Oklahoma City Pre-Qualified Artist Pool Information

October 30, 2014

Public Art | Resources for Artists

This blog post is by guest contributor romy owens.

The City of Oklahoma City is rolling out a new program to speed up the process for selecting artists for public art commissions under $25,000. This program, the Pre-Qualified Artist Pool, will be a database and pool of artists upon which the city of Oklahoma City, and other interested entities, can use to find artists to create proposals for commissioned work.

PreQ Flyer

The Informational Meeting on October 28 at Will Rogers Garden Community Center about applying for the Pre-Qualified Artist Pool was very helpful in demystifying the process of how to submit an application.

Yes, this process presents artists with a new system, and the language feels a little different than the usual call for artists, however, it is an easy two-step easy process.

You can apply as an individual and you can apply as part of a collaborative team. To apply twice, you’ll have to go through the process twice with appropriate materials. You should read everything you can to be fully informed. This blog post is comprehensive but does not share 100% of the information available via okc.gov/art.

There are a few reasons to submit an application for the Pre-Qualified Artist Pool. The primary reason to apply is because you want to make public art. However, the Oklahoma City office of Arts and Cultural affairs will also be able to share this list of pre-qualified artists with other entities such as Districts, Neighborhood Associations, non-profit organizations, for profit private sector companies, architectural firms, other states, etc. Applying to be in this pool is a valuable step in networking and informing people who provide art opportunities that you are interested in those opportunities.

Traditionally, we have seen most public art opportunities go to 3D artists. However, 2D artists are encouraged to apply as there will be opportunities for all kinds of art-making in the years to come. And, to reinforce what was mentioned above: other organizations will have access to this list, so if you make visual art it is to your advantage to apply to be on the list.


The deadline to apply is November 13, 2015 at 4:00PM through BidSync. There are no exceptions.


What you need:

1)      Up to date resume

2)      Letter of intent

3)      Six quality jpeg photos of your art

4)      An Image list document with details of your six photos

5)      A computer

6)      The internet

Step one: Go to okc.gov/arts and you will see a post about the Pre-Qualified Artist Pool. On the right side of the page, under the section called Resources, there is a link to Pre-Qualified Artist Poll Program Overview. All of the information is there. At the bottom of the okc.gov/arts page, you will see “To apply: Click Here” and you should click there to apply.

Step two: Read the document that you have been linked to. It is long. And it is in policy-speak, but it is informative, and has all the information you need.

Step three: Register on BidSync. On page 4 of the Pre-Qualified Artist Pool Bid Designation document is a link to the site where ARTISTS MUST REGISTER: https://www.bidsync.com and here is how BidSync works. BidSync is like Wufoo or Submittable or any other online form except it is the system government agencies use to process applications. It takes between two hours and two days for your registration to be processed by BidSync, so register now. Do it early. Don’t wait until the last minute or you won’t be able to apply since you may not be processed by BidSync in time. Questions about registering on BidSync need to go through BidSync Customer Service at 1-800-990-9339 or agencysupport@bidsync.com. BidSync is not operated by the City of Oklahoma City. Here are the steps to register:

  1. Go to bidsync.com
  2. Click My Account at the top of the page.
  3. You are not registered, so click Sign up now.
  4. Fill out Main Contact and Company Information. If you are an individual artist operating as a sole proprietor, your name is your company name.
  5. Click Next Step.
  6. Your Primary Industry is Arts, Crafts, Entertainment, Theatre.
  7. Keywords can be as generic as art and as specific as you want. (As an artist, I selected seven words that describe the kinds of art I make based on media.)
  8. You can opt out of BidSync Links PLUS if you like. BidSync is entirely free for users and you should not have to pay any money to register or apply. BidSync PLUS is an upgrade that you pay for. YOU DO NOT NEED TO UPGRADE TO APPLY FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY. That check box is only recommended so they can send you as many solicitations to upgrade as possible.
  9. Click Next Step
  10. Click boxes that are appropriate. You need to select one.
  11. Click Next Step
  12. Congratulations! You have registered!


Step Four: While you wait for BidSync to process your application, prepare your materials to submit: resume, letter of intent, six images, and image list. And here’s a little bit of information about these materials that if you don’t know, you should know:

Resume: Your artist resume should only have items listed on it that are pertinent to your art career. Your job as a waitress in high school isn’t relevant. Keep your resume under three pages. List only the items that reinforce your abilities: Solo Exhibitions, Group Exhibitions, art-related jobs, Publications, Collections, Special Skills, and Awards. No typos. No fancy fonts. Keep it clean and professional. Save it as a PDF because your Word Doc might be reassembled with different tabs on another computer.

Letter of Intent: This is where you explain what kind of art you make and what kind of art you could make. For example, I make fiber art but there isn’t much of a call for fiber art in the public art arena, so maybe I would mention how I could translate my work into 3D metal sculpture or something more permanent. Prior experience in public art is not a requirement to submit an application, but if you haven’t had experience in public art, maybe in your letter you’ll want to emphasize that you are interested in public art and why.

Professional Images: Select six images of your work. Ideally, you are showing your six strongest works or the works that demonstrate the breadth of your skills. Only include images of completed works. Do not include works-in-progress. If you do include multiple images of one work, only use two—one comprehensive and one detail. The images you submit need to be free of distractions, include no text, and no selfies with the art. Use quality images. Upon review, the jurors will project your image on a large screen and at a minimum your image needs to be saved as 4”x6” at 300dpi. You can submit larger file sizes, but ideally no image is larger than 2MB.

Image List: On page 10 of the Pre-Qualified Artist Poll Program Overview is a table demonstrating the ideal format for your Image List with File Name, Title, Medium, Dimensions, Year, Location (which pertains to installed public art works), and Budget/Retail Price.

Step Five: You will receive an email from BidSync notifying you when your account has been confirmed. Go to bidsync.com to log in. The first page you see after log in requires you to accept the terms of service. Click I Accept to proceed. On the next page at the top of the page you’ll see Search bids. Select Oklahoma, select Current bids, Click Go. On the next page, there are two tabs: “Links PLUS bids” and “Links bids” select Links bids. On page two of the bids are a project bid number 1409-001 Titled “Pre-Qualified Artist Pool Bid”. Select Pre-Qualified Artist Pool Bid. Along the top of the next page are tabs, select the “Documents” tab.  Click the box next to Prequalified Public Artist Pool – Call for Artists Revised.pdf.  Click download. Once you have viewed the document, select Place offer at the bottom of the page. ON the next screen, on the top right is a link to upload attachment. You will do this for your resume, letter of intent, each of your six images, and your image list. After you have uploaded all of your documents, you can submit. And you are finished. Congratulations.


And good luck!