Call Detail
RISCA- DOT Pawtucket Central Falls Train Station

Entry Deadline: 7/30/19
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: Rhode Island

Artwork for the Pawtucket / Central Falls Bus Hub and Commuter Rail Station with Transit Emphasis Corridor (Project), Pawtucket RI, will be commissioned by the Rhode Island State Council On the Arts, (RISCA), and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, (RIDOT), through Rhode Island’s Public Art Law, which mandates that 1% of all state capital construction and renovation funds be allocated to the purchase and maintenance of public art. Through this program, the State recognizes that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens.”  Previous RISCA/RIDOT public art commissions include Wickford Junction and the Intermodal Station at TF Green Airport: 

The Pawtucket /Central Falls Bus Hub and Station websites renderings and project video.

The new bus hub and station will be built on the western side of downtown, an area envisioned as a prime opportunity for transit-oriented development. The $47 million project is funded largely by a $13.1 million federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program and a $7.0 million federal bus facilities grant among other federal, state and local monies. This intermodal transit hub will link rail access with Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), pedestrian and cycling routes, and other multi-modal opportunities.

RIDOT is constructing a new station between the Providence, RI and South Attleboro, MA Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) stations to provide transportation opportunities to the cities of Pawtucket and Central Falls, RI by extending transit options to Boston, Providence and beyond along this pre-existing MBTA commuter rail line. 


The RIPTA bus hub is also moving from downtown Pawtucket to this location. There is no building per se at the bus hub,  which is due to open in December 2020. MBTA service is projected to start in July 2022. The station will not serve Amtrak riders. RIDOT anticipates serving 300-500 passengers daily. Buses will come every 2-5 minutes from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm. Trains are projected to run from 5:00 am to midnight.


The project encompasses three distinct areas:


Transit Emphasis Corridor: This approximate 0.5-mile dedicated corridor lays within the City of Pawtucket right-of-way and contains numerous opportunities to create a vision along this route.   Proposed visions may include an individual piece of artwork or a combination along the corridor connecting the overall art intent while maintaining pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle access.


Bus Hub: An approximate 2-acres of landscaped and concrete areas used as a bus hub and entrance to the commuter station. There are artwork opportunities throughout the hub area that is owned by RIPTA.  Bus operations cannot be affected by the inclusion of artwork within the hub areas all while maintaining pedestrian and bicycle access.


Commuter Rail Station: The station encompasses the access to the two platforms, the platforms, and the pedestrian bridge.  Amtrak owns this area and has further restrictions not present in the balance of the project.  Artwork located within the Amtrak right-of-way or within / along the commuter rail station requires authorization from Amtrak and is therefore subject to additional approvals, conditions, and/or restrictions.  Artists are advised that approvals through Amtrak require an additional 6 weeks for each request and to address the impact on design and construction schedules.  Artwork will not be allowed to violate the space needed for safe train travel or have the possibility to fall onto the tracks.  Artwork will not be allowed to be affixed to the exterior of the pedestrian bridge.  Artwork may be installed in the Amtrak railroad right-of-way in areas away from the platform boarding edges, at the overpass ramps and stairs and on the inside of the pedestrian overpass, however no installations which could potentially damage, fall into or foul train movements, or which could obstruct/distract the train crews view safe view of passengers and train movements, or which may distract passengers occupying the platforms from safe boarding and alighting trains shall be prohibited.  Furthermore, installations which require railroad access to the active railroad electrified right-of-way for installation and/or regular maintenance or repair will be strongly discouraged (de-energizing occurs only between 1 am and 4 am upon approved request.  RIDOT will facilitate these Amtrak requests for the artist).  Amtrak requires $2 million of insurance and successful completion of their safety course ($75 annual fee) to access their right-of-way.

In 2018, the City of Pawtucket, commissioned some Pine Street parklets called the Green Streets Initiatives. 


The City of Pawtucket Planning Department Director has expressed a willingness to work with the commissioned artist on community collaboration. They noted that, if it’s of interest to the commissioned artist, there may be cobblestones or existing railroad tracks available for reuse as material for an artwork. 


Selection panelists met in May 2019 and determined the following as potential sites for artwork:

Etched or art glass on the interior of the pedestrian bridge

Landscape elements, particularly trees, or other green initiatives

Lighting, particularly projects that help create a feeling of safety for nighttime riders

Decorative elements or permeable screens for the triangular sides of the pedestrian bridge stairways

A roofing or canopy installation

A permanent sculpture

Station signage


The panel is open to other suggestions, including a possible rhizomatic approach throughout the station.

Commissions can be either 2D or 3D work – this RFQ is open to all media. 


Other Considerations

Finalists, and ultimately the commissioned artist, should expect to engage with the local and state community. If selected, the artist’s design process should include representatives of that community and should be responsive to their input.

The scope of the project will include all labor related to the artist’s installation, drawings, permitting and permit fees, equipment, supervision, testing services, RI engineer’s stamp, (stamp required before fabrication begins), and all other costs incurred in the delivery of the finished installation.

The final commissioned work must comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act:

Durability and sustainability of the Work is vital. 

Submission Requirements:

Please note: This Request for Qualifications is the first step in a RISCA public art selection process.  YOU ARE NOT BEING ASKED TO SUBMIT A SPECIFIC PROPOSAL. This is a Request For Qualifications (RFQ), not a Request For Proposals (RFP).

RISCA will conduct the Public Art application process online, with all materials submitted in digital format through CaFÉ (see below). There is no charge to the artist for applying or for submitting digital images.  At this preliminary selection stage, we are requesting submissions from artists or artist teams consisting of six (6) images representing current work (completed within the past five years) and resumes.

If an artist wants to apply as an individual as well as part of a team, two separate CaFÉ profiles and two separate CaFÉ applications must be completed (i.e., one application submission for you and one for your team). 

Materials will be reviewed by the Public Art Selection Panel to assess the quality and appropriateness of the artist's work and the artist’s ability to carry out a substantial public art commission (see selection criteria below). The RFQ process is mainly about the panel’s initial response to the artist’s images. 

If selected as a finalist, artists will craft detailed proposals including an itemized budget, scale models and renderings, and an in-depth project description. For this they will each be paid an honorarium of $1,000. This stipend includes all travel expenses: hotel, transportation, mileage, etc., for both the site visit and the subsequent presentation meeting. Finalists will not be reimbursed separately for travel costs.

No slides or hard copy materials will be accepted for this call. First time CaFÉ applicants must allow enough time to prepare their CaFÉ formatted digital images and electronic submission prior to the deadline on July 30, 2019. 

Each application must be submitted via the CaFÉ (tm) web site ( and must include:

  1. A current resume for each artist. If you are applying as a team, include all team member resumes within one document.   
  2. Six digital images of relevant artwork. In the Description of Image, accompanying image annotation must list media, size, title, date of completion and a brief description of the artwork if necessary.  Please do not present more than one view of artwork per image.  If you wish to show a "detail", include it within the six (6) artwork images.

Estimated Timeline

July 30, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) Deadline for submissions

August 2019: panel meeting for selection of semifinalists

August 2019: Artist notification

August-September 2019: Finalist site visits

October 2019: Finalist presentations to selection panel

November 2019: Final approval by RISCA Council

Tbd: Contract signed

Tbd: Work installed and completed. If commissioned, we work with your schedule, however, for embedded elements, the selected artist should also anticipate working with the contractor’s schedule. 

According to law, the final recommendation of the selection panel will be presented to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts who will have final approval of the selection.

If selected as a finalist:Site-specific proposals should convey artist’s ideas and plans through designs, renderings and/or scale models with a statement that describes the project's intent, proposed materials, fabrication and installation methods, tentative schedule and an itemized budget. The State of RI requires that commissioned artists carry a $1,000,000 insurance policy. Amtrak requires a $2,000,000 insurance policy for access to their right-of-way, if the art is this location. Finalists are also asked to explain how their artwork will be sourced and fabricated.  They will be supplied with plans, photographs, and specific information about the site and the project. 

A site visit and a meeting with the architect and administrators will be scheduled.  The proposals will remain the property of the artist. However, RISCA reserves the right to retain proposals for up to one year for display purposes and the right to reproduce final proposals for documentation and public information purposes.

The Public Art Selection Panel reserves the right to determine which proposal will be funded and the extent of funding. The panel also reserves the right to not accept any final proposal submitted. If the recommendations of the Public Art Selection Panel are approved by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the selected artist/s will enter into contract with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts for the commission. The accepted artwork will be owned and maintained by the State of Rhode Island.

Selection Criteria for this RFQ

The panel will select the artist based on the following criteria:

  1. Artistic Quality: Quality and suitability of the final proposal in relation to the project description, program goals and site descriptions.
  2. Ability of the Artist’s Team: The artist's ability to carry out the commission, to keep the project within budget, and to complete and install the work on schedule.
  3. Value: The quality and scope of the proposed completed work in relation to the commission and fees paid to the artist’s team. 
  4. Permanence and durability of materials for this heavily used public facility: It is the artist’s responsibility to ensure that all artwork meets safety standards, adheres to building codes and other state regulations. Artworks must be durable and require minimal maintenance.
  5. Collaborative Spirit: Willingness of the artist to consult with the local population, the public, administrators, architects, landscape architects, civil engineers, general contractor and building staff (or designated representatives) to assure smooth integration of the artwork into the site and to make necessary adjustments in relation to building codes and other construction issues.

If you have questions about this RFQ, please email Elizabeth Keithline:    If you require technical support for CAFÉ, please email