Artist Sought for Willa Cather Portrait Sculpture

Posted by Nebraska Arts Council ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Artist Sought for Willa Cather Portrait Sculpture



The State of Nebraska has announced a Request for Qualifications with the intention of selecting an artist/team to create a larger-than-life statue of Willa Cather to represent Nebraska in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Budget: $150,000 (includes shipping to Washington, DC)
Eligibility: Professional artists and teams living in the United States
Deadline: 11/30/2018 5:00 PM Central Time

Project Description
The National Statuary Hall Collection, established by Congress in 1864, houses two statues representing historical figures from each state. Statues of Julius Sterling Morton and William Jennings Bryan currently represent Nebraska, and due to Federal legislation passed in 2000, both are being replaced by Willa Cather and Standing Bear, respectively. The site for the final, over life-size bronze statue is in the U.S. Capitol and National Statuary Hall, upon approval from the Joint Committee on the Library at multiple stages of completion.

The Willa Cather National Statuary Hall Selection Committee (Selection Committee) is comprised of members of the Nebraska Hall of Fame commission. The Selection Committee, in consultation with the Nebraska Arts Council, will oversee the selection a sculptor (Artist) for creation and placement of the Willa Cather statue.

Artwork Goals
The goal of the selection committee is to place in the Nation’s capital the best representation of Willa Cather to magnify her successes as a renowned writer of American stories and skillful harnesser of concepts and actions for leading a full, meaningful life. The requirements set by the Architect of the Capitol include:

  • Bronze statue, between seven and eight feet, the height with pedestal should not exceed eleven feet. In that size range, the combined weight should not exceed 5,000 pounds.
  • Inscriptions, patinas, clothing items, dimensions, weight, etc needs prior approval by AOC.
  • Sculpture should not have any protruding or sharp elements.

Selection Process
The Willa Cather National Statuary Hall Selection Committee, in consultation with the Nebraska Arts Council, has full oversight for the selection and placement of the Willa Cather statue. The committee will review RFQ submissions on SlideRoom. Three to five artists will present proposals in Lincoln, NE. Proposals should include a concept, design, budget and a two-foot maquette. Finalists will receive proposal and travel stipends.

Selection Criteria

  • Artistic excellence and proven ability to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Engaging pose that embodies Willa Cather’s physical and emotive likeness.
  • Ability to achieve and describe a creative solution that binds the statue and pedestal to Nebraska and Cather’s literary accomplishments.
  • Compatibility of artistic style and requirements within the National Statuary Hall.


  • RFQ Open: Tuesday, October 30, 2018
  • RFQ Close: Friday, November 30, 2018
  • Committee meeting to select finalists: December 3-7, 2018
  • Interview of finalists, review proposals: January 3-11, 2018
  • Proposal to be approved by Statuary Hall: TBD
  • Contract signed and sculpture in progress: TBD
  • Installation of artwork: December 2019

What to Submit

  1. Visual Support Materials Image descriptions: Include relevant descriptions with each corresponding image on SlideRoom and include project budgets where applicable.
  2. Images – Ten (10) digital images of relevant completed artwork projects. Upload images as jpg files, no larger than 1220px @ 72dpi.
  3. Video – Optional video file may demonstrate moving parts, time-based work, functionality, etc. Upload as mov, wmv, of flv files, no larger than 60MB each, nor longer than five minutes each.
  4. CV/Resume: Limit to three pages.
  5. Three Professional References: Complete contact information for references with a deep knowledge of your artwork and work methods. Ex: Commissioning organization, architect, etc.
  6. Statement of Interest: How do your personal style and past projects relate to this project. Describe briefly your interest and concept for this project. Use 500 words or less.

How to Submit
SlideRoom is the online review system used for the application process; applications received in any format other than SlideRoom will not be considered in the selection process.

Submit materials on SlideRoom via this portal: For technical assistance, access the SlideRoom Help Desk at

QUESTIONS?  Contact Meagan Dion, Public Art and Artist Programs Specialist,


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