REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS : Ion Plaza Installation for the Ion District

Deadline: Monday, June 27, 2022, at 5:00pm

Artwork Commission Budget: $50,000.00

Location: The Ion Outdoor Plaza, 4201 Main Street, Houston, TX 77004

Eligibility: Open to Artists or Artist Teams residing in Texas


Contact: Piper Faust, [email protected]

The Ion District and Rice Management Company request qualifications and preliminary installation proposals from artists or artist teams to create a site-specific temporary installation on the Ion outdoor plaza located within the Ion District for three months, from January through March 2023.


The Ion District is a new kind of urban district to Houston initiated by Rice Management Company that prioritizes street life, public space, and a mix of uses that embrace technology, community, and sustainability. It is a centrally located at the heart of innovation activity in Houston, encompassing over 16 acres in the Midtown. At the center of the district is the Ion, a 266,000-square foot structure designed to bring Houston’s entrepreneurial, corporate, and academic communities together into collaborative spaces and programs.


The Ion District’s developing Art Program is committed to creating opportunities for local and regional artists by creating long-term platforms to create, innovate, and collaborate. As the center for Houston’s innovation ecosystem, The Ion recognizes the importance of cross disciplinary connections creating and fostering innovation. Creative expression and ideation are an essential part of The Ion’s bigger picture and mission. For recent press on the Ion District’s recent artwork commissions, visit: Glasstire, Houston CityBook, and

CultureMap Houston.

For more information on the Ion District and the Ion, visit:

Scope of Work

We are seeking the creation of site-specific temporary art installation in the Ion outdoor plaza area for three months, from January through March 2023. The artwork should be interactive, engaging, playful and contain a lighting element. It should also have a presence during daylight hours.

The full plaza measures approximately 250’ long x 40’ wide. The trellis is approximately 134’2” long x 33’7” wide. Elements within the trellis area and extending throughout the plaza can be

considered. Maintenance and safety are key considerations as the plaza is fully accessible to the

public 24/7. Artists should also consider the relationship to the Ion’s restaurants and their patrons on the patio, as well as views of the artwork from the interiors.

Interdisciplinary teams, innovative partnerships, new media, digital art, interactive installation concepts are all encouraged and welcome. The art installation must be site-specific and created or repurposed for the context of the Ion District.

Elevations, dimensions, electrical plans, and site images can be found here.


Commission budget is $50,000.00 inclusive of all work including, but not limited to, artists’ fees, final design, engineering,permitting, insurance costs for the project, lighting (if necessary), software, studio and project administration, travel, fabrication, all materials, installation, de-installation, maintenance and required documentation, as applicable.


  • Artworks should invite visitors to interact, play and engage in unexpected and innovative ways.
  • Artwork should contain lighting elements.
  • Artwork should consider the Ion and The Ion District’s vision and mission of accelerating innovation, connecting communities, and facilitating partnerships to create growth and opportunity in Houston.
  • Artworks should be sensitive and/or responsive to the diverse history, culture, and identity of the surrounding
  • Artworks must be family friendly, suitable for public display, and free of safety
  • Artworks should be resistant to graffiti and vandalism and require minimal


Open to all artists and artist-teams over 18 years of age residing and working in Texas.

The Ion District is committed to providing opportunities that advance Houston’s economy by not only seeking to involve local businesses, but also for those who are racially and ethnically underrepresented. Creatives and artists are a vital part of a complete community, and it is our

goal to foster inclusivity and diversity with all our partners. We encourage non-local applicants to team with local partners whenever possible.

Application Requirements

Please submit the following to by Monday, June 27, 5:00pm:

  1. Resume or CV (2 pages max)
  2. Up to 10 digital images of past work demonstrating ability to complete the project.
  3. A brief artist statement highlighting your practice (300 words max).
  1. A letter of intent describing a method of approach, which may include a narrative, suggested materials, installation details and any other relevant information. Include up to 5 sketches, mock-ups, illustrations, or other reference images demonstrating your preliminary design concept (PDF upload).
  2. Two (2) academic or professional references

Selection Process

  • Piper Faust Public Art, Rice Management Company and The Ion District Art Advisory Council consisting of art experts,community members and stakeholders will review the applications.
  • One artist/artist team will be awarded the commission.


The final commissions for this project will be a professional services contract with Rice Management Company. The selected artist must be able and willing to sign the contract for design and commission and will be provided the draft for review.


All dates are subject to change.

RFP release: Thursday, May 19, 2022

RFP deadline: Monday, June 27, 5:00pm

Selection Panel: Week of July 11, 2022

Selected artists notified: on/by Friday, July 15, 2022

Contract finalized: Friday, April 22

Project design, fabrication: July – December 2022

Artwork Installation: December 2022 – January 2023

Final Completion: Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Plaza Installation Opening: Thursday, January 13, 2023

Exhibition Ends: Sunday, April 2, 2023

Artwork De-installation: Monday, April 3 – Friday, April 7, 2023


For questions and/or more information, please contact:

Piper Faust

[email protected]