Creek Show 2022

Our Creek Show Call for Ideas is now closed.


Creek Show
November 11 – 20, 2022

Waterloo Greenway’s Creek Show invites architects, landscape architects, artists, and designers to submit ideas for light-based, site-specific installations along Waller Creek. Submitted ideas will be selected by a committee of local leaders from the design and art community and will then be constructed by the selected teams. Creek Show 2022 will continue to delight and inspire the community by activating Waller Creek, between 9th and 12th Streets. The completed installations will be open to the public from November 11 – 20, 2022. Click here to learn more about the future of Waterloo Greenway.

Concept Brief

This competition seeks to support and celebrate outstanding design while sparking conversation about the transformation of Waterloo Greenway into a series of urban parks, trails, and a restored Waller Creek. Each year, Creek Show features light-based installations that inspire, delight, and engage the public along Waller Creek. Creek Show will continue to highlight the potential of innovative, temporary, small-scale installations to bring attention to Waterloo Greenway’s mission. Designers from a variety of disciplines are encouraged to submit ideas, as each year’s mix of talent will include architects, landscape architects, and visual artists. This is not solely a design exercise. Teams must demonstrate that they can complete the installation from conception to realization.

Goals of Creek Show

  • Engage the public through architecture, landscape architecture, art, and design.
  • Raise awareness of the work and mission of Waterloo Greenway.
  • Highlight talent of Austin-based designers.
  • Activate Waller Creek for 10 nights by commissioning innovative, temporary installations and providing free programming for the entire community to enjoy.


Waller Creek in the downtown area is truly different from one block to the next. Some sections are channelized while others are in a more natural state; both the vegetation and the built environment varies as you walk the length of the creek. Creek Show challenges artists by focusing on the section of Waller Creek between 9th Street and 12th Street, an area that includes open trails along the creek, pedestrian tunnels, and Symphony Square. Submissions should include a preferred site but placement is not guaranteed, as all selected installations must be considered and curated as a comprehensive exhibition.

Not familiar with the site?

Click here to view a map of the Creek Show route from 9th Street to 12th Street along Waller Creek.

Design Considerations


All installations must be:

  • Original.
  • Site-specific.
  • Inspired by some specific aspect of Waller Creek and/or Waterloo Greenway 
  • Designed to sustain the outdoors over the course of the event; this includes wind, rain, and changing creek levels.
  • Temporary – Attachments should be removable and leave no impact; drilling into the creek bed is prohibited.
  • Environmentally friendly – No toxic materials; no damage or disruption allowed to the creek and surrounding flora and fauna.
  • Durable – Over 70,000 people walk through the event and will “interact” with anything in arms’ length.

Other Considerations

Power in the creek is limited. Design teams are encouraged to consider this from the outset and create concepts that do not require a large power supply. This is not purely a design challenge, it is a design-build challenge. While teams do not need a solution for every detail of the installation at the time of submission, particular attention will be given to teams that show an understanding of construction, fabrication, materials, and site constraints.

Selection Process

A selection committee will evaluate the ideas based on their individual merit as well as how they work with other proposed ideas to create a comprehensive exhibition. Some teams may be asked to provide additional information or details before a final determination is reached.

Selection Criteria

The most successful concepts will:

  • Tell a compelling story about Waller Creek and/or Waterloo Greenway
  • Engage attendees
  • Be high-spectacle
  • Use common materials in uncommon ways
  • Employ light as an integral element of the design

Creek Show 2022 Selection Committee

Donald Miller – Director of Programming, Waterloo Greenway
Ingrid Spencer – Executive Director of AIA Austin + Austin Foundation for Architecture, Creek Show Artistic Director
Melba Whatley – Board Member, Waterloo Greenway
Alyssa James – Board Member, Waterloo Greenway & Principal & Founder, Studio 8SC
Chris Mattsson – Former Board Member, Waterloo Greenway
Gerardo Gandy – Assoc., AIA, Architectural Brand Experience Designer, Gensler
Michelle Voss – Executive Director, Austin City Art Fund
Christian Kline – Partner, Drophouse Design 
Jesse Stowell – Principal, Parker | Phoenix Public Relations

Submission Requirements and Instructions

Submissions will be accepted until midnight on Friday, March 18, 2022.

Your submission must include the following:

  • Team Name
  • Title of Proposed Installation
  • Statement of Intent – Describe the inspiration for this piece and what story it tells about Waller Creek. Explain the project, identify how light will be used, and describe the installation’s form, material, structural, and interactive features. Articulate the design’s relationship to the site and, if desired, identify potential site(s). 
  • Team Listing & Biographies – Individuals, collaborations, and organizations are all welcome. Provide a brief biography of each team member, including academic background, professional affiliations, recent projects, and any other relevant info.
  • Visuals – Include up to five images such as renderings, drawings, diagrams, or any image that visually conveys the concept and shows the project.

The above items must be submitted in a single PDF file, sized to 8.5” x 11”. There is no page limit but teams are encouraged to be as concise as possible.


The Creek Show Call for Ideas is open to anyone based in Austin, TX. Collaborative and interdisciplinary proposals are encouraged. Artist teams are only allowed one design submission per year. No individual may be on more than one team per year. Design teams must be in Austin for the duration of Creek Show to perform regular maintenance to the installation and attend events such as opening night and the Artist Talk.

Design leads may not participate in Creek Show in consecutive years. Individuals and organizations who have participated in a support role such as fabrication may be part of a team in consecutive years but the individual, firm, or group that created the concept must wait at least one year before entering a new submission.

Student teams are encouraged to apply. The competition brief may be suitable for adoption as part of coursework by architecture, landscape architecture, design, or art instructors.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Waterloo Greenway acknowledges its role in and responsibility for building equity. As a community-based organization, we are committed to intentional policies and practices that further justice and fairness and ensure all communities have meaningful access to all we do within our park including workforce opportunities, programmatic engagement, and community & corporate partnerships.

We strongly encourage teams to embrace a shared commitment to equity as they build both their teams and submit ideas for Creek Show. Our Call for Ideas is open to all persons regardless of age, color, disability, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression. All are welcome at Creek Show — your installations and teams are a huge part of making that happen!


February 15 – Call for Ideas Opens
February 24Creek Show Information Session 1 (Virtual) – 6:00 PM
February 25 Creek Show Information Session 2 (Virtual) – 12:00 PM 
March 22 – Call for Ideas Closes at midnight
April – Finalists Notified
May – Artist Orientation & Concepts Presentations, Creek Show Site Tour
June – Team Meetings with City of Austin Staff, Refined Concepts Due
July – October – Monthly Planning Meetings
November 7-10 – Installation 
November 11-20 – Creek Show 2022
November 23 – De-installation


$20K total per installation = $5K honorarium + up to $15K labor & material

A draft budget is not due with the submission but teams are encouraged to research costs in advance to ensure that the concept can be successfully executed for $15K or less.

Insurance Requirements

Selected Installations will be required to provide and maintain at their expense General Liability Insurance (GLI). Artist’s GLI shall have a limit of liability of not less than $1,000,000 per occurrence for bodily injury and damage to property. Artist will be required to indemnify and hold harmless Waterloo Greenway Conservancy and the City of Austin against any and all liability, damages, losses, claims, demands, and actions of any nature, due to personal injury or property loss or damage of any kind which arises or is claimed to arise out of or is in any manner connected with the Installation. WGC and the City of Austin shall be named as an additional insured on the policy. If Artist maintains a professional liability policy, it will satisfy the requirements set forth herein if there is coverage for installation, construction and the indemnification obligation below and such insurance has the limits described above. Any such policy maintained by Artist shall include coverage for physical damage to the Installation.

Virtual Information Sessions

Waterloo Greenway will host two virtual information sessions where we will walk you through project goals, the submission process, and provide tips on preparing a successful application and installation. There will be a best-practices Q&A with former Creek Show artists, designers, and fabricators.

Watch our Creek Show Virtual Info Session below!


If you have any questions about Creek Show, please contact our Programming & Events Director Donald Miller at

Creek Show

Since 2014, Waterloo Greenway has commissioned local artists to create site-specific, light-based art installations to help raise awareness about the ongoing transformation of Waller Creek and our new 35-acre urban park system coming to downtown Austin.

Learn more about the artists and installations of past Creek Shows below!








To learn more about sponsorship opportunities and ways to support Creek Show, please contact Brendan Bujold at