Call Detail
Public Art for Reston's Fairway Drive Underpass - Request for Qualifications

Entry Deadline: 2/24/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 6, Maximum:Max. 6
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Virginia
Budget: $40,000


Community Infrastructure - Underpasses 

The Public Art Master Plan for Reston, adopted in December 2008, identifies the underpasses that carry Reston's path system under major roadways as locations for new artwork commissions. By partnering artists with Reston's elementary schools and community organizations these projects seek to create permanent enhancements in public spaces throughout Reston.

One of Reston's most beloved artworks, North Shore Drive Underpass, was integrated into the original development of the Lake Anne Village Center in the early-1960s. In 2009, Public Art Reston commissioned its first permanent public artwork at the Glade Drive underpass, Emerge by Valerie Theberge. The mosaic mural includes elements created by Hunters Woods Elementary School students during artist-led workshops. In 2019, Ben Volta was selected for the Colts Neck Road Underpass Project.  Thoreau's Ensemble incorporates 700+ drawings made in workshops with elementary school students and seniors. It was a Top 100 finalist in the 2019 Codaworx Awards.

Reston's remaining 22 underpasses, however, have not benefited from such careful design or the integration of artworks. Public Art Reston will support the creation of new permanent artworks in and around the remaining underpasses. The organization will continue to facilitate projects that couple artworks by professional artists with artworks by local students and community members.

The Public Art Goals identified for the underpass projects are as follows:

  • Bring distinction to the four concrete walls that frame the entrances to the underpass and line the interior walls
  • Engage the community through direct involvement in the creation of a work of art, guided by a professional artist
  • Enhance the perception of safety by deterring graffiti/tagging

The artist or artist-led team will be asked to address the spirit of the surrounding neighborhood, respond to the cultural diversity of the community, and develop an artwork that identifies the underpass as a civic facility within the fabric of Reston. Through workshops with students, the artist will introduce creative skills, thereby providing them with tools to articulate their ideas and observations and the confidence to transform their physical environment.


The competition is open to established professional artists living in the Mid-Atlantic region. Artists residing in the DC metropolitan area and particularly in Fairfax County are encouraged to apply. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age. If submitting as a team, a professional artist must be the lead team member.


The community that lives in the neighborhood around Lake Anne Village Center is very diverse, both economically and culturally. Currently, many residents avoid the underpass due to problems with safety and the walls of the underpass are regularly subject to tagging and graffiti. The process and the outcome envisioned for this project are to give a sense of ownership and safety to the community and to the current and future users of the underpass.   

Proposals will be evaluated based on aesthetic quality, sensitivity to community, responsiveness to functionality, feasibility, and compatibility with the existing underpass design. Ease of upkeep and long-term maintenance will also be a consideration.  The artist selected will have to engage students through workshops that will either lead to direct involvement in the creation of the artwork or that will be aligned with the artist’s medium.

The exterior concrete walls that frame the Fairway Drive underpass extend up to 19 feet and rise to a height of 10 feet. The underpass is approximately 58 feet long. See the site photos in the attached PDF.  

Design Phase:

The artist or artist team selected for this project will engage in research and discussion with key stakeholders and the community, and develop a design concept proposal. 

  • The artist or artist team must perform research about the neighborhood and history; engage in discussion with key stakeholders; and meet with community members
  • The artist or artist team must develop design concepts that will take into consideration the durability of materials, resistance to vandalism, concern for public safety, and minimum maintenance. The artwork should be such that any graffiti can be cleaned off. The artwork should be sturdy enough to withstand an urban environment. Media considered for this project might include galvanized steel, ceramic, aluminum, concrete, tile, photo transfer, recycled materials (upcycled, reclaimed), etc. Reston Association will remove the paint that is currently on the concrete and will prepare the surface for the new artwork
  • The artist or artist team must present their design concept(s) and fabrication documentation to the Art Selection Committee and Public Art Reston's Public Art Committees for review and approval
  • The artist or artist team will then have to present the design concept approved by the two committees to the Reston Association Design Review Board for approval
  • The artist or artist team must make a presentation(s) about their design concept and vision to the community
  • The artist or artist team must engage the school students in workshops (up to six) related to their project. The objective is to create workshops that will be related to the public art project and/or to contribute to the project

Fabrication and installation:

  • The artist or artist team is expected to fabricate and install the artwork or to work with a reputable fabricator.


  • SUBMITTAL DEADLINE – February 24, 2023.
    Applications close at 11:59 PM in Mountain Time Zone (Denver, CO, USA) on the deadline date.
  • Artist Interviews (up to five artists) – late March 2023
  • Finalist Announcement and Contract Execution – early April 2023
  • Research, Concept Development, Community Engagement – April 2023
  • Presentation of Concept Proposal – May 2023
  • Design Development Approvals  -- May 2023
  • Workshops and Construction Documentation --  late May - early June 2023
  • Installation and project completion – August 2023
  • Community unveiling – September 2023

* Dates may be subject to change


The project budget is $40,000.  This amount includes all fees and expenses associated with this project, including materials, equipment, labor, permits, engineering documents, insurance, taxes, travel, installation, shipping, maintenance instructions’ document, and written documentation of the completed project. 

The project might be developed in two phases. Payment will be based on milestones that will be identified during the contract period.


All interested artists must complete their submittal for this project online through CaFÉ™  (

Qualifications, work samples, statements of interest, and references shall be submitted through CaFE in accordance with the instructions below. Public Art Reston staff will preview all submissions for completeness prior to the Selection Committee review and may reject incomplete applications or non-responsive submissions.  


  • Aesthetic excellence of past projects; appropriateness of prior concepts as they relate to Fairway Drive Underpass project goals and opportunity
  • Experience, success, and/or interest in creating public artworks in collaboration with stakeholder groups including public outreach, in determining the scope and development of artwork
  • Experience developing public artworks in outdoor environments
  • Experience conducting workshops with students and adults
  • Experience in construction materials and methods appropriate to the scope of the project
  • Demonstrated ability to fabricate their own work or to work with a reputable fabricator
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects on time and on budget
  • Demonstrated delivery of previous projects will be reviewed


Artists or artist teams will be evaluated based on their submitted work samples from previously completed projects and how those demonstrate the design and execution of projects in varied environments. Interviews may be conducted with up to five finalist candidates and one artist/artist team will be selected.

The selected artist or artist team will work with Public Art Reston and Reston Association and key stakeholders to create a site-specific, durable, artwork that will be installed on the faces and walls of the Fairway Drive underpass. 

Public Art Reston is committed to reflecting the diversity and cultural richness of our community in the selection of artists and artworks. 

The artist selection and design concepts will be reviewed by two committees, the Art Selection Committee and the Public Art Reston Public Art Committee, and the final design concept will then have to be approved by the Reston Association Design Review Board. Reston Association, in consultation with Virginia Department of Transportation representatives (the owners of the underpass), which will be responsible for general maintenance of the art installation, will also provide a review of the maintainability of the submitted concepts.

The Art Selection Committee consists of representatives from Public Art Reston, Reston Association, and other community partners, who will review all applications and will select finalists. The selection of the finalists will then be reviewed by the Public Art Reston Public Art Committee for their recommendations to the Art Selection Committee. Up to five semi-finalists will be invited to make a presentation to the two committees, in person or via Zoom in late March.

The finalist selected will be notified by by early April. A meeting with the community will be set up before the end of April to initiate the project. 


The application submission must include the information and materials described below and all of which are required to constitute a complete application.

Please make sure you have started your application with time to ask questions, particularly if you have not used CaFÉ™ previously.

Application Process 

All materials will be submitted online, via the CaFÉ™ website ( There is no application fee to apply or to use the CaFÉ™ system.

To view the application, go to, register a username and password, navigate to “Apply to Calls”, and search the list for this call. Assistance in using the CaFÉ™ system is available during regular business hours (Mountain Time) via e-mail at

Required Application Materials

The application submission must include the information and materials described below all of which are required to constitute a complete application. Please review carefully as incomplete applications will not be eligible for consideration and will not be reviewed. 

1. Artist Statement of Interest: Submission shall include an Artist Statement of Interest that outlines your interest in this opportunity. Note:  Project proposals are not requested and will not be reviewed at this time.

The Artist Statement of Interest will be an important aspect of the review process; it will assist the selection panel in understanding your perspective on approaching a project of this nature, and your perspective on the potential of this commission. Please address the following in your statement (maximum of 5000 characters/equivalent of 2 pages):

  • What perspective and/or experience do you bring to a project that is unique to you?
  • What specifically interests you about this underpass project
  • What is your experience in public art and collaborating with clients and communities?

2. Résumé + References: Submission shall include a current résumé that outlines your professional accomplishments as an artist and three references (maximum of 5000 characters/equivalent of 2 pages; if a team, then 5000 character maximum for each team member.)

3. Images of Past Work: Submission must include visual representations of past artwork that demonstrate your qualifications for this project. To be considered for this project, the applicant must submit a total of 6 digital images that represent no more than 4 previously completed projects. Project proposal images from prior projects may be submitted, but should be clearly marked as proposals and cannot be more than 1 of the requested 6 images.

Submissions must be completed electronically through the CaFÉ™ system. (Instructions on how to format images to CaFÉ™ specifications can be found on the CaFÉ™ website under  

4. Description of Past Works: Submission must include a list of the submitted project images with descriptions that clearly explain both the projects and images. Each image must include information about: a) title; b) date of completion; c) location; d) dimensions; e) significant materials; f) budget and g) description.

If you were a member of a team or otherwise worked with other artists on a project you are submitting for consideration, please clearly state your actual role in the creation of the work.

5. Check your Application for Completeness: Please confirm that your application includes all the required materials listed below: incomplete applications will not be reviewed.


Public Art Reston
Public Art Reston is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 2007 by civic leaders and community organizations. Public Art Reston’s mission is to be the catalyst for public art that inspires, engages, and connects. Public Art Reston collaborates with community organizations to commission permanent and temporary public artworks and to provide outreach and educational programs. Public Art Reston and its civic partners are guided by the Public Art Master Plan for Reston adopted in 2008. This document outlines a vision for public art in Reston, key opportunities for new projects, and an action plan for success.

Reston Association
Reston Association (RA) is one of the largest community interest organizations in the United States with responsibilities for managing the community’s assets and maintaining design standards within the community. The association advocates for members within the 11-square-mile boundaries. Its members include individuals from 134 townhome clusters, 30 condominiums, and 17 apartment buildings, all living within the world-renowned planned community of Reston. RA is responsible for managing 1,350 acres of open space and parkland that it owns, operates, and maintains, including the Walker Nature Center, Pony Barn Recreation Area, Lake House, and many other amenities including, pools, pathways, lakes, and ball fields. RA’s 501c3 supporting organization is Friends of Reston.


Please contact Phoebe Avery, Public Art Manager, Public Art Reston via email at if you have questions about this opportunity. No calls, please.


Application Requirements

Required documents/files:

  • Artist Statement of Interest
  • Résumé + 3 References
  • 6 digital images of past work
  • Description of past work

Eligibility Criteria

The call is open to established professional artists living in the Mid-Atlantic region. Artists residing in the DC metropolitan area and particularly in Fairfax County are encouraged to apply. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age. If submitting as a team, a professional artist must be the lead team member.