The City of Ennis, Texas is accepting qualified proposals from artists for a Public Art installation in the new Ennis Welcome Center. This new center will serve as a prominent point of entry and a first impression for thousands of visitors traveling to Ennis to see the unique sights and experiences.
Founded in 1872, Ennis is an historic city particularly well known for the incredible fields of bluebonnets and other wildflowers that bloom every spring. It has become an international, national and regional destination for people throughout the southwest to come and experience the beauty and wonder of the natural surroundings and historic town.
The old Ennis Convention & Visitors Bureau often hosts over a thousand people a day each Spring. The current restoration and development of the old downtown area, coupled with tourism and the increasing growth in population, made it necessary for Ennis to commission a new Welcome Center several times larger than the previous one, and within it, an exceptional artistic installation that portrays the beauty and importance of the city. The new Welcome Center, a cornerstone of the city of Ennis' downtown revitalization efforts, will serve to greet and guide the public.
Goals, Themes, and Objectives of the Ennis Welcome Center:
The City of Ennis wishes to commission a work of art that will create a visual and emotional connection to all who experience it. This commision should reflect the “Bluebonnet Spirit of Texas” and portray Ennis as an authentic example of “Small Town Americana.” The quality of the artwork, relevance to the City and ability to engage the public are foremost in this initiative.
The Budget for this project is tiered so that all qualified artists may provide a proposal and can identify the funding requirement most appropriate for their concept. For more information on budget, download the full Request for Proposal at the bottom of this page.
History of the City of Ennis:
The City of Ennis was established in 1872 as the northern terminus of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad. The expansion of the cotton industry supplemented by the railroad provided access to foreign and domestic markets through the port of Houston. The Ennis Chamber of Commerce adopted the slogan 'Where Railroads and Cotton Fields Meet." These two industries - trade and cotton production - produced immense wealth for the community that could be seen in the residential development of the city. Elegant houses along “the Avenue” and north were accompanied by dozens of Folk Victorian houses and Craftsman style bungalows. These Victorian houses and Craftsman bungalows in the northwestern part of the city would eventually become a part of the Templeton-McCanless Residential Historic District.
By the mid-20th century Ennis had become a modern community with schools, three movie theaters, several drugstores, banks and automobile dealerships. The sons and daughters of early settlers had developed new traditions like the National Polka Festival and the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail. Moreover, the city was connected to Dallas to the north and Houston to the South by Interstate Highway 45. Since then, citizens of Ennis have been able to experience the best of two worlds, participation in the attractions of a large, dynamic city and the familiar streetscape of a unique, nurturing community.
Recently the City of Ennis adopted a master plan designed to revitalize the downtown area, encourage growth within the community and advance the city as a tourist destination.
Click on this link to watch the new branding campaign:
Interested artists are invited to submit themselves for consideration. For additional information regarding scope and requirements, download the full document here: