A rendering of Dix Park Plaza & Play by MVVA featuring a curved pathway through gardens and trees. People are walking on the path and throughout the park.

Artist Call: Dorothea Dix Park Plaza & Play Public Art

Raleigh Arts

Jump To:

Project Overview Deadline Budget Application

Image Above: Rendering produced by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA)

Artist Call Overview and Question & Answer Session

In a recorded public Zoom meeting, Public Art Director Kelly McChesney gives an overview of the project and potential art opportunities/locations followed by an open question and answer session.

View the video session

Project Overview


  • Work with the community and design team to design and create artwork at Dorothea Dix Park Plaza & Play.
  • Opportunities include creating an entrance experience including the grand stair, art interventions along pathways, creative shade structures, historic interpretation, creative play elements, and other placements for integrated art elements.
  • Semi-finalists will be selected to interview for the project and paid a $200 stipend.
  • Two to four artists/artist teams will be selected to design and fabricate artworks and assigned a tentative scope of work.
  • The Phase I public art budget for detailed concept design (location and integration method) is $10,000 per artist/artist team.
  • The Phase II public art budget for final designs, construction documents, fabrication, installation is up to $340,000 split between 2-4 artists/artist teams. The fabrication budget will be allocated at a later date by the Public Art and Design Board.
  • Qualifications must be submitted by Monday, June 7 at 10 a.m. EST. There is no fee to submit qualifications.
  • Apply online


  1. This opportunity is open to individual artists and other artist teams.
  2. Applicants must be either a United States citizen or a permanent legal resident and be at least 18 years of age.
  3. Applicants must have at least a three-year history of professional art or design practice. Non-traditional public artists are encouraged to apply as they can be paired with local fabricators to construct public artwork.
  4. Applicants must have demonstrated experience in the arts through the creation of high-quality work.
  5. Lead applicants cannot be enrolled in an undergraduate course of study in the visual arts as of January 1, 2021.

Project Details

About the Plaza & Play

The Plaza & Play is approximately 18 acres, sits on the southern edge of the park, and will become a main entrance to Dix Park along Lake Wheeler Road welcoming visitors traveling from around the City and across the State.

As described in the Dorothea Dix Park Master Plan, Plaza & Play aspires to be an inviting and inspiring public space for all ages with play spaces, a civic plaza, fountains, gardens, and areas to cookout and relax with family and friends. The history of the site will come alive through a combination of public art, interpretive signage, and a rehabilitated historic house.

Public Art Goals, Opportunities, and Criteria

The City seeks several artists to work closely with the community and design team to create artworks that speak to the themes of the master plan.

Major themes outlined in the masterplan for Plaza & Play include:
  • Wellness and Play
  • Arts and Culture
  • Food and Community
  • Gardens and Ecology
  • History and Reflection
The artwork will be integrated into the park infrastructure and landscape. Potential opportunities for art include:
  • Integrated art into a grand stair and entrances proposed for the site
  • Art along winding, accessible pathways
  • Artwork along entrances and pathways
  • Playful elements (not playground equipment)
  • A series of artworks to be discovered
  • Artistic arbors or shade canopies
  • Using art to enrich historical interpretation of the park

Potential types of artwork for this project could include sculpture, mosaic, artistic interpretive signage, engraved concrete or stone, metal embedded in concrete, template sandblasting in concrete, art glass, shade structures, or other types of artwork that may achieve the project goals.

The criteria for public art is:
  • Permanent and durable
  • Unified with landscape
  • Create a unique identity and sense of place
  • Inspire a sense of play, welcome, and reflection for all
  • Artists are encouraged to create artwork that invites direct interaction with the body; be touchable

The artist will work closely with the City staff, the Public Art & Design Board, and the park design team to determine the best locations for the artwork and how to integrate the artwork within the site. The Plaza & Play project is led by the project consultant and landscape architecture firm, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), along with a variety of expert sub-consultants with wide-ranging experience in the design of nationally recognized urban parks. The artist will work closely with the park design team meeting via Zoom weekly or biweekly to determine the best locations for the artwork and how to integrate the artwork within the site

If desired, artists may also have the opportunity to be paired with local fabricators, craft artists, and contractors for the fabrication and installation of the designs. Raleigh Arts has a talented pool of welders, metalsmiths, foundries, programmers, and general contractors in the Triangle who can partner with an artist to bring a concept to life.

    Historic Significance

    The artists may be asked to think carefully about how discussion of the park history could be incorporated into the fun, play environment as well as the natural areas and walking paths. The history of the park is complex and artistic interpretation of it, if chosen to be explored, should be meaningful and directly relate to the physical space of Plaza & Play. Artists will also be asked to consider how art can enhance the play experience, either through direct play or by encouraging visitors to explore the park more deeply.

    Artists are encouraged to review the following documents:

      Read the full artist call to learn more about the project and selection process


      All materials must be received no later than Monday, June 7 at 10 a.m. EST. Incomplete or late submittals will not be considered.


      Phase I Public Art

      The public art project budget for Phase I is $10,000 per artist/artist team inclusive of all expenses including community engagement, detailed concept designs, proposed preliminary budget, travel, taxes, and fees. This phase includes significant collaboration with the design team and city staff, as well as some community engagement. In phase 1, the preparation of conceptual proposals, proposed budget, plans, and locations for integrated artwork is expected.

      *Note Scope of work will be refined during this phase in coordination with the Public Art and Design Board, MVVA, and city staff.

      Phase II Public Art

      The public art project budget for Phase II is $340,000 inclusive of all expenses including stakeholder meetings, final designs, final budget and construction documents, fabrication, installation, insurance, travel, taxes, and fees. This amount will be split between 2 to 4 artists/artist teams as allocated by the Public Art and Design Board.


      Artists wishing to be considered must submit the following materials online:

      1. Statement of Interest
        Outlining your connection to or interest in this place and how you foresee engaging with the community, how your artwork might translate to this project, and the experience you have working on public art projects. You can submit this information as either a 500 word (or less) written statement OR a two minute or less audio or video clip. We will only play the first two minutes of audio for the panel.
      2. Artist Biography
        A biography of no more than one page that includes information regarding your artistic practice, experience, and education. If applying as a team, submit a single file containing separate biographies for each team member.
      3. Three Professional References  
        Contact information for three references including name, title and affiliation, phone number, and email address. References should be able to speak to your ability to provide services for a public art project or artwork of similar scope.
      4. Previous Work, Digital Images
        Eight digital images of recent work. Each image should include title, year, media, location, project budget, dimensions, commissioning agency, and collaborators or design professionals (if applicable). Artists can also choose to submit renderings/sketches of how their work could translate to a public art project. Please do not submit specific proposals for this project as any concept design will need input from the design team and community.

      Do not provide or submit any other materials with your application. They will not be reviewed by the panel and will not be returned.

      Fill out the online application



      Kelly McChesney
      Public Art Director

      Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
      Service Categories:
      Raleigh Arts
      Board, Commission or Committee:
      Arts Commission
      Related Services:
      Artist CallsGo See Art



      Related Projects

        All projects