The Mill District Public Art Trail RFQ deadline to apply is approaching

March 2, 2022

701 Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) is seeking artists to develop and execute site-specific works for five gate houses located on the grounds of the historic Granby and Olympia Mills as part of CCA’s Mill District Public Art Trail. The mills are twin Romanesque Revival style, four-story structures designed by W.B. Smith Whaley & Company – the leading mill architects of their time. Once considered two of the most architecturally significant textile mills in South Carolina, today the two massive buildings have been repurposed for residential mill living.


The budget for each gate house is $3,000

Public Art Opportunities

Five gate houses located in front of the two mill buildings offer unique opportunities for site-specific works. The structures were built during WWII. Designed to compliment the architectural elements of the mill buildings, the Olympia Mill gate houses feature arch-shaped windows and a frieze consisting of terracotta arches. The less decorated Granby Mill gate houses feature dentil brick molding and sash windows.

The gate houses will function as changing exhibition spaces for temporary public art projects. The projects will be installed for a minimum of one year. Each gate house is 10’x10’ with a modest interior and lighting. Access to the interior is through doors on the rear or side of each structure. The gate houses are not air-conditioned or heated. Artwork must be able to withstand extreme weather conditions.

The exteriors of the gate houses are protected under the City of Columbia historic preservation ordinance. Attachments to the exterior are not allowed.


Artists working in media appropriate for non-conditioned environments and styles are eligible for consideration. Artists may submit individually or as a team. Artist teams must designate one artist as the lead contact. This opportunity is open to professional artists 18 and over.

Selection Process

A panel of arts professionals will review artists qualifications and make a selection of artists who will be invited to submit a full proposal. Selections will be based on artistic merit, experience with public art commissions and/or installation art and the ability to complete and install the project by June 20, 2022.

RFQ Requirements

  1. Images of up to five completed commissions/installations that demonstrate your qualifications for the project. Please include the title, medium, dimensions, year completed, location, and a short description.
  1. Artist resume demonstrating a minimum of five years of professional visual art experience. If submitting as a team, a current resume should be submitted for each team member. Please compile resumes into one document.
  1. Statement of interest in this particular Mill District opportunity
  1. References that include the names and current contact information for three individuals with whom you have worked, collaborated, or who have commissioned your work in the past. References may be contacted for artists invited to develop a proposal for the commissions.


Deadline for RFQ – March 9

Panel Review & Selection – March 13

Notification to Artists – March 15

Deadline for Proposals – April 4

Finalist(s) Notification – April 8

Finalist(s) Interviews/Presentation of Proposals on Zoom – April 11

Notification to Finalists – April 13

Site Availability – April 14

Deadline for Installed Works – June 20

Link To Apply