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Marion, IA Seeks Artist for Trail Gateway Bridge

Posted by City of Marion ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Marion, IA Seeks Artist for Trail Gateway Bridge


The City of Marion, Iowa, seeks qualified artists or artistic teams that have an interest in creating a gateway feature for the city that is both interesting to the vehicular traffic below AND the pedestrian traffic on the bridge. Through the selection process, the final artwork will be a unique project that creates interest and draws people to Marion.

BUDGET:  $150,000

ELIGIBILITY:  Professional artists at least 18 years of age

DEADLINE:  March 8, 2019

Full RFQ document available at 

About Marion, Iowa

Marion is one of the Midwest’s fastest growing cities. Located just minutes north of Cedar Rapids, Marion prides itself on being the best place in Iowa to raise a family and grow a business. Reach higher and achieve more in Marion. Visit to learn more.


In 2016 the City of Marion entered into an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration for the design and construction of the CeMar Trail, including the replacement of two former railroad bridges. Through a consultant selection process, the City entered into a design contract with Shoemaker Haaland Professional Engineers for environmental studies, trail design, and pedestrian bridge designs. In the Spring of 2018 Substance Architecture was included to produce three bridge designs to be included in a public poll, along with a student driven design through IowaBIG for the future pedestrian bridge over Marion Boulevard only (the bridge over Indian Creek is not being included in the artistic design). In May of 2018, residents were polled on their preferred design, but the ultimate decision of the City Council was to start fresh, with new ideas and new cost estimates. Since June, the Selection Committee has been working with Shoemaker Haaland to scale back the idea of a large bridge design to allow for more prominent features/art to serve as a gateway feature for pedestrian traffic and vehicular traffic alike.

Site Considerations

The site still accommodates the old railroad bridge that will be demolished as soon as environmental approval is received. The newly constructed bridge will be approximately 16-foot-wide, spanning 240 feet with supporting columns sitting outside the sidewalks below. To the west, Cedar Rapids has secured funding to continue the Grant Wood Trail to connect to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail near 51st Street NE. To the east, the trail will be extended through the heart of Uptown Marion and continue east into rural Linn County and then Jones County.

Prior to entering the bridge, the trail is anticipated to curve slightly to create interest and allow for overlook areas with seating, landscaping, and/or additional art. Entering the bridge, the trail will be concrete, 10-foot-wide with 2-foot unpaved shoulders.

Additional Considerations

Any art or features added to the bridge must meet minimum clearance requirements for the roadway beneath and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance over and along the bridge. Enhancement lighting is encouraged but should not flash or scroll to create a distraction to vehicular traffic. Cor-ten steel is not encouraged directly over the roadway due to the anticipated weathering onto the roadway below. Although this is not a request for art alongside the trail on either side of the bridge, art is allowed to filter off the bridge to the adjacent overlook/potential seating area. A landscaping plan is not required to accompany the proposed artwork but will not be refused if it is integral to the art component. Artwork is allowed to be interactive so long as it is not deemed to be an unreasonable distraction to the vehicular traffic. If proposed artwork is anticipated to require its own footings, engineer signed plans will be the responsibility of the artist.


  • Call for qualifications ………………………………………………………….. February 15, 2019
  • Deadline for Artist submissions ……………………………………………..March 8, 2019
  • Review and selection of finalists……………………………………………. March 15 2019
  • Selected Artist submittals/renderings (stipend included) …………. April 5, 2019
  • Interviews (optional)……………………………………………………………. April 15-19, 2019
  • Artist selection by City Council ……………………………………………… May 9, 2019

What to Submit

  • Statement of interest: A statement briefly detailing your interest in the CeMar Trail Gateway Bridge Art Installation.
  • Background information on artist or team: No more than 2 pages detailing the artist or artistic team, their professional accomplishments, and a statement indicating they meet the minimum selection criteria listed above.
  • Previous Work: Up to ten (10) total images of previously completed artwork consisting of at least two (2) public art installations. Please provide information with the images detailing who the piece was commissioned for, the project cost, and primary materials used for the project.
  • Professional references: Include contact information for three (3) professional references that can speak to your budgetary, time management, and project communication skills.

How to Submit

Submit online ONLY via the CaFE system.

QUESTIONS?  Contact 


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