Norman Arts Council Announces RFQ for Public Art Set for Ruby Grant Park

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RFQ: Public Art for Ruby Grant Park in Norman, OK

DUE: 11:59 p.m. Friday, October 11, 2019

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 36th Avenue 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