Call Detail
Portland International Airport: Concourse B
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Entry Deadline: 11/6/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 8, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 3
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 8, Maximum:Max. 10
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Oregon


The Regional Arts & Culture Council and the Port of Portland invite artists/teams living in the U.S. or Canada to submit qualifications for a series of permanent artworks for Concourse B at Portland International Airport. The art budget is $650,000. The deadline for submission on CaFÉ™ is 11:59 PM Mountain Time, Wednesday, November 6, 2019. Project installation occurs in   spring of 2021. 

The Port of Portland strives to be an organization that values and celebrates everyone’s life experiences, voices and histories and one that offers equitable access to arts and culture experiences. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are our core values. Leveraging partnerships to help create a prosperous and livable region includes removing barriers for historically underserved communities that may hinder fair treatment and access to economic opportunities.

For the seventh year in a row, PDX has been recognized as the best airport in the United States. The airport is ranked high when it comes to customer service based on facilities, accessibility, and security, and food, beverage and retail offerings. Short films at no cost, rotating art exhibits, local restaurants, and liquors are all available while waiting for your next flight. PDX serves nearly 20 million passengers a year. Future expansion projects will provide facility growth to serve 35 million passengers.

The newly renovated and expanded Concourse B will open in 2021, serving Alaska Airlines that offers 125 daily nonstop flights to 58 destinations from Portland, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. Alaska Airlines passengers out of Concourse B include weekly business commuters and regional travelers.

Passengers will access Concourse B by elevator, escalator, or stairs and enter a light-filled space with high ceilings and ample access to views of the surrounding outdoors. The Concourse will extend approximately 300-ft and have two levels, with 10 gates and seating at ground level. Concessions and additional seating will be located on the second level. The overall design concept is to bring elements of the celebrated Pacific Northwest environment into the concourse using materials, natural lighting and accessibility to great views of the outdoors.

Over the next few years, there will be updates and upgrades to PDX that will deliver a convenient, comfortable, and unique PDX experience for travelers and employees. This includes new public art for Concourse E, a new car rental facility and updated and expanded main terminal – all of which includes a multi-million-dollar investment in public art by 2025.


Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architecture (ZGF) and the Port of Portland are excited to collaborate with an artist team to make this site the best it can be for the traveler’s experience. There are two complementary art sites in Concourse B:

  1. A 300-ft long wall, the largest expanse along the north side of the concourse. There is still a fair amount of flexibility in evolving the existing wall design (see PDF) while still meeting acoustic requirements established by the Port. The wall is a series of square modules with grooves that can have any pattern combination. Currently, an intricate pattern of northwest woods celebrates Oregon craft by using regionally sourced materials and inspired by patterns/imagery inspired by weaving and basketry. While the materials and the modular design of wall have been approved by the Port (refer to PDF), artist teams may substitute similar or contrasting materials (glass, fabric, bronze, etc.) along the 300-ft wall and in the inset seated areas.
  2. A 166-ft L x 3.5-ft H glass handrail of 9 sections on the second level that extends along the along the south side of the concourse. Each glass panel is about 4’-2” L x 3’-6” H, making each section about 8’-4” L x 3’-6” H. The total length of the highlighted glass rail is 166’-8” L x 3’-6” H. The project is seeking a design for the glass that complements the artist/team’s wood wall (e.g., lamination, etching, sandblasting, silk-screening, digital printing, etc.)

artwork should be inspired by land and environmental stewardship; acknowledge the contributions of regional Indigenous Peoples and culture; and, draw inspiration from the area’s natural environment and cultural heterogeneity.  These goals are intended to help artists assess their interest in the project as well as to aid in the selection of a relevant and compelling approach to the project.

Artists should also keep in mind the general goals for the Port of Portland’s entire art program, including that commissioned permanent artworks

  • Represent artists of diverse genders, races, geographic origins, and ethnicities with the purpose of advancing fair and equitable inclusion;
  • Reflect the region’s creative and cultural heterogeneity;
  • Incorporate a variety of artistic mediums/materials, and aesthetics;
  •  Be designed specifically for the airport environment and in consideration of specific architectural factors and the general character of PDX as described above;
  •  Be easily maintained and made of durable materials

Members of the Art Committee include artists, arts professionals, the architect, a Port Commissioner, Port staff and community members. Cultural and racial equity will be considered throughout the process of selecting artists or artist teams and when reviewing past work in terms of the demographics of the artists selected, the cultural communities served, and the diverse perspectives represented through the artwork. The Port encourages partnerships among artist/artist teams that reflect our region’s cultural heterogeneity. Non-voting advisors to the panel include additional Port staff. Prior to the selection phase, a subcommittee comprised of art committee members will review all proposals and narrow the initial pool of RFQ responses to no more than 30 artists/artist teams. The subcommittee’s recommendations will be evaluated by the full committee during the selection phase.

Selection Phase:
During this phase, qualified applicants will be ranked on a 25-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Demonstrated quality of art and design in completed projects: 10 point
  • Potential to create an impactful artwork for the concourse: 10 points
  • Demonstrated experience working with architects, engineers and designers:  5 points

Proposal Interview Phase:
During this phase, applicants will also be ranked on a 25-point system based on the following points distribution:

  • Demonstrated artistic quality and feasibility of the proposed concept: 10 point
  • Mastery of materials and fabrication through own skills or subcontracted fabricators: 5 points
  • Potential to work successfully with the project design team:  5 points
  • Ease of maintenance and durability of materials: 5 points

During the selection phase, no more than 4 finalists will be selected for the interview phase.  Finalists are expected to attend a site visit and orientation session with ZGF and the Port of Portland.  Each finalist/team will be paid a $5000 honorarium to develop a proposal and will be reimbursed for travel expenses.  Finalists will present their proposals in an interview format with the entire Art Committee. 

Following the presentations/interviews, the Committee will select a single artist/team who will be asked to enter into a Design Phase Contract with RACC and begin collaborating with the design team of ZGF and the Port of Portland. Following approval of the final design by the art committee, the artist/team will be asked to enter into a Fabrication Contract with the Port of Portland which will be presented to the Port of Portland Commission for final project approval.

A total budget of $650,000 fully includes artist design fees, travel costs, permits, insurance, fabrication, transportation and installation of the artwork on site.

This call is open to professional, practicing artist teams who reside in the U.S. or Canada. RACC staff, Artist Selection Panelists, and Port of Portland employees or their immediate families are not eligible to apply.


All applications must be submitted through CaFÉ.  Incomplete applications cannot be considered.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and submit materials by the deadline:  11:59PM Mountain Time, Wednesday, November 6, 2019.  Applications must include the following:

  1. Statement of interest. In 2000 or less characters and spaces, explain why this project is of interest to you. Describe how your previous work addressed site and some similar goals stated for this project. Include descriptions of how you worked with a design team as well as other comments that might help to differentiate you as a candidate for this project. Do not submit a proposal for the commission.
  2. Two-page résumé uploaded as a PDF that outlines professional accomplishment and includes two professional references (name, affiliated organization, email address and phone number) for both individual applicants and teams (2 per team). For team applications, include one PDF that includes a 2-page résumé for each team member.
  3.  Up to 10 images of past work including details. These images are the primary way the quality of your work is judged. Provide the following information for each visual:  title, year produced, dimensions, budget, media and a brief description. Do not embed label information into the jpeg image. Up to 2 videos, no longer than 3 minutes each, may be included.  If a longer video is submitted, only 3 minutes will be viewed.
  4. Annotated image list uploaded as a PDF, numbered according to order of images submitted, and including title, location, date completed, media, brief description/conceptual information and budget.


November 6, 2019    Application deadline

November 2019       Committee review/selection of 4 finalists

December 2019       Committee interviews finalists; awards 1 artist/team commission January-May 2020   Design development

June 2020                Fabrication contract approved by Port of Portland Commission; artist begins fabrication
Spring 2021             Completion/installation

*Dates provided are estimates based upon current knowledge of preliminary project schedules and are only intended to assist artists in determining their own availability to participate. Above dates in no way represent final approved schedules and are subject to change through future iterations of design and construction phases.

PDX provides multiple venues for artists and community arts organizations seeking exposure for their works and collections. The program includes permanent art, rotating exhibits, a temporary installation program and a microcinema that showcases short films by Oregon filmmakers. The program is managed by Wendy Given, Port of Portland Art Program Coordinator. More information on the art program can be found here.

The Port of Portland’s mission is to enhance the region’s economy and quality of life by providing efficient cargo and air passenger access to national and global markets and by promoting industrial development.


Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects has contracted with the Portland area’s Regional Arts & Culture Council to manage the selection process for this public art opportunity. The Port of Portland and the Regional Arts & Culture Council reserve the right to reject any or all applications, proposals, applicants, or projects, and to modify or terminate the application process or the selection process for any reason and without prior notice.

Peggy Kendellen, Senior Public Art Manager | Regional Arts & Culture Council | | 503.823.4196 411 NW Park Avenue, Suite 101 | Portland, OR 97209

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria