Public Art Sought for New Mexico Geology Facility

Public Art Sought for New Mexico Geology Facility



 Socorro, NM, Unknown

The Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts and the Local Selection Committee (LSC) for the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources seek an artist or artist team to create a site-specific commissioned project to be situated in the atrium entrance of the Bureau’s main building. Artists are encouraged to explore designs inspired by geology and that reference the functions within Bureau of Geology.  Large hanging sculptures are encouraged.

Budget: $120,000, all-inclusive

Deadline: 03/22/2018 5:00 PM Central Time

Eligibility:  Professional artists or artist teams working in the United States

View full RFQ and apply at

Site History
Established by legislation in 1927, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources is a research and service division of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech). The New Mexico State legislature approved an act establishing the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, assigning it the responsibility for applied research into the geology and mineral resources of the state. From the very beginning the bureau has worked cooperatively with other state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Atomic Energy Commission, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

As a division of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech), the bureau has a long tradition of working closely with undergraduate and graduate students from New Mexico Tech and other universities throughout the state, teaching and providing cooperative and financial support. The bureau provides public education and outreach through college teaching and advising, the Mineral Museum, and teacher- and student-training programs. The bureau is headquartered on the campus of New Mexico Tech in Socorro, with a satellite office in Albuquerque. The bureau serves a broad audience, from professional geoscientists and university professors to grade-school children and their teachers, as well as influential decision makers and the general public.

Artwork Description
The artwork should be light-weight, yet sturdy, and emphasizes the atrium as a passageway to the Bureau of Geology. Hanging mobile and multi-dimensional projects that encompass the space, walls included, are encouraged, especially those responding to the geologic and mineral complexities of New Mexico, as well as the work done at the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. The LSC is interested in commissioning a work that speaks to ideas of geology, mineral and energy sources, mapping, and geohydrology. The LSC would like the artwork to engage, and educate the public in the work done by the bureau.

Media must be durable, low maintenance, permanent, safe for both children and adults and be ADA compliant. At the selected artist’s expense the artwork may require certification by an electrical, civil and/or structural engineer licensed to practice in the State of New Mexico, and review by a professional fine art conservator.

Selection Process
Up to five finalists will be invited to submit a formal proposal for the projects. Finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium for a written proposal and a maquette of the proposed artwork. One site visit will be required of each finalist to include a personal presentation of the artwork proposal to the Local Selection Committee and a public presentation at the college. Additionally, each finalist/team will receive a travel stipend based on mapped mileage.

Selection Criteria
The selection criteria shall include, but is not limited to:

  • The professional qualifications of the artist(s) as evidenced by the supporting materials.
  • Proven ability to undertake projects of the described scope.
  • Artistic merit and superior caliber craftsmanship as evidenced by the images.
  • Suitability of submission to project intent and site.


  • January 19, 2018 – Project Announced
  • March 22, 2018 – Submission Deadline
  • April 20, 2018 – Notification of Finalists
  • Summer 2018– Finalist Presentations
  • January 2019 – Artwork completed and installed

How to Submit
Submit qualifications online ONLY through the CaFE system,
Incomplete or late submissions will not be accepted. Supplemental information beyond what is requested, including proposals specific to this project, will not be reviewed by the Local Selection Committee. Failure to provide any of the published requirements will result in disqualification from the competition. Duplicate submissions will not be accepted.

Include the following:

  1. A succinct letter of interest no longer than 3 paragraphs written specifically to address the needs of this project. Please explain what excites you about the opportunity, how you may approach the project if selected as a finalist, and outline your professional qualifications.
  2. A current chronological resume or curriculum vitae demonstrating relevant work experience, particularly public art or privately funded commission projects. A biography or an autobiography will not fulfill the resume requirement.
  3. Ten images or videos (or a combination) of previously completed work. Complete image citations will be required; including artwork title, medium, height, width and depth, price or value, year of completion, and project description to include budget and commissioning agency. Please review and adhere to the Image and Media Preparation page on CaFÉ when formatting your images or videos. Tutorials can be downloaded using the links near the bottom of the page.

QUESTIONS? Contact Naomi Gibbons, 505-827-6490 or