Call Detail
Scottsdale Public Art - One Civic Center Pocket Park
Entry Deadline: 10/2/20
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 5
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 5
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Arizona

Scottsdale Public Art 

Call for Artists/Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 

One Civic Center Pocket Park Public Art Project 

Application Deadline: October 2, 2020 

Total Project Budget: $105,000 



Scottsdale Public Art is accepting qualifications from artists for a public art opportunity adjacent to the city of Scottsdale’s One Civic Center on the southeast corner of Drinkwater Boulevard and Indian School Road. Up to three finalists will be selected for interviews and paid a $1,200 stipend to do a site visit (pending ease of restrictions due to the pandemic) and interview. Artists working in the southwest United States, who have experience designing projects with a similar budget and scope, are encouraged to apply.  

Applications are due by September 25, 2020. 

Site Description 

The city of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Public Art are teaming up to create an artist-designed pocket park with the intent of transforming an existing courtyard on the northwest side of the city’s One Civic Center building. This pocket park will be a demonstration project showing how a pocket park can be designed and integrated into Scottsdale’s urban environment. One Civic Center houses city offices and meeting rooms. It is across the street from Scottsdale City Hall and the rest of the Civic Center Mall. The location sees a high amount of vehicle and pedestrian traffic through the area from both visitors and residents alike.  

Scope and Project Description 

The germination of the pocket park idea comes from the Downtown Scottsdale 2.0 study. You can view the study here: This study concluded that a series of pocket parks could increase the walkability of the downtown area. Downtown Scottsdale offers a series of prominent focal points for pedestriansMain Street galleries, Historic Old Town, Scottsdale Stadium, museums, unique retail, the Fashion Square mall, the Entertainment District, and the Arizona Canal Waterfront area. Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) are both located at the Civic Centeras well as prominent pieces in the city’s public art collection, such a, Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE sculpture and Louise Nevelson’s Windows to the West.   

The selected artist, working with city stakeholders, will design, fabricate and construct a pocket park. The scope for the public art project focuses on the selected artist: 

  • Designing pocket park amenities and enhancing the environment; 

  • Providing artwork that is responsive to the site; 

  • Addressing recommendations of the Downtown 2.0 study of creating pedestrian linkages between key downtown assets; 

  • Addressing the idea of an Emerald Necklace, which includes green space, shade structures, public art, and other features unique to each park; 

  • Providing high visibility as a pedestrian-friendly area; and  

  • Establishing a unique sense of place for One Civic Center and Civic Center Mall. 

 Potential content for the pocket park design could include: 

•    Landscapingpreserving existing trees while also adding more shade trees and xeriscape-style vegetation conducive to an urban desert environment (this component is design-only; landscaping will be paid for outside of public art budget); 

•    Pedestrian benches, tables, planters, and bike rack accommodations; 

•    Increased shade respites;  

•    Public artincluding interactive elements;  

•    Wayfinding/maps and educational signage about the Salt River Project utility infrastructure at the location; 

•    Wi-Fi connectivity at the site;  

•    Recycle bins and enhancement of other existing city infrastructure. 

Design Team 

The artist will be working closely with city staff from Capital Projects, FacilitiesParks and Recreation, Planning and Administration, Street Operations, and Transportation, as well as city staff who work at the Center and other stakeholders, such as downtown community members, during the design process.  Any work that would require a licensed contractor or design professional must be done by a licensed contractor or design professional. 


The budget of $105,000 is inclusive of the artist’s costs associated with the planning, design, fabrication, installation, and completion phases of this project. The budget includes all costs for travel for site visits, community meetings, and meetings between the artist and affected stakeholders. The budget also includes permitting, city fees, reviews, inspections, and all taxes and insurance.  

Selection Process 

An artist selection panel will be convened to evaluate all submissions and select artist finalists for interviews. Pending interviews, one artist and an alternate will be selected for the project. Finalists will receive a $1,200 stipend to cover travel and related expenses associated with the interview. A proposal is not required from finalists selected for interviews. 

Selection criteria include the applicant’s professional qualifications, proven ability to complete projects of a similar scope, artistic merit as evidenced by the submitted materials, and demonstrated ability to work with government agencies and stakeholders in the creation of site enhancements for a public art project.   

The project artist(s) will be recommended by the selection panel for approval by the Scottsdale Public Art Advisory Board, based on the review of images and other application materials. The Advisory Board approves art concepts and the project scope and budget, thereby allowing the artist creative license within the established project plan. Contract and project plan are to be negotiated with Scottsdale Public Art. The Advisory Board reserves the right to reject any and all applications.  

Scottsdale Public Art  

In 1985, Scottsdale adopted a 1 percent for art ordinance and established Scottsdale Public Art with the goal to enhance the quality of life afforded area residents and visitors. Projects underway include work by Phillip K Smith III (The Art Office), RE: Site, and Jody Pinto. 

Scottsdale Public Art seeks to incorporate the highest quality art in Scottsdale's public places in order to enhance the city's cultural and artistic identity and presence. Public art in Scottsdale is meant to combine a spirited perspective of traditional and new iconographies as well as celebrate and invigorate the vitality of public life. 

Scottsdale Public Art advocates, promotes, and enables the integration of the work and ideas of artists into many facets of planning, design, and building in the community. Public art effectively invites community participation at all phases, from artist selection to dedication. Artists compete for a commission at a specific location; a project panel comprising city residents and art and design professionals chooses the artist; and the artist's design is then presented at public meetings prior to approval and fabrication. In many cases, the artist becomes an integral member of the project design team. 

Scottsdale Public Art is managed by Scottsdale Arts, a private, nonprofit management organization that administers the arts and cultural affairs of the city of Scottsdale, Arizona, and also manages Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation. 

Scottsdale, Arizona 

Scottsdale is the major resort center of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Although not all of the local major resorts are located in the city, Scottsdale contains the core of specialty shopping, art galleries, and recreational facilities, as well as many of the cultural and sporting events that attract and sustain the local tourism industry. Because of the lack of services in most areas adjacent to the city, Scottsdale’s retail centers, parks, employment centers, and libraries are heavily used by residents outside of the city. The high quality of the visual environment and character areas in the city is an important component of maintaining the tourism industry and civic framework. 


Timeline – subject to change depending on a variety of factors, including the current pandemic  

  • October 2, 2020: Deadline for response to RFQ (Midnight MST) 

  • October 2020Finalist notifications, interviews 

  • November 2020Artist selection and contract development 

  • Fall 2020 – Spring 2021: Design and approval 

  • Summer 2021: Fabrication 

  • September  October 2021: Site prep, installation 

  • November 2021: Project complete      



All artists residing in the southwestern United States are eligible to apply.  


Application Delivery 

Applications are accepted via the website. 

Specific proposals are not requested at this stage in the process.  

All materials submitted become the property of Scottsdale Public Art. 

Submission Requirements: 

•    Digital Images: 5 digital images of previously completed artwork.  

•    Resume or CV: Current professional resume or curriculum vitae (CV), including artist address, email, and phone number. Teams must submit one resume/CV per team member.  

•    References: 2 professional references for the applicant. 

•    Statement(s) of Intent: Address how the applicant’s previous experience and current artistic direction will result in a successful public art project.  


For Further Information 

All questions regarding this request for qualifications are to be directed to Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker, public art manager, Scottsdale Public Art, at Please include artist name and contact info in all correspondence. 

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria