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Public Art Sought for New OKPOP Museum

Posted by Oklahoma Arts Council ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Public Art Sought for New OKPOP Museum




The new Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture (OKPOP) is seeking artists’ qualifications for a new work of public art for the interior lobby of the museum.

BUDGET: $250,000

ELIGIBILITY: (none specified)

DEADLINE: March 16, 2020 11:59 p.m. CDT

Download full RFQ and view project images here.

Overview and Project Description

The new OKPOP museum will be built and managed by the Oklahoma Historical Society and located in the Tulsa Arts District. The museum will be dedicated to the incredible history and creativity of Oklahoma’s people and the influence of those artists on popular culture around the world. The underlying theme of the museum will be “Crossroads of Creativity” and stories will include music, movies, radio, television, pop art, literature, theater, comics, humor, and Route 66.

The museum will be located across the street from the historic Cain’s Ballroom, known to many as “the home of Bob Wills.” The ground floor of OKPOP will include the display of Bob Wills’ 1948 Flxible Clipper tour bus. The color gold is featured prominently in the museum’s design, influenced by the gold custom-made Fender Stratocaster famously presented in 1954 to Eldon Shamblin, guitarist for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.

OKPOP offers a significant opportunity for dynamic and visually impactful artwork. The area of interest for the public art is the interior lobby entrance space. The architectural concept for the design of the museum is “grit and glitz.” The grit of the concrete and steel contrasts with the glitz of the illuminated metal panels. The grit connects with the Oklahoma work ethic, as evidenced by the state motto, “Labor conquers all.” The glitz speaks to the excitement associated with Oklahoma’s creatives and their impact on popular culture. The committee is interested in engaging and interactive artwork that is contemporary and relevant to the overarching themes of the museum.


  • RFQ Issued:  February 3, 2020
  • RFQ Deadline:  March 16, 2020
  • Notification of Finalists:  April 24, 2020
  • Mandatory Finalist Orientation Session:  May 27, 2020
  • Finalist Interviews and Presentations:  July 29, 2020
  • Announcement of Selection:  September 1, 2020

Once selected, the artist will work with the project design team to finalize plans and determine the timeline for installation of the artwork. Construction of OKPOP began Fall 2019, with plans to open Summer 2021.

Selection Process

RFQ applications will be reviewed and scored by the Director of Art in Public Places to identify the short list of qualified artists to be considered for the project. The list of qualified artists will be presented to the Public Art Selection Committee for OKPOP, consisting of one representative of OKPOP, the Director of Art in Public Places, the project architect, one artist, one arts professional, one art educator, and twelve community representatives. The Committee will identify approximately 5-10 finalists who will be invited to develop conceptual site-specific proposals after attending a mandatory orientation session with the project team and key stakeholders.

Each finalist will be paid an honorarium of $1,000 for the development and in-person presentation of a conceptual design proposal. Artists residing greater than 60 miles from OKPOP are eligible to receive up to $1,000 total towards the reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses, approved by the Oklahoma Arts Council prior to travel arrangements being made for the orientation session and panel interview. Receipts will be required for travel expenses to be considered. The Public Art Selection Committee will submit rankings of finalist proposals and recommendation for approval to the Art in Public Places Oversight Committee.

Selection Criteria

  • Complete application submitted prior to the application deadline, March 16, 2020
  • Artwork examples submitted represent the artist’s own original creative work
  • The artist’s work reflects artistic excellence, innovation, and originality, as evidenced by quality of craftsmanship and mastery of skills, professional approaches to processes and presentation, and communication of a unique vision
  • The artist’s work is judged to be appropriate to the goals of the project, including working in a large scale, public safety, educational value, and ease of maintenance
  • The artist’s professional experience is adequate to meet the demands of the project. Qualifying activities would include some combination of the following: education and training as an artist, an exhibition record in museums, art galleries, non-profit art spaces, previous public or private commissions, participation in artist-in-residency programs, or other related activities indicative of a professional art practice
  • The artist is available to consult with the community and the design team in the development of the artwork
  • The artist is available to participate in the design, approval, and implementation of the project as required
  • Assessed ability to meet project deadlines and to perform work in a timely and professional manner
  • Results of reference checks for project finalists.

The Oklahoma Art in Public Places Program is open to all artists regardless of age, race, class, national origin, creed, gender, gender variance, religious affiliation, physical or mental ability.

What to Submit

Application materials include:

  1. Letter of Interest, one page maximum. This should be a summary of your artistic focus and professional career, especially as your background relates to your qualifications for the OKPOP project.
  2. Resume. If applying as a team, please include the team/studio resume. If that is not available, please combine the individual resumes of each team member into one document.
  3. Up to ten images of previous work. Files can be up to 5mb. Images should be at least 72 dpi and larger than 1280×1280 pixels.
  4. Image descriptions. Please include title, medium, dimensions, and year for each work. You may also include a brief statement about each work (2 sentence maximum).

How to Submit

Applications must be submitted through the Oklahoma Arts Council website. Please be sure to allow adequate time to submit your application as technical difficulties can occur. Applications that are mailed, emailed, faxed, or hand-delivered will not be considered. Applications will not be accepted after the March 16, 2020, 11:59 p.m. (CDT) deadline.

QUESTIONS?  Contact Jarica Walsh, Director of Art in Public Places, at or (405) 521-2030.


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