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Coral Gables Public Safety Building Seeks Artists

Posted by City of Coral Gables ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Coral Gables Public Safety Building Seeks Artists




The City of Coral Gables requests qualifications from professional working artists for consideration to create iconic artwork for the City’s new Public Safety Building. Artwork is sought that serves as a memorial to and honors our public safety professionals. The selected artist/artist team will be required to work
directly with Public Safety officials prior to developing concept proposals.

BUDGET: $400,000
ELIGIBILITY: Professional artists over 18
DEADLINE: May 15, 2020

About Coral Gables, Florida
The City of Coral Gables, The City Beautiful, is a progressive, international, coastal, and historic City. Coral Gables has a population of 51,000 residents, has a vibrant downtown, and is home to the University of Miami. It is proud to be ranked by ninth out of America’s Top 25 Towns to Live Well, and America’s sixth most successful walkable suburb by the Wall Street Journal.

The City of Coral Gables is unique among the communities of Miami-Dade County in that it can trace its beginning to the early 20th century City Beautiful movement. The spirit of the City Beautiful movement was rooted in the notion that if cities were to be the centers of American progress then the infrastructure of those cities should be something that was celebrated. From tree plantings, to a robust street construction program, to key infill investments in the downtown core, the City of Coral Gables carries on that legacy today in its approach to public works and planning.

In the past three decades, the City has experienced healthy growth, which bolstered the economic base. Growth in the commercial sector has brought in new activities for residents, including nighttime entertainment, live music, new retail options, and casual and fine dining. It has also helped maintain low
property taxes. Today, Coral Gables is home to approximately 155 multinationals and 26 consulates and trade offices.

The City supports the residential and business sectors with excellent City services, having attained the highest possible standards in every field. In fact, Coral Gables is the only City in the State of Florida and one of only two cities nationwide to have a Class 1 Fire Department, a fully-accredited Police Department, and the highest awarded Building and Zoning Department rating. In addition, Coral Gables has been named a “Tree City USA” for 26 consecutive years, has an award-winning Communications Division, and offers a comprehensive Parks and Recreation program.

Project Description
The City of Coral Gables is completing construction of a new, state of the art Public Safety Building to replace a deteriorating existing Public Safety Administration Building. The new building will function as the City’s Police Headquarters and Administration Department, Fire Department Administration
Department, 911 Call Center and First Responders Dispatch Center, EOC Command and Operations, and Fire Station 1.

The site is 39,387 sf and is bound by 3 roads, Alcazar Avenue, Salzedo Street and Minorca Avenue, which provides great accessibility, visibility, and the advantage of being within the urban City core. The new facility consists of a single five-story building and an adjacent secured parking garage. Impact to the neighborhood is anticipated to be minimal.

The New Public Safety Building will function as an office facility, but also operate 24 hours, 7 days per week as the Police Headquarters and Fire Station 1. The development will comply with all applicable laws and ordinances; including Green Buildings sustainable design practices and LEED Silver certification.

The new Public Safety Building is designed by AECOM Technical Services, Inc. with the following highlights:

  • Designed for 116,000 square feet with additional parking
  • Replaces a deteriorating facility at another location
  • Includes an accessible main plaza and lobby
  • Offers sustainable, state-of-the-art emergency preparedness and training center
  • Addresses today’s public safety needs and tomorrow’s technology
  • Holds six bays for fire vehicles

Artwork Goals
Artwork is sought that serves as a memorial to fallen officers and firefighters while honoring all public safety officials. A design that includes a water feature is preferred. Public art opportunities include:

  • Plaza enhancement (such as paving or terrazzo)
  • Free standing sculpture
  • Water element
  • Limited interior space in the lobby for possible related artwork


  • RFQ Submission Deadline: May 15, 2020
  • Qualifications Reviewed / Short Listed Artists / Interviews: June, 2020
  • Select Artist Interviews: June/July, 2020
  • Artist Confirmed & Contracted: July, 2020
  • Concept Proposal Development: Summer, 2020
  • Concept Proposals Submitted: October, 2020
  • Concept Proposal Presentation to Arts Advisory Panel: Fall, 2020
  • Concept Proposal Presentation to Cultural Development Board: Fall, 2020
  • Concept Proposal Presentation to City Commission: Fall, 2020
  • Concept Confirmed & Contracted: Fall, 2020
  • Selected Artist 75%-100% Design Complete: Fall/Winter, 2020
  • Fabrication: Winter/Spring, 2021
  • Installation: Spring, 2021

Selection Process
Members of the City’s Arts Advisory Panel will evaluate artist qualifications as set forth in the Coral Gables Art in Public Places Program: Funding, Goals and Implementation Guidelines. A list of artists will be selected to interview remotely, followed by a short-list of artists invited for a site visit and interviews with public safety officials. Based on current travel restrictions and public health protocol, the second phase of interviews and subsequent work may take place remotely with designated public safety officials making the final selection of an artist or artist team to work with.

The selected artist will enter into an agreement with the City to work directly with Public Safety officials and develop design concept proposals for the City to consider. Once a proposal is agreed upon and approved by the City Commission, the artist or artist team will enter into a separate agreement for final design drawings, fabrication, and installation.

Qualifying Artist Criteria

  • Meets the definition of professional artist, which is defined as “an individual generally recognized by critics and peers as a professional practitioner of the visual arts, as judged by the quality of that professional practitioner’s body of work, educational background, experience, past public commissions, exhibition record, publications, receipt of honors and awards, training in the arts, and production of artwork.”
  • Demonstrates artistic excellence, innovation and originality as represented in past work and supporting materials.
  • Demonstrates interest in and understanding of the project.
  • Demonstrates interest and capability in creating public artworks in collaboration with the design team (if applicable) and other project partners.
  • Demonstrates experience in successfully completing works of similar scope, scale, budget and complexity, or ability to articulate how he or she would be able to bring the necessary artistic and technical skills to this project.
  • Demonstrates ability to communicate effectively with the City of Coral Gables staff, other project partners and the community.
  • Demonstrates the potential to work in a public environment and animate public space.
  • Demonstrates capacity for working in media and with concepts that are appropriate to the project goals and site.
  • Is available to perform the scope of the work in a timely and professional manner

What to Submit

  1. Letter of Interest
  2. Biography & Artist Statement
  3. Artist Resume
  4. Ten Images of Completed Work
  5. Professional References

We encourage third parties, including gallery representatives, to submit qualifications on behalf of an artist. Following the RFQ process, follow-ups, contracts, and concept proposal requests will be communicated directly with the artist or their studio designee.

How to Submit

Submit online only, via Submittable.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Catherine Cathers, Arts & Culture Specialist, 305.460-5094 or



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