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The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Public Sculpture Commission RFQ

The Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge
Public Sculpture Commission
Request for Artist Qualifications








ArtsWestchester, in partnership with the New York State Thruway Authority (Authority) and the Arts Council of Rockland, seeks qualifications from professional New York State artists or artist collectives interested in creating permanent site-responsive works of public sculpture for the Rockland County and Westchester County landings of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge shared bicycle and walking path (“the path”). Sculptures may include remnant steel, sourced from the decommissioned Tappan Zee Bridge, which will be provided by the Authority.

The request for artist qualifications is the first of a two-stage competitive process to identify artists for two available sculpture commissions:

  1. A commission for the Rockland Landing of the path
  2. A commission for the Westchester Landing of the path

From this RFQ, the Selection Committee will identify up to four artists per opportunity to be invited and awarded a stipend to submit artwork proposals. Artists will be asked to present their proposals in-person to the Selection Committee.

Artists will be notified if they are invited to submit full proposals on or around February 4, 2019.

Commissions must be completed by August 1, 2019, in preparation for installation on site by August 15, 2019.

Please review all details in this document before making your submission.

RFQ DEADLINE:          Qualifications must be submitted online via the link provided by January 11, 2019, 11:59PM, E.S.T.

ELIGIBILITY:                Artist must reside, work, or maintain a studio in New York State to be eligible for consideration.

PROJECT BUDGET:     The $45,000 commissions will cover all services from final design through fabrication, including artist fee, fabrication, and insurance. An additional allowance will be provided to offset engineering costs incurred by the selected Artists as follows:

  1. Rockland Landing: Up to $10,000
  2. Westchester Terminus: Up to $20,000

Transportation of the remnant steel to the artist, transportation of the sculptures to the site, and installation of the sculptures at the sites will be the responsibility of the Authority (some restrictions apply). The artist may alternatively elect to arrange for transport of the sculpture to its designated location at the artist’s expense, and may perform on-site assembly or installation work at the Authority’s discretion. Transportation by the Authority is dependent on the Artist’s location and the final dimensions of the completed sculpture.

Artists invited to prepare full proposals will receive a stipend of up to $1,000 to prepare required materials. Finalists will receive an additional honorarium, amount TBD.


SITE VISIT:   Artists invited in submitting to this RFQ, are invited to attend a site visit on December 7, 2018 at 11:30 AM.  RSVP is required by December 3, 2018.  Please email [email protected] to reserve your spot.  Sign-up is first come, first-serve and space is limited.  If required, an alternative date and time may be offered.

Artists invited to complete full proposals will have a second opportunity to visit the site in late February or early March 2019.

Please note the locations for the sculptures are active construction sites and are not accessible to the public outside of an official ArtsWestchester visit. Artists who attempt to access the site will be disqualified from the competition, and may be subject to trespassing charges.


The Authority has replaced the Tappan Zee Bridge with a new 3.1-mile state-of-the-art, twin-span structure across the Hudson River between Rockland and Westchester counties, 20 miles north of New York City.

The $3.98 billion Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is the first cable-stayed bridge across the Hudson River and the largest project in the history of the New York State Thruway Authority.

The westbound span of the bridge will feature a shared-use bike and pedestrian path, which will include six overlooks – resting points that will reflect the culture and history of the Lower Hudson Valley. The path will provide a new connection for non-motorized transport in the region and offer an exciting recreational opportunity that currently doesn’t exist in Rockland or Westchester.

The sites

The 3.6-mile path terminates at landings in South Nyack and Tarrytown. Each landing includes restrooms, parking, and other amenities. Locations at each landing have been designated for the placement of a significant work of public sculpture.

Artists selected to develop a proposal will be contacted by an ArtsWestchester program staff person with further details about the site.

Site renderings available for download HERE.


All submissions must be made electronically, via our online application portal, accessible through the following link: https://artswestchester.submittable.com/submit/126348/the-governor-mario-m-cuomo-bridge-public-sculpture-commission-rfq 

No submissions via email, mail, or in-person shall be accepted. All qualifications must be submitted by the deadline of January 11, 2019, 11:59PM. Late submissions will not be reviewed.

Artists interested in being considered for this opportunity must submit the following:

  1. A current resume/CV, particularly highlighting relevant experience (required)
  2. Artist statement (required)
  3. Minimum of 5, up to 10 images of original completed artworks (Work Samples) (required)
  4. Work Samples Checklist (required)
  5. Letter of interest (required)
  6. Up to 3 professional references (not required)

Artists will be asked to identify to which opportunity they are applying (Rockland Landing or Westchester Landing.) Artists may be considered for both opportunities, but must submit a distinct letter of interest for each opportunity. 



Format: Word Doc or PDF.

Chronological resume demonstrating a minimum of five (5) years of professional art experience (exhibitions, sales, commissions etc.). If submitting as a team, a current resume should be submitted for each team member. A biography will not be accepted in place of a resume. (Total resume may be up to 5 pages. If your resume exceeds 5 pages, or does not contain your education history and experience with dates, your submission will not be considered).

Artist’s Statement:

Format: Word Doc or PDF.

A written description of the artist’s body of work to give the viewer understanding or insight. It should inform, connect with an art context, and present the basis for your work. It can be descriptive or reflective in nature (1-page maximum).

Work Samples:


  • Submit a minimum of five (5) and up to ten (10) DIGITAL images of original completed artwork, not proposals, which demonstrate the artist’s qualifications for the project. Teams may submit a total of ten (10) images with at least one image from every team member.
  • Slide file names should use the following convention: artist last name_artwork title_date.
  • Slides, emailed, or hardcopy mailed submissions will NOT be accepted. All images must be submitted electronically through the online application portal at LINK, which will remain open until January 11, 2019.

Work Sample Checklist:

Format: Word Doc, PDF

A listing of work samples submitted for consideration which should include the corresponding image file name, title, date, materials, artwork location, and if applicable, commissioning entity.

Letter of Interest:

Format: Word Doc or PDF.

Brief statement summarizing the artist’s methods of working, interest in this project and particular site, and availability to participate in the design and implementation of the project. (1-page maximum. If applying for both opportunities, artists must submit a letter for each opportunity.)

References (optional):

Format: form

A list of up to three professional references who have an intimate knowledge of the artist’s work and working methods. Include complete addresses, email, and telephone numbers. References will be contacted for artists invited to develop a proposal for the commission.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to reduce risk of technical difficulties. Incomplete, late, hand-delivered, mailed or emailed submissions will NOT be accepted for any reason.


A selection committee will review all eligible artist submissions. The committee will include representatives from the Westchester and Rockland arts communities, New York State, and the Authority.

Submissions will be evaluated by the following criteria:

  • Artistic excellence and originality as evidenced by representations of past work images and other supporting materials.
  • Appropriateness of artist’s medium, style, and previous experience as they relate to the project goals and setting.
  • Experience with projects of a similar scale and scope.
  • Ability to participate in the design and implementation of the project as required.

Up to four (4) artists for each site will be identified as semi-finalists and invited to prepare full proposals. Each semi-finalist will be furnished with an honorarium of up to $1,000 to prepare their proposals, and able to attend a second site visit. Semi-finalists will be invited to present their proposals to the Selection Committee in March, 2019. The Selection Committee will identity two (2) finalists per opportunity. Finalists will be furnished with an additional honorarium.

The Selection Committee will name one (1) winner for each site. Winners will be approved by the Authority and will contract with ArtsWestchester.

Design parameters:

A wide variety of materials will be considered, including cast iron, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, ceramic, glass, and more. Sculptures may include remnant steel, sourced from the decommissioned Tappan Zee Bridge, which will be provided by the Authority. Artists are strongly encouraged to consider the use of the remnant steel in their proposals. However, proposals that incorporate the remnant steel into their materials will not be favored over those that do not. All proposed work must be designed to withstand an outdoor, four-season environment.

Sculptures should pay homage to the region’s enduring cultural significance while celebrating a new era in the transportation across the state. Design elements may include (but are not limited to) integrated or accessory lighting or other elements that will further accentuate the sculpture.

All proposals will be judged based on their artistic merit and on the criteria established by the Selection Committee.

Final sculptures for each location must conform to the footprints for each site shown in the attached plans. The Authority will transport sculptures to the installation site, subject to size restrictions noted below. Artists may elect to find alternate transportation arrangements, at the artist(s)’ expense, for final sculptures that conform to the footprint but exceed these size restrictions.

The Authority cannot guarantee that it will provide transportation for sculptures that exceed the dimensions outlined below.  Sculptures may be transported in sections.

  • 40’ total length
  • 10’ total width
  • 12’ total height
  • 110,000 lbs total weight

Further, the Authority can only guarantee transportation of final sculptures – that conform to the size restrictions above – for artists located within a 150-mile radius of the Authority’s Maintenance Facility in West Nyack, NY.


Artists invited to submit full proposals will be given complete details about requirements, but should expect to provide the following:

  • 2D renderings of the proposed sculptures
  • 2D renderings of the proposed sculpture in situ, which shows the physical volume of the space and allows for multiple perspectives of the artwork within the space
  • A scaled model/maquette of the proposed sculptures
  • Material list, including a detailed description and quantity of all proposed materials to be used in the sculpture.
  • Material samples
  • Installation requirements
  • A project statement
  • A project budget, not to exceed $55,000 for the Rockland Landing and $65,000 for the Westchester Landing, with quotes from proposed subcontractors for the design and fabrication.

Additional materials may be requested at the time artists are invited to submit proposals. All proposal documents, including the maquette and renderings, will become property of the Authority and will be used for educational and/or promotional purposes of the project. Each semi-finalist’s proposals and maquette may be exhibited for committee and community consideration.

The proposed sculpture must be able to stand independently without supports but may be mounted. Finalists will be asked to provide a maintenance plan and the review and approval of the proposed sculpture design and the completed sculpture by a New York State licensed Professional Engineer (PE). These reviews shall certify the structural stability and safety of the proposed design (“PE-Reviewed Design”) and the completed sculpture.  The PE-Reviewed Design should include a foundation to be constructed by the Authority.  Additional details to be provided. Finalists will also be asked to provide a PE-reviewed loading and installation/mounting plan for the sculpture.

Artists who are awarded the commissions will be contracted by ArtsWestchester to produce the artwork, in keeping with the final designs accepted by the Selection Committee and approved by the Authority. The Authority will assume ownership of the sculptures upon completion by the artists, which shall require a Certification of Conformance by a New York State licensed Professional Engineer.

The Authority will transport the Bridge Steel to a location designated by the selected artists. Restrictions apply.

Additional responsibilities of the selected Artists include, but are not limited to:

  • The Artist shall be available with reasonable advance notice for a reasonable number of meetings required to coordinate design and project implementation, ceremonies, press conferences and photo opportunities and the like, as necessary.
  • The Artist shall perform all services and furnish all supplies, material and/or work equipment as necessary for the design and fabrication of the Artwork, with the exception of remnant steel provided by the Authority.
  • The Artist shall provide required insurance in amounts and limits specified in the final contract between ArtsWestchester, the Artist, and the Authority.
  • The Artist shall secure any and all required licenses, engineering approvals, and similar authorizations at the Artist’s expense as may be necessary for the installation of the Artwork at the Site.
  • The Artist shall provide a maintenance manual with a description of all materials, processes and products utilized in the Artwork and the required care and upkeep involved, as well as recommended procedures in the event of necessary conservation.
  • The Artist shall guarantee the work to be free from faults of materials and workmanship for one year after completion. 

Timeline & Project Schedule

Qualification due:  January 11, 2019 11:59PM EST

Notifications:  On or around February 4, 2019

Site Visit:  Late February early March, 2019

Proposal Development:  February – March 29, 2019

Proposal Presentation:  April, 2019

Finalist Notification:  April 2019

Notice of Selection:  May 2019

Contracting:  May 2019

Fabrication:  May – August 1, 2019

Installation:  August 15, 2019

Project Contacts:

All questions about this opportunity should be directed to ArtsWestchester.

Kathleen Reckling
Director of Exhibitions, ArtsWestchester
[email protected]
914.428.4220 ext 306

Logan Hanley
Exhibitions Manager, ArtsWestchester
[email protected]
914.428.4220 ext 331



ArtsWestchester began in 1965 as a conversation among arts advocates and volunteers in a living room and has grown into is New York State’s largest private, not-for-profit cultural service organization.

Our mission is to provide leadership, vision, and support to ensure the availability, accessibility and diversity of the arts in Westchester County.

Our vision is of a Westchester in which every man, woman and child can explore his or her creative impulses; where the arts are accessible to every sector of society and are an educational priority in our schools; where opportunities for artists are plentiful; where public art is fundamental to the landscape and cityscape; and where a new generation can use the arts as a window to the world.

Our programs and services enrich the lives of everyone in Westchester County. We help fund concerts, exhibitions and plays through grants; bring  artists into schools and community centers; advocate for the arts; and build audiences through diverse marketing initiatives.

New York State Thruway Authority

The New York State Thruway Authority is responsible for the New York State Thruway, which includes the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. Built in the early 1950s, the Thruway is one of the largest tolled highway systems in the United States and is a critical component in the national interstate network. The 570-mile superhighway serves travelers with a variety of needs and purposes, including commuters, business travelers, recreational travelers, and commercial vehicle traffic and provides the major route of access for visitors to the State’s tourist destinations including Niagara Falls, the State Canal system, the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, the Catskills and New York City.

Rockland Council for the Arts

The Arts Council of Rockland is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the arts, culture and the role of artists in our community. We seek to foster appreciation and participation in the arts in the diverse socio-economic communities that reside in Rockland County by providing programs of interest to the community and our members, professional development to artists and educators, marketing resources for artists and arts organizations, access to grant opportunities, scholarships, and increased opportunities to network and collaborate.


Is Project Ongoing? yes
Deadline 1/11/2019
Contact Name Kathleen Reckling
Contact Email [email protected]