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Upcoming Projects
Cottonwood Creek Trail Bridge Art Project

The City of Allen and the Allen Public Art Committee (PAC) invite artists/artist teams to submit qualifications for the design and installation of enhancements to the Cottonwood Creek Trail Bridge. This project requires collaboration with the prime consultant for trail design and the manufacturer of a pre-fabricated bridge structure. 

Project Scope
Our goal is to select an artist/artist team to provide design concepts and participate in the fabrication of artistic elements for enhancing the interior rails of the bridge that will cross Cottonwood Creek. The intent is to create engaging artwork in a place and in a way that is "unexpected", creating an aesthetically appealing surprise for those who encounter it while using the trail.  

Artist finalist may propose design concepts with a final project budget of up to $100,000. Designs with strong artistic merit that can achieve the goals of the project and can be accomplished below the maximum budgeted amount are encouraged and will be of particular interest. The final proposed project budget must be inclusive of all fees, including but not limited to all design fees, costs for fabrication and installation, administrative costs, insurance and all travel expenses related to the project upon artist selection through completion of the project. Artists will be required to meet the city's insurance requirements.

Deadline for Submitting Application and Materials
5:00 p.m. CST, Monday, December 23, 2013. Applications and materials must be received by this date and time to be considered. Responses to this artist call will only be accepted electronically. It is the responsibility of the artist to confirm receipt of materials. Mailed or physical copies of responses will not be accepted. Please read the rules and requirements before submission.

Selection Process
1) An initial submission of qualifications stage, from which up to three finalist may be selected based upon the materials submitted. This selection of finalist will be made by a panel appointed by the Public Art Committee.

2) A final interview stage, during which each finalist will be paid a $1,000 honorarium to develop a conceptual design for the artwork to present to the selection panel. If submitting as an artist team, the honorarium will be paid to the team, not individual members of the team. If approved, the PAC will then make a recommendation to the Allen City Council for final approval of the proposed design.

3) Selections for finalist will be based in part on the interest expressed in the artist letter on intent for this specific project, past experiences with projects of a similar nature and scope and/or evidence of creative place making as evidenced by submitted images.

4) Criteria to be used in selection of the final design concept will be shared with the selected finalists.

Submission Guidelines
Direct all submissions to  , please include "Cottonwood Creek Project" in the subject line.

For questions or to confirm receipt of materials, please contract Jennifer Robinson, Senior Administrative Assistance at 214.509.4703 or


A new piece of artwork, a shadow sculpture called “Life,” commissioned by the City of Allen’s Public Art Committee as a temporary installation is now on exhibit on the corner lot of Main Street and Allen Drive by the Allen Arts Alliance office. The piece was created by Allen High School Senior Connor Walden. 

“The idea behind my shadow art is seeing the beauty in the shadows of life,” says Walden. “I created the project over a year and a half in planning and execution. The piece also shows how life is ephemeral by the process in which the shadow only works for a short amount of time, referencing our life spent on earth.” 

The Public Art Committee was approached earlier this year, and after reviewing Walden’s plan, the Committee voted in favor of showcasing the piece.  “Life” joins an impressive list of public art pieces which have been commissioned to enhance Allen’s public places and to infuse culture and beauty into the everyday life of Allen’s residents and visitors. The pieces are inventoried on the Public Art Program page at with descriptions and locations.   

Asked what from his own life inspired the piece, Walden credits a previous IB art class project and the Phoenix Program for gifted and talented students in the Allen Independent School District. The project will help him fulfill an Independent Study Project. 

The Allen Arts Alliance will hold a reception on Saturday, April 27 at 10 a.m. – beginning just a few minutes before the projected optimal shadow viewing time for that day (10:15 a.m.)  The public is welcome to attend. Please utilize this chart for more times throughout the year that are recommended for viewing.


Sources and Uses of Funds
The City of Allen should enable the Public Art Program through a combination of funding sources. Most public art projects should be funded by establishing a Percent for Art requirement on all new General Obligation Bond funded CIP projects.  This Percent would appear separately on the ballot. Funds could be used on both existing and planned City facilities. Grant funds should also be sought to commission permanent and temporary public art projects. The administration of the Public Art Program should be funded through the General Fund and grant funds.

Public Art Projects Funding

Percent for Art

As a primary vehicle for funding public art, the City of Allen should establish by ordinance that an amount up to or equivalent to two percent (2%) of the total amount of the General Obligation Bond funds for the Capital Improvement Program, minus land acquisition and environmental remediation costs, shall be allocated for the commissioning of public art. When the sale of GO bonds for CIP projects is taken to the voters, the Percent for Art shall be placed as a separate proposition on the ballot.  Percent for Art funds can be used for public art projects at new or existing facilities, as well as other public spaces. As part of the CIP Planning Process in preparation for the GO bond election, a list of anticipated public art projects should be developed.

Other Project Funding Sources
Community Development Corporation funds may be used for public art related to park projects.  Should the Public Art Committee wish to approach the CDC board to fund a public art project or projects related to parks, a proposal should first be made to the Parks Board. The Parks Board will then include the public art project or projects in their annual request to the CDC.  When the City seeks grant funds for Capital Improvement Projects of $100,000 or more, the grant application should include an amount equal to 2% of construction costs, minus land acquisition and environmental remediation costs, for public art, when permissible.  Grant funds should also be sought specifically for commissioning temporary and permanent public art. See Appendix B for a list of potential grant opportunities.

Gifts or Loans of Artwork
Private individuals, foundations, corporations or other organizations may wish to give or loan the City of Allen a work or works of art for public display. These gifts and loans can be a great way to enrich public spaces. However, it is important to consider carefully whether the gift or loan meets the mission and goals of the Public Art Program and ensure that the related costs and risks of the gift or loan are understood.

Life by Connor Walden

allen city hall photo