Charlotte Douglas International Airport Concourse A Expansion–Phase I

An Arts & Science Council project for the City of Charlotte and Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Submission Deadline    

DECEMBER 15, 2016 by 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. Applications will be received via (, an online application system. There is no fee to submit qualifications.

Project Background

The Arts & Science Council (ASC) is accepting qualifications from professional artists or teams of artists in response to a significant public art opportunity at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).

Charlotte Douglas International Airport has undergone remarkable growth over the past decade with an increase from 28 million total passengers in 2005, to 44.9 million total passengers in 2015. CLT Airport ranked 5th Nationwide in scope of operations and 9th Nationwide in passenger volume by the Airports Council International’s 2015 rankings.  Accordingly, CLT recently initiated a $2.5 billion capital investment program called “Destination CLT” that encompasses several terminal and airfield improvement and expansion projects intended to accommodate passenger growth forecasts through the year 2035.

As one component of the Destination CLT program, the “Concourse A Expansion–Phase One” plans for the addition of nine gates north of the existing terminal to accommodate expanding air service and replace several existing gates. When completed in spring 2018, the new Concourse A will consist of approximately 232,000 square feet inclusive of a new connector that will branch off of the existing concourse. The project also includes construction of the concrete ramp and taxi lanes needed to operate the new gates.

The new connector will feature a programmable lighting array that consists of several hundred RGB LED Ribbons embedded in exterior metal fins interspersed at regular ten-foot intervals along the 850 foot long façade of the completed structure. The new structure will face the reconstructed roadway entrance to the terminal and feature prominently in the redesigned airport terminal. It will be viewed by all vehicular traffic arriving to the airport. Phase Two of the Concourse A expansion—scheduled to begin in spring 2017 and see completion in 2019—will extend the new concourse and integrated lighting feature to a total length of approximately 2,550 feet.

Project Description and Scope of Work

This RFQ represents an opportunity for an artist or team of artists to design a dynamic, site responsive lighting program for the exterior LED array in addition to the design and fabrication of a related permanent installation on the inside of the new connector.

The selected artist or team of artists will be invited to 1) design a dynamic, fluid, and unified lighting program for the prefabricated LED installation along the exterior curtain wall of the future concourse expansion and 2) design, fabricate, and install a dynamic art experience inside of the concourse that is complimentary to the lighting program for the exterior LED installation described above.

The LED wall as it is currently designed consists of Flexible Ribbon Star RGB LED Ribbons with Super bright 3-in-1 RGB LEDs that can produce 16 million shades of brilliant color. The ribbon strip is surrounded by TPU coating (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) and is waterproof. The airport has also purchased a Crestron DIN-AP3 DMX control processor that supports multiple simultaneously running user programs and utilizes a real time, event driven, multi-tasking, multi-threaded operating system.

The commissioned artist or artist team will be collaborating with a design team consisting of CLT Aviation Department architects and Arts & Science Council staff, a lighting designer and various design consultants. Exemplary communication and time management skills will be essential to the success of this project. The location and scope of the interior installation will be determined by Arts & Science Council staff and the project design team in concert with input from the selected artist or artist team.

Please review the attached renderings at the end of this RFQ for a better understanding of the project location and scope of work before applying.

Art Goals and Criteria

This opportunity consists of two distinct yet interrelated components that should achieve a cohesive and unique aesthetic experience that is distinguished from yet sensitive to the rest of the architecture and lighting design of the airport. 

  • The exterior artwork component must utilize the integrated LED ribbons on the exterior fins as they are designed by the project design team.
  • The exterior artwork must be designed primarily to be safely viewed at night by vehicular traffic arriving to the airport terminal at speeds of 15 to 55 MPH (25 to 90 KPH).
  • The exterior and interior artworks must create a welcoming experience that is both memorable and noticeably distinct from standard architectural lighting utilized throughout the airport.
  • The exterior lighting program and interior art installation should work together to create a unified and striking visual experience for both pedestrians moving through the interior connector and vehicular traffic approaching the airport. One element should not destabilize the impact of the other.
  • The exterior and interior artworks must be designed for permanency with a lifespan of at least 15-20 years.

Project Budget

$950,000 USDto cover all artist fees, design, testing, fabrication and installation, including but not limited to travel, public meeting presentations, administration, taxes and insurance relating to the programming of the exterior kinetic light display and the realization of an interior art installation at one or several yet to be determined locations inside the future concourse connector.

Artist Eligibility 

This call is open to professional artists or team of professional artists.  Artists who have received a commission or purchase for over $25,000 from the Arts & Science Council cannot be considered for another commission or purchase for 3 years after the date of a signed contract or letter of agreement. ASC staff, County or City staff, Public Art Commission members or their immediate families, are not eligible to apply for this project.

Selection Process

This solicitation process is being undertaken to enable the Public Art Commission to identify the most highly qualified artist(s) for this opportunity. An artist selection panel of local and national arts professionals and community stakeholders appointed by the Public Art Commission will review eligible artists’ applications, determine a shortlist of finalists, interview three to five finalists and select one artist or team of artists. The selected artist or team of artists will be recommended to the Public Art Commission and the Board of the Arts & Science Council for final approval and to enter into contractual agreement for this project.

Selection Criteria

The artist will be selected on the basis of the following criteria, as evidenced in application materials and conversations with listed references:  artistic merit in concept and fabrication; experience incorporating artwork into the architectural elements of a construction project; demonstrated ability to collaborate in the early phases of a project with design teams and community stakeholders; demonstrated ability to complete projects on time and within budget.

Although not an absolute requirement, a demonstrated ability to create distinctive and engaging art experiences using programmable LED components and software is highly desirable.

Projected Timeline

October 6, 2016:Artist applications released

December 15, 2016Artist application submission deadline

January 4, 2017: Artist selection panel reviews applications and selects 3-5 finalists

February 6, 2017: Artist selection panel interviews finalists and selects one artist/team, begin design work with facility architect

Summer 2017: Artwork installation based on final project and construction schedule

April 2018: Substantial project construction completed

To Apply

Applications must be received via SlideRoom ( by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Savings Time on December 15, 2016. There is no application fee to apply or use the SlideRoom online application system. To view this call, go to, register a username and password, navigate to Apply to Calls, and search the list for Arts & Science Council: “CLT A.”  The following materials will be required to be uploaded to SlideRoom:

  • A letter of interest (1000 character max) outlining the artist’s interest in this project, and addressing selection criteria with references to previous artworks in public places. Applicant(s) may apply as a single artist or team. If applying as a team, identify all team members and their proposed project role (i.e.: lead artist, technical consultant, programmer, etc.) in the statement.
  • A current professional resume or CV (two pages maximum). If applying as a team, submit a one‐to‐two page résumé for each team member.
  • Three professional references who can speak to the artist’s ability to meet deadlines, work with community, and create innovative work as part of a design team.  Include name, organization, phone number, and email.
  • Eight (8) images of related artwork completed within the past fifteen (15) years.  Please provide the following (if applicable) for each image: the name of the artist(s), title of work, date, media, dimensions of work, description of site, client, and budget.  This information may be submitted as a separate document or may be inserted into each image caption on

For further information, please contact Marcus Mitchell, Program Director, Public Art at CLT, at (704) 330-0196 or email at

About the Arts and Science Council

Since 1995, the Arts and Science Council has managed the public art programs for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The Public Art Commission is responsible for the community-based artist selection and design review process for each public artwork. The commission is an appointed board of volunteer citizens from the arts, education and business sectors. In 2003, Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners and the Charlotte City Council adopted ordinances that appropriate one percent of eligible capital improvement project funds for public art. The ordinance helps ensure that artworks enhance our public spaces and become an integral part of urban and economic development efforts. See more at:

About Charlotte Douglas International Airport

Charlotte Douglas International Airport is owned and operated by the City of Charlotte. The Airport is operated financially on a fully self-sustaining basis – no general fund revenues have ever been or are appropriated to the cost of the facilities or operations. Rather, Airport revenues defray all capital and operating costs including the cost of City furnished services. Airport revenue types include the airfield, terminal area, concessions, parking and the cargo area. This gives the Airport its annual operating budget. Each year, CLT contributes nearly $12 billion to the local economy. The Airport continues to build for the future through the Destination CLT development program. See more at:


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