Request for Proposals: Public Art Installation at Arlington Arts Center

By Editorial Team on October 15, 2019

Deadline: Mon, 04 November 2019

Artwork: Patrick McDonough, Portrait of a County by a Youngish Man (Phase 1), 2019.
Deadline: Monday, October 21, 2019 at 11:59PM (EDT) November 4

The Arlington Arts Center (AAC), in partnership with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia (CFNOVA), invites artists based in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, DC, to submit a proposal for a temporary public art project to be installed on AAC’s front lawn during the spring of 2020.

AAC and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia are seeking a project that engages the community and is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. The work should offer opportunities for interactivity and public engagement, whether through direct interaction with the work itself; through public programs to activate the work while it is on view; and/or through community involvement in the production of the work. AAC and CFNOVA encourage interested artists to consider the environmental impact of their proposal and avoid the use of environmentally damaging materials, including Styrofoam or spray paint.

Both new and existing works are eligible. Work will be installed on the grounds of Arlington Arts Center and cannot be directly attached to AAC’s building. Work must be designed for outdoor conditions, with the goal of creating a project that can remain installed for three to six months with minimal maintenance. Artist must take responsibility for any maintenance needs that arise during the run of the installation, either directly or by including maintenance costs in the project budget.

The installation site will need to be returned to its original condition after the deinstallation of the artwork. Costs associated with returning the site to its original state should be included in the project budget.

The artist whose design is approved will enter into an agreement with AAC for the fabrication, installation, and programming of artwork.


Project budgets of up to $10,000 will be considered, inclusive of artist design fees and all costs associated with design, fabrication, transportation, shipping, installation, de-installation, and public programming. A draft budget should be submitted with the proposal.

AAC and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia anticipate installing in March or April of 2020 and keeping the project up for three to six months. The final timeline will be developed in conversation with the selected artist.

Arlington Arts Center will convene a Review Panel to select a proposal based on the following:

  1. Artistic merit of the artwork proposed
  2. Artwork’s potential for community engagement
  3. Appropriateness of the work for the installation site
  4. Artist’s qualifications and previous experience with public art

The Review Panel will include representatives from Arlington Arts Center, Arlington County’s Public Art program, and the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. The final design proposals will be subject to the approval of Arlington County, specifically the Public Art program and the Cultural Affairs, Historic Preservation, Parks and Recreation, and Environmental Safety departments. Projects cannot proceed without approval from relevant Arlington County agencies.

The following documents are required:

  1. Resume/CV (.doc or .pdf).
  2. Project Proposal (.doc or .pdf, 1-2 pages):
    Proposal should include an overview of the project and the possibilities for community engagement with the artwork and/ or the artist’s process.
  3. Proposed Budget
    Budget should include proposed artist fee and any costs related to design, fabrication, transportation, shipping, installation, de-installation, and public programming.
  4. Contact information for three professional references.
  5. Work Sample Index for all images.
  6. Up to 10 Previous Work Samples (.jpg files).
  7. Up to 10 Images of the proposed work (.jpg files).
    These may be images of an existing work being proposed for the site, or sketches for a new piece.

Materials must be submitted electronically via Jotform by: 11:59PM (EDT) on October 21, 2019.
Submit an application:

Contact: Blair Murphy, Curator of Exhibitions or 703 248 6800

The Arlington Arts Center (AAC) is a private, non-profit contemporary visual arts center dedicated to presenting and supporting new work by artists in the Mid-Atlantic states. Through educational programs, exhibitions, and subsidized studio space, AAC serves as a bridge between artists and the public. AAC’s exhibitions and their attendant lectures,workshops, and panel discussions offer opportunities for dialogue within the community, and ultimately serve to illustrate the value of contemporary art in our daily lives. With nine gallery spaces and a large lawn suitable for public art, AAC is one of the largest non-federal venues for emerging and contemporary artists in the area. For more information, visit:

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia grows philanthropy to respond to need, seed innovation and lead and convene the community. Comprised of donor advised funds, permanent funds, giving circles, and other charitable endowments, the Community Foundation connects donors to community and promotes a more equitable and inclusive prosperity that marries our economic strength with the full breadth of our diverse community. Our Community Foundation serves the entire region, including Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park. The Ross-Roberts Fund for the Arts, a discretionary fund at The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, has a mission to celebrate, promote, and support the arts in Northern Virginia and has provided full funding for this project. For more information, go to