Arts in Transit is a non-profit subsidiary of Metro St. Louis transit and facilitates public art programs and community engagement projects in the St. Louis metro area. Each year, Arts in Transit invites local artists to submit their work to two contests: MetroLines (poetry) and MetroScapes (visual art).

**Artists, for the complete project description and instructions, please refer to the Cortex MetroLink Station Artwork Request for Qualifications that was emailed to you.**

Metro, the transit agency for the St. Louis region, through its Arts in Transit program, is seeking an artist to develop an artwork for the new Cortex MetroLink Station. The Cortex Innovation Community is home to a vibrant 200-acre innovation hub and technology district integrated into St. Louis’ historic Central West End and Forest Park Southeast residential neighborhoods, surrounded by nationally ranked universities and medical centers and abundant cultural and recreational assets. 

The ideal artwork would address the visitor experience of arriving by MetroLink, exiting to the adjacent plaza, and entering the Cortex complex and Chouteau Greenway. The artwork would be a landmark element greeting transit arrivals to this exciting venue.

Please Note: Arts in Transit is only requesting qualifications at this stage, not proposals. 

Artist Submission Guidelines

Please include the following in your submission:

  • Cover Letter - Briefly discuss how you would approach the development of a design for the artwork and why you believe you are qualified to be chosen for the project.  Please include a short biographical statement and indicate your availability within the next 12 months to undertake this project.  You may include links to a maximum of three published reviews/articles about your work.
  • Resume – (maximum two pages) Artist resume.
  • Images – Include up to ten digital images of past work.
  • Image List – List the title of each submitted work and include the following: date the work was completed, medium of work, budget, location of the work, and short description of the artwork.

Do not send any materials not specifically requested as part of this application, as they will not be considered or reviewed by Arts in Transit.

Review Criteria

The evaluation criteria are listed in order of importance. Proposers should address each item.

  • Aesthetic quality of previously completed projects or commissions presented by artist applicants (images and annotated image list).
  • Appropriateness of previously completed projects presented by applicants to their sites, including safety and scale (images and annotated image list). 
  • General durability and suitability of materials, resistance to vandalism and minimum of maintenance requirements (annotated image list).
  • Feasibility and suitability of artist(s) work to a public environment (annotated image list).
  • Availability through the duration of the project (cover letter).

MetroLines, sponsored by Metro Arts in Transit, is a poetry contest open to residents of all ages living within a 50-mile radius of the city of St. Louis. Up to 15 poems will be selected for publication and will be reproduced on posters that will include visual imagery created by Metro Arts in Transit designers. The posters will be displayed on MetroLink trains and Metro buses for up to one year.

The winners will each receive a $100 award, a poster featuring their poem, and will be invited to read at a ceremony in the fall. Posters of the published poems will be offered for sale through Metro retail outlets with all proceeds going to Arts in Transit, Inc., a non-profit organization providing support for Metro’s art programs.

A committee of literary professionals from the St. Louis region will serve as judges.


MetroLines is open to people of all ages. Both published and unpublished work will be accepted. Entrants must reside within a 50-mile radius of the city of St. Louis and must provide a valid address.

Submission Guidelines (Please Read Carefully):

Submissions are open May 10 to July 6, 2018

  • All submissions should be sent via Submittable. No hard copy or emailed submissions will be accepted.
  • Send up to three poems per submission.
  • Poems cannot be longer than 15 lines (stanza breaks count as one line).
  • Please include all poems in a single document with only one poem per page. Poems are judged blind, so do not include your name or contact information in this document or in the file name.
  • If the author of the poems is younger than 18 years old, the author’s parent or guardian must check the appropriate permission box on Submittable.
  • Previously published poems will be accepted provided the author has rights to the submitted poems and properly credits the original publication.
  • Any poem submitted must be suitable for public display, to be determined at the sole discretion of Metro Arts in Transit.
  • Metro employees are not eligible to enter the contest.

Please note that if the Eligibility or Submission Guidelines are not followed, the poem will be disqualified.


  • You will receive a confirmation email after you submit. If you do not receive one, please check your spam folder. No calls please.
  • The list of winners will be released to the public and listed on the Arts in Transit website at in August. All entrants will be notified of the results by email.