Call for Artists | RFQ - Public Art Installation in or around Roundabout | Muscatine, Iowa | City of Muscatine Public Art Advisory Commission | Art Jobs

RFQ - Public Art Installation in or around Roundabout





City of Muscatine, Iowa

Public Art

Deadline for Submission: March 1, 2021

Project Organizer: City of Muscatine Public Art Advisory Commission

Contact: Melanie Alexander, Staff Liaison to Public Art Advisory Commission and

Director of the Muscatine Art Center,, 563-263-8282

Project Budget: base amount of $25,000 (potentially greater for an exemplary project)


The City of Muscatine’s Public Art Advisory Commission announces a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to identify three qualified artists to develop site-specific public art proposals in and/or surrounding the newly constructed roundabout at Mulberry Avenue and Second Street in Muscatine, Iowa.

The RFQ is the first phase of a three-phased process concluding with the installation of a single public art project. The Public Art Advisory Commission will select three artists from the RFQ. Each selected artist will receive a stipend of $750 to develop their public art concept. The three concept projects will then be presented for broad community input and selection. One artist will be selected for the third phase of fabrication and installation.


Professional or emerging/student artists 21 years of age and older residing in Iowa and neighboring states may apply. Artists who are full-time employees of the City of Muscatine are not eligible to apply. The application is open to individuals who meet these requirements regardless of race, color, national origin (ancestry), sex, sexual preference/orientation, gender identity, gender expression, transgender, marital or parental status, creed, religion or political beliefs, mental or physical disability, genetic information or status as a veteran. Artists must have the ability to travel to Muscatine, Iowa to complete the installation.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS (forms and details provided on pages 8-9)

Application Form with signature and list of two references

Letter of Interest – Tell us why the project is a good fit for you. (2 page limit)

Resume/CV (3 page limit)

Images of prior projects, preferably public art installations, (limited to 8 images, file size not to exceed 10mb)


Submissions will be evaluated only if the application is complete, received by the deadline, and requirements are met. The Public Art Advisory Commission will make selections based on the artist’s prior work, the artist’s ability to complete and deliver a project that meets the stated goals, and the reasoning provided in the artist’s letter of interest. During the selection process, artists may be asked to participate in an interview, and references may be contacted.  


The City of Muscatine’s Public Art Advisory Commission is open to a range of project ideas from multi-piece installations to a single, more “monumental” element. The goal is to install a permanent work that reflects the Muscatine community and/or its history, is unique to Muscatine, can be easily maintained, is designed to be durable, and will not impede the safety of motorists or pedestrians. The Advisory Commission will consider artists who work in materials and forms that meet these criteria.


Muscatine is a vibrant Mississippi River community where a rich tradition of community pride and entrepreneurial spirit has created an outstanding environment to live and work. Muscatine values its history, has a strong sense of community, is rich in cultural and economic diversity, and has strong global connections.


The site of the public art project serves as the gateway into Muscatine’s historic downtown. Within the neighboring blocks of the roundabout, drivers and pedestrians pass by the headquarters for HNI Corporation, the historic Muscatine County courthouse, the Muscatine library / community center, downtown’s historic three-story buildings with storefronts and upstairs apartments, and the Mississippi River.



RFQ for Artists Released: December 1, 2020

RFQ Submission Deadline: March 1, 2021 at 5:00pm local time

Selected Artists for Phase-Two Notification: April 16, 2021

Phase Two Kick-Off Meetings – Question & Answer Session (online meetings): late April 2021

Selected Artists Complete Proposal Deadline: September 7, 2021 at 5:00pm local time

Community Engagement Phase Completed: January 10, 2022

Notification to Artist for Selected Project (one artist selected for Phase Three): January 28, 2022

Artwork Fabrication Phase: February 1 through June 30, 2022

Artwork Installation: Summer 2022

*This timeline takes into account uncertainty related to COVID-19, especially to allow for community engagement involving citizens and other stakeholders. If the process moves more quickly, and participating artists are amenable, the timeline could be adjusted. 

Prize summary: 
$750 stipend for 3 artists, contract award ($25,000 - $75,000) for 1 artist
Prizes Details: 


Phase One: Initial application at the expense of the artist

Artists respond to RFQ. The City of Muscatine shall not reimburse any expenses for this phase. Muscatine Public Art Advisory Commission selects three artists to receive a stipend to complete a project concept. To move into the second phase, artists must sign a contract with the City of Muscatine outlining minimum proposal requirements.

Phase Two: $750 concept development stipend per artist

In this phase, the three artists selected from Phase One will develop and complete a concept plan for their public art installation with a deadline of September 7, 2021. The stipend is intended to offset costs incurred in this process. The stipend shall be paid within 14 days of delivery of the public art concept proposal that meets requirements outlined in the signed contract.

An artist who is awarded the concept development stipend but cannot deliver a project proposal shall not be paid. An artists who cannot complete a project proposal shall notify the City of Muscatine in writing at the earliest possible opportunity.

Following submission of concept plans, the City of Muscatine will present the plans for public comment and community engagement. If a finalist is not selected from Phase Two artists, the City of Muscatine reserves the right to re-open the call for artists and to adjust the timeline accordingly. In transitioning to Phase Three, no selection shall be deemed final until a proposal has been fully approved and a contract agreement properly executed between the artist and the City of Muscatine.

Phase Three: $25,000

This total sum is inclusive of all artist fees, insurance, fabrication, installation, travel, and all other project-related expenses. This sum excludes all structural support for the art, structural design services, and lighting needs. The City of Muscatine will separately fund and contract for footers, landscaping, lighting, and other needs. The artwork installation schedule will be further developed during the second phase with a target deadline of installation in summer 2022. The City of Muscatine and the selected artist will enter into a contract outlining specific deliverables and timelines connected to disbursement of payment.

With community and City support for an exemplary project that is more costly, the $25,000 budget may be increased. Artists should note that the need to raise additional funds would likely change the installation timeline as the community will need to raise additional funds. Any concept proposed as part of this process should not exceed $75,000.


Entry Fee:

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