16th Street Neighborhood Asphalt Art Project 2021


Project Description

The Columbus Area Arts Council (CAAC) has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from an artist or artist team to design and implement an asphalt artwork in Columbus, Indiana. The asphalt artwork will be a ground plane mural installed along 16th Street between the intersections of Home Avenue and Union Street, near a residential neighborhood and budding neighborhood commercial node. This project is made possible by the Bloomberg Philanthropies Asphalt Art Initiative grant program with additional support from the City of Columbus and Columbus Regional Health (CRH) Healthy Communities


Key Project Goals

  • Transform the neighborhood with a visually appealing artwork that inspires and uplifts residents and visitors.

  • Improve walkability, street and pedestrian safety, and increase foot traffic in the designated area.

  • Enhance social connectivity and economic growth through creative placemaking and art activation.


Project Budget

Total project budget is $20,000 with $5,000 designated to the artist and/or artist team to cover design fees, insurance, and travel and lodging during all phases of the project. The remaining funds of $15,000 will be reserved for project expenses, materials, supplies and project implementation. These funds will be managed by CAAC.


Project Timeline

  • December 4, 2020, 4:30 pm EST // RFQ submission deadline.

  • January, 2021 // Selection panel reviews submissions.

  • Early February, 2021 // Artist/artist team selected and notified by CAAC.

  • Mid-February, 2021 // Selected artist/artist team to meet virtually with community stakeholders and in-person site visit scheduled with CAAC.

  • March, 2021 // Asphalt artwork design presented to community stakeholders. 

  • April–May, 2021 // Artwork design finalized and street prep completed before May. 

  • May–June, 2021 // Asphalt artwork implementation and community celebration. 



Selection Criteria/Process

  • At least 21 years of age, living in Indiana or with significant ties to Columbus. 

  • Quality of work, aesthetic ability, and willingness to collaborate and engage the local community in the creative process. 

  • Technical skills to successfully produce a large-scale artwork. Previous experience working in public spaces and/or murals preferred, but not required.

  • Interest in working with young and emerging talent, while providing mentorship and guidance that encourage a comfortable and productive work environment.

  • Upon final selection, the artist/artist team will be required to meet with community stakeholders, complete a site visit, and sign a contract before receiving their first payment. Key dates for presenting artwork design and implementation are to be determined by CAAC and the City of Columbus.

  • Final design will need to be easily transferable, using a stencil or similar process. 



About the City of Columbus, Indiana and Project Site

Columbus, Indiana is known for its rich cultural heritage, filled with a world-renowned collection of architecture, public art, and civic-minded design. The project site is located near the intersection of 16th Street and Home Avenue; this location was selected by the City due to its recent identification in the Columbus Central Neighborhood Plan as an important commercial node for the surrounding neighborhood. See site location map. 



About the Asphalt Art Initiative
The Asphalt Art Initiative grant program is designed to fund visual art interventions on roadways, pedestrian spaces, and public infrastructure in small- and medium-sized U.S. cities (with populations of 30,000–500,000) with goals of improving street and pedestrian safety, revitalizing and beautifying underutilized public space, and promoting collaboration and civic engagement in local communities. Out of 200 applications, Columbus was one of 16 cities selected; see the full list at 



About the Columbus Area Arts Council
The Columbus Area Arts Council has been a leading arts agency in Bartholomew County since 1972, partnering with state, regional and local arts and culture organizations to bring the arts to everyone. CAAC is a not-for-profit corporation supported by public and private donations, the City of Columbus, the Indiana Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit 


COVID-19 Policy

Health and safety are a top priority for our community, organizations, and the selected artist/artist team. As we closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic, project implementation dates are subject to change. During project implementation, the parties involved will follow local, state and national guidance related to in-person meetings, travel, and public gatherings, taking precautionary measures and using physical distancing and virtual communication when possible. 



Cultural Equity Statement

With a vision “to be the central resource for the arts by inspiring a creative life for all,” CAAC is committed to providing everyone access to the arts. We are actively shaping a creative community that is inclusive, diverse and equitable, welcoming participation regardless of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, or religion. 



Questions about the RFQ? Please contact CAAC: info@artsincolumbus.org.

431 Sixth Street
Columbus, IN 47201​
Office Hours:
In efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the CAAC office is closed to the public until further notice.​
Staff will be working remotely at this time.
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