with the selection committee via conference call, video call, or in person depending on the artist’s location, at least three times between being selected and the summer of 2020. During the meeting times the selection team will work with the artist to review and refine the artwork. The artist will provide progress updates of the design each week to review at the meeting.

Selection Criteria
The selection committee will show preference for artwork that utilizes programmable, kinetic, and colorful eco-friendly lighting.

What to Submit

  1. A statement of interest in the project outlining the artist’s vision for the space and the preliminary concept for the art piece. (500 words or less)
  2. A resume or CV demonstrating your relevant work experience, particularly public art or privately funded commission projects.
  3. Two Letters of Recommendation from previous clients.
  4. A portfolio of work showing at least 6 different original works by the artist. The portfolio may include conceptual works or proposals but should also include installed pieces. The portfolio should demonstrate the artist’s ability to complete the project and should help the selection committee understand the style, material, and colors that the artist would work with. Images must conform to CaFÉ guidelines. Artists must represent 6 different pieces of artwork they have created. Different angles of the same art pieces will impact the ranking of the proposal. The images should demonstrate similar pieces of art based on size and scale comparable to the size of the Convention Center Complex. Additional images will not be accepted via email.

Submitting a proposal does not guarantee the applicant to be awarded the project. All calls are subject to change in details including timeline, budget, and project teams prior to the final selection of an artist and a formal contract agreement. All incomplete applications will be disqualified. No additional materials may be submitted nor will they be accepted by mail, fax, or email. The City of Cedar Rapids is not responsible for applications not received through the CaFÉ website.

How to Submit
Submissions are ONLINE ONLY through the CaFE system.  Any additional information submitted via email or mail will not be accepted.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Eric Pate, 319-286-5115 or


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