New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center Issues Call to Artists for Pedestrian Park Art Installations

In partnership with Arts Council New Orleans, the commission will activate the public space at critical nodes along Convention Center Boulevard. Deadline is March 18th

The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, in partnership with The Arts Council New Orleans, has issued  a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to artists and design teams to create permanent art installations on the 7.5-acre pedestrian park that will run along the length of Convention Center Boulevard, from Poydras to Henderson Streets. The park will span the length of the Center along Convention Center Boulevard, creating a safer, more enjoyable, and more diverse experience for both visitors and residents.

“Through this series of commissions, our goal is to bring New Orleans’ world-class reputation as a center of art and culture to the front steps of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center,” Arts Council Executive Director Alphonse Smith said. “We commend the Convention Center for recognizing the essential role that art has in elevating public space and enhancing the visitor experience.”

Chosen artists and teams will be tasked with creating medium to large-scale artworks that will be installed at three locations along Convention Center Boulevard. Applicants are encouraged to consider the following themes:


  • Creativity: Inspire creativity and curiosity, and utilize innovative and visionary methods that activate the site and considers the current architecture.
  • Sense of Place: Help shape a sense of place and identity for the park that celebrates the history, geography, and culture of the area.
  • Connectivity: Enhance the park’s role as a hub of connectivity for pedestrian circulation.
  • Light: Create durable luminary artwork that activates the site for night-time use.
  • Interactivity: Create opportunities for pedestrians to interact with the installation.


A total of $425,000 will be awarded among a minimum of the three commissions. The amount is inclusive of all costs associated with the project, including, but not limited to artist fees, materials and equipment, insurance, permitting, fabrication and installation, and travel and lodging,. Artists who are invited to participate in Phase II of the Call will be required to submit an itemized budget as part of the proposal submission.

The call is open to professional artists or teams working in conjunction with professional artists. Submissions must include a brief letter of interest, a resume, work samples with a description list, a preliminary proposal that demonstrates your concept for the project, and three professional references. Qualified parties should visit to review all criteria and to download the RFQ details. The deadline for submissions is March 18, 2020.


The project timeline is as follows:

Artist Selection Phase I: Call for Qualifications

  • Call for Qualifications: published February 12, 2020
  • Submission Deadline: March 18, 2020 11:59 pm CST
  • Selection Committee Review March 23 – March 26, 2020
  • Finalists Notification March 30 2020

Artist Selection Phase II: Concept Proposal

  • Site Visit(s) April 2020
  • Concept Proposal Submission Deadline May 22, 2020
  • Final Interviews & Presentations May 27 and 28, 2020

Announcement of Winner: June 1, 2020

Artwork Installation and Celebration: December 2020

Timeline may be subject to change.


The Pedestrian Park Project is one part of a $557 million five-year modernization plan that will transform the guest experience including reimagined meeting rooms, restrooms and public spaces. Negotiations are underway to develop a 1,200 room headquarters hotel connected to the Center. The hotel will be surrounded with a 39-acre mixed-use project on an adjacent tract owned by the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority.

This project includes the newly opened Transportation Center connected to the Center via a covered walkway as well as outdoor entertainment spaces, seating areas, public art and water features. The pedestrian park will be completed by December 2020. For a list of major construction milestones, visit


Concept Rendering of Future Pedestrian Park at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center


About the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

With 1.1 million square feet of prime exhibit space, in an entirely contiguous hall, the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center provides the largest single exhibit space in the country. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center features an award winning staff and first class amenities, and is the sixth largest convention center in the nation.  A consistent Top 10 host of the largest conventions and tradeshows in the nation annually, the Convention Center is also one of the city’s “Top Workplaces.” A leading contributor to the city’s robust tourism economy, the Convention Center’s event activity has produced $90.1 billion in economic impact since its 1985 opening, including $5.7 billion in new tax revenue for state and local governments.