Call Detail
RFQ - Public Art for Ruby Grant Park Norman, OK
122 East Main Street
Norman, OK 730169

Contact Email:
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: International
State: Oklahoma
Event Dates: 1/1/18 - 1/1/18
Entry Deadline: 10/11/19
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15
Total Media - Minimum: 10, Maximum: 15

Request for Qualifications

Project Description

Norman Arts Council on behalf of The City of Norman and Norman Forward Percent for Art, for Ruby Grant Park, is seeking an artist (or team of artists) to create a permanent outdoor work of art for an audience of all ages and abilities for the new Ruby Grant Park to be located at Franklin Road and 36thAvenue N.W., Norman, Oklahoma.

Norman, located 20 miles south of downtown Oklahoma City, is the third-largest city in Oklahoma. The citizens of Norman initiated NORMAN FORWARD, a proposal to renovate, expand, construct and fund Quality of Life projects, such as multiple recreational facilities, libraries, parks, athletic venues, public art, trails, swim complexes and other quality of life projects throughout Norman.  The initiative went to the City Council from community groups, stakeholders and Norman residents, who prepared an initial package using analysis and information from recreational planning professionals and research firms. In 2015, the City Council placed NORMAN FORWARD on a ballot that was overwhelmingly supported by Norman voters.

This park is named in honor of Ruby Grant, who lived most of her life on the 150 acres of this site.  She was born and raised in a modest home that her parents built there shortly after the land run of 1889.  She was a school teacher who taught reading and music to many young people in the Norman area.  Prior to her passing in 1998, she arranged for her family assets, including her family homestead, to be given to the University of Oklahoma for the purpose of supporting scholarships in the school of music and a reading program. The site is now owned by the City of Norman and is under the city Parks and Recreation Department

The site is approximately 150 acres, has rolling topography and diverse vegetation including wooded areas, native prairie, and wetlands. In general, the site has distinct open areas divided by the wooded areas occurring primarily in conjunction with two seasonal streams that bisect the site. The northeast corner of the site is wooded and is subject to periodic flooding. The high point of the site is located about midway along the east property line and abuts I-35, a major north/south interstate. Because of its size and location within the Norman community, large areas of the site have an isolated and naturalistic feel.

The developed site will have parking in three perimeter locations with park development, including a playground and dog park, located near the parking areas.

Very much in keeping with Ms. Grant’s love of all children and her lifelong commitment to education, the playground is being designed with an overarching philosophy of inclusivity and dedication to creating play environments that go beyond accessibility. The play and recreation spaces in Ruby Grant Park will address the needs of the whole child and of every child. They will also encourage children, adults, and families of all abilities to experience the benefits of play together.

The majority of the park will remain in a natural state with regular mowing being done only at the more developed locations, and for the practice fields that occupy the northwest quadrant of the park. Approximately 2/3’s of the site will remain in a relatively natural condition, with a multi-purpose trail and cross-country turf track winding throughout the park. A disc golf course is also planned and will be implemented in such a way as to minimize the impact on the site.

The Artwork

The Project Team has determined that the artwork located within the approximately 150 acres of the park must be designed and placed to invite visitors to explore and play, to stimulate their curiosity and imagination, and be delighted.

The artwork’s creative use of the natural environment and landforms should allow multigenerational visitors to interact with it either physically (sitting on it or in its shade, or touching it) and/or passively (integrating sensory elements such as sound/music.) 

Adherence to ADA guidelines and appropriate use of the principles of universal design for the artwork and its placement is strongly encouraged ensuring its accessibility.

The chosen work of art will be well-integrated into the entire site with consideration to the built structures and developed areas.  Image of the planned pavilion is attached.

The Project Team is open to any media or material that is appropriate to the site as long as it is durable, safe, low maintenance and vandalism resistant.


The total artist's fee for the project is $40,000.00. This amount must cover all associated costs including design, materials, fabrication, travel, insurance coverage, shipping, and installation. 

Artist Eligibility

Open to professional artists with experience working on public art projects and creating site-specific works.


RFQ Deadline: Friday, October 11, 2019, at 11:59 pm (Mountain Time Zone)

The following dates are subject to change:

Notify Artists:  By Friday, December 6, 2019

Finalists’ Site Visit: Week of January 6, 2020

Finalists’ Presentation of Proposals:Week of February 17, 2020            

Notify Artists of Selection:By Thursday, March 2, 2020

Completion of Ruby Grant Park: September 2020

Application Guidelines

Submissions for this project mustcontain the following materials:

  • A one-page maximum typed letter of interestoutlining your qualifications for and interest in the project, as well as the general idea for your approach.  Please consider the following questions when developing your letter of interest:
    • Why do you want to work on this project?
    • How would you approach this project?  
    • What materials do you work with that would be appropriate for outdoor use?
    • Have you worked on similar projects? If not, what relevant experiences do you have?
    • How does the project relate to your current work?
  • Resume(not to exceed three pages)
  • 10 to 15 digital high-resolution images of previous work you feel would support your ability to carry out this project
  • Annotated image list in desired priority of viewing that corresponds with the names of the digital files and includes the following information: Artist’s name, title of artwork, medium, size, date of artwork completion, location and project details (i.e. Budget commissioning agency, etc., if public art). The list should be sorted in desired priority of viewing.
  • A list of three references with whom you have worked on a public art project, including current telephone number and/or email address.

Questions or for more information, contact:

Debby Williams, Norman Public Art Manager


Committee and Selection Criteria

The artist will be selected based on the materials submitted---please see the Application Guidelines above. Selection for this project will be made by a panel including stakeholders, design professionals, a City representative, a member of the Norman Public Art Board and members of the arts community. The panel will be looking at the merit of the artist’s work, past experience at completing projects on time and within budget, and appropriateness and maintenance requirements of the proposed concept. The Panel will also consider artists who can demonstrate sensitivity to the site and surroundings. Artists must be able to commit and effectively work within the project timeline and collaborate with the Parks and Recreation Department’s administration.

Selection Process

The Selection Panel will review applicants’ submissions and then select two to three finalists who will come to Norman for a mandatory site visit to meet with the Project Team and others. Finalists traveling from outside a 300-mile radius of Norman will be paid a $500.00 allowance to cover transportation, hotel and per diem expenses for the site visit.

After the site visit, they will be asked to create a site-specific design proposal that will include:

  • a scale model, maquette, or computer-generated design
  • an itemized budget 
  • a project timeline
  • project narrative
  • maintenance plan

Each finalist will be awarded an honorarium of $500.00 for their proposal. Finalists will be required to present their proposals in person to the Selection Panel. Artists traveling from outside a 300-mile radius of Norman will receive a $500.00 allowance for transportation, hotel and per diem expenses for the proposal presentations.

The Selection Panel will make the final decision on the artist awarded the project.

Commissioning of artists is implemented without preference to racial or ethnic origins, sex, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, disability or age.


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