A mural and a statue are shown in Downtown Iowa City.

The Iowa City Public Art Program's mission is to enhance our public spaces, to capitalize on Iowa City's reputation as a cultural center, and to build on Iowa City's image as a vital place to live and work. By providing Arts and Culture programs that educate, entertain, stimulate and engage the public, Iowa City works to support the vitality of its diverse population, preserve and interpret Iowa City’s rich heritage, and enhance the desirability of Iowa City as a residence and destination.

The Public Art Advisory Committee was established to oversee the operations of the Public Art program and advise the City Council on potential sites that can be enhanced by the addition of public art and also recommend various pieces of artwork.

Iowa City Public Art Brochure 2018

Iowa City Public Art Strategic Plan 2019

Iowa City Public Art Management Plan

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Kiwanis Park Community Garden Art Project

Request for Qualifications

Accepted through Friday, April 2, 2021 at 5:00 PM

Online Application


The Iowa City Public Art Advisory Committee and the Ty’n Cae Neighborhood Association are seeking an artist who would be interested in designing and installing artwork as part of the Kiwanis Park Community Gardens.  The artist would be responsible for working with neighborhood residents about the project, seeking their input on the design, location, features, etc. and creating and installing the artwork by August 13, 2021.   

The goal of the project is to create a visual attraction within the community garden space that invites visitors as well as gardeners to relax, enjoy the surrounding gardens, and encourage a connection between those who use it and its visitors. 


Project Details

Kiwanis Park is located at 1519 Teg Drive in Iowa City.  The park is a total of 14 acres and is named after the International Service Club Kiwanis. Their motto is “Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world, one child and one community at a time.” The Dane Family, who farmed the land for generations and donated the land to the City in 1993 for parkland development are members of the Kiwanis organization and requested it be named accordingly. The family continues to be interested in park improvements and feels a child in the art is an excellent and powerful idea. 

An introductory meeting was held at the park on January 9, 2021 to look at the site and share ideas. From those discussions and email conversations, a list of general concepts was developed:

  • Inclusion of child in the art
  • Incorporate the diversity of park users
  • Something small for a small park
  • Interest to all ages, including children
  • More realistic vs. abstract
  • Celebration of growth in nature
  • Something functional and attractive.
  • Compliment the natural design of the park with muted tones and changes in elevation
  • Have the neighborhood children contribute in some way
  • Include a small seating area - either benches or limestone rocks.
  • Concrete pouring or other material that contains (actual) child hand prints of children who use the park.

It is not expected that all components of this list are included in the artwork.

The project will involve the selected artist meeting with interested neighbors to further discuss the concept for the artwork. This can be onsite or via zoom/virtual platform. The artist will then create a selection of concepts for the neighbors to review as part of a second meeting or via email communications.


The budget for the project is $10,000 which must include all costs of design, fabrication and installation of the artwork.

Submission requirements

Online Application

Interested artists are being asked to provide:

  • Applicant’s contact information.
  • Statement of Interest.
  • Maximum two-page resume that outlines professional accomplishments.
  • A minimum of six (6) and maximum of eight (8) images of past works.  Identify images with project title, location, date completed, media, dimensions, budget, commissioning agency, project partners, and/or brief description of the project/conceptual information.

Review Process/Criteria

Interested neighborhood residents will be responsible for reviewing the RFQ responses and recommending an artist based on the following criteria:

  • Quality, creativity & strength of past work as provided in the application materials
  • Technical competence demonstrated by past work
  • Understanding of the project goals as indicated in the letter of interest
  • Relevance of submitted materials to the project
  • Aptitude for planning and budgeting as indicated by past project information submitted
  • Experience working on public art projects to meet the project goals as indicated in the letter of interest
  • Experience and commitment to participate with agency/community as part of concept development
  • Preference will be given to Iowa City artists or those who create art or exhibit their art in Iowa City.

The recommendation of the neighborhood residents will then be reviewed by the Public Art Advisory Committee according to the schedule below.

Project Schedule

  • Submission Deadline – Friday, April 2, 2021 – 5:00 PM
  • Selection of Preferred Artist by Neighborhood Residents – Friday, April 9, 2021
  • Review of Artists Selection by Public Art Advisory Committee – Thursday, April 15, 2021
  • First meeting with neighbors – no later than Friday, April 30, 2021
  • Design concepts created and made available to neighbors – Friday, May 28, 2021
  • Determine Final Design – Friday, June 11, 2021
  • Installation Completed – August 13, 2021