RFQ: Rainwater Award Design

Total Project Budget:$20,000

(which includes $5,000 artist design fee)
Deadline: May 3, 2019
Submit to: [email protected]

Project Overview:

The Rainwater Charitable Foundation (Fort Worth, Texas) is seeking qualifications from artists or art teams for the commission of a handheld/sculptural award to be given as part of a prize package for the Rainwater Prizes.  The prizes will be awarded for advances in neurodegenerative research in 2020 and for the duration of the prize program.  Due to the nature of this project, the selected artist will be required to release all reproduction rights to the Rainwater Charitable Foundation so that the award can be reproduced for future awards. The artist’s name(s) will be included in relevant communications about the Rainwater prize design and historical documents.

Budget Description:

Up to five finalists will be selected to develop concept proposals for this project. The total project budget for the selected commission is not to exceed $20,000 for design and fabrication of 10-12 replicate trophies. Each finalist will be paid a $500 stipend for his/her proposal development (with the option of up to $100 extra for maquette supplies). The selected proposal artist/art team will be paid $5,000 for the commissioned design, CAD file and/or maquette, supervision of fabrication, and release of reproduction rights.  The remainder of project budget will be paid for the fabrication of several trophies under the supervision of the artist(s) at a partnering foundry. The selected artist/art team will be responsible for own travel costs, proposal materials, lodging, and personal liability insurance. Finalists will be required to present their work to the selection committee as a 3D rendering CAD file and/or maquette and will be reimbursed for travel costs and hotel accommodations for this meeting.


5/3/2019   – RFQ submissions due (rough sketches optional)

5/10/2019 – Notifications sent to finalists to request proposal

6/17/2019 – Proposals due (3D CAD file) (presentation date TBD)

6/21/2019 – Selected proposal notified and arrangements for fabrication begin (1st payment $3K)

12/1/2019 – Fabrication finished, final payment released to artist (2nd payment $2K)


Richard Rainwater, a true visionary and leader, who was diagnosed with PSP (progressive supranuclear palsy), understood that the research he funded might not be able to help him directly, but he knew the work was important, cutting-edge, and would lead to better treatments for patients like him in the future. He dedicated funds to develop a prize program that would launch when the progress in science grew closer to helping patients. Mr. Rainwater passed away in 2015 from PSP, yet his legacy lives on in the fight to end PSP and related neurodegenerative diseases.

The objective of the Rainwater Prize Program is to encourage and accelerate scientific progress toward new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases by enhancing awareness of the critical gaps in neurodegenerative research, attracting researchers to work on tauopathies, and awarding scientific achievements that lead to new treatments for PSP.  The prize categories include an annual prize to be given starting in 2020 and each year thereafter.  Several other categories of Rainwater Prizes will be awarded as the milestones are reached.  More details can be found at www.rainwaterprize.org.

Selection Information:

Preference will be given to a design that can be fabricated in bronze or aluminum.  The weight and dimensions of the design should be within reason for a handheld trophy of substantial importance. Artists will be required to release reproduction rights to the Rainwater Charitable Foundation and sign an agreement for use of the artist’s name in communications about the prize and its design, both on websites and all printed materials.

A committee consisting of Rainwater Charitable Foundation staff, representatives and collaborators will review the qualifications of applicant artists and will select three to five finalists. Selections will be based on the following criteria: artistic excellence as demonstrated in 10 digital images of the artist’s previous work and/or sketch ideas for award; experience in design and completion of projects of a similar type and scale; experience working as part of a collaborative process; willingness to meet all contractual guidelines; content that is appropriate for all audiences.

Application Requirements:

  • Cover letter/letter of intent
  • Digital portfolio (10 digital images of previous artwork and/or rough sketch ideas for Rainwater award)
  • Image list with a thumbnail view of each image submitted, with the approximate budget amount and provide a short description (title, materials, dimensions) next to each thumbnail
  • Artist’s resume
  • Contact information for 3 professional references (at least 2 should be from individuals who have commissioned work from the artist or worked with the artist professionally).
  • It is optional at this RFQ stage for artists to submit rough sketch ideas for the Rainwater Prize, but they are welcome especially from emerging artists who may not have as many completed projects.
  • All design ideas received by the Rainwater Charitable Foundation, except for the winning design, will be deleted, and artists may re-use these images for other projects.

How to Apply:

Submit a digital packet (single combined pdf only) containing the required materials to [email protected] by May 3rd, 2019.