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City of Lexington Seeks Sculpture Artist for Major Commission

Posted by LexArts ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
City of Lexington Seeks Sculpture Artist for Major Commission




The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council and the Mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, have come together with private companies and community members to support the erection of a commemorative piece of public art in honor of the history of women in the area. Breaking the Bronze Ceiling is the significant first step in creating public art that more fully represents the diverse history of the city, beginning with commemorations of visionary and inspiring women.

Budget: $500,000
Eligibility: Professional artists over 18 with a U.S. Federal Tax ID
Deadline: 05/15/2019 11:59 PM Central Time


Across the country there is a growing movement to recognize noteworthy women and their historical contributions through public monuments. Unfortunately, less than 7% of the 5,193 monuments in the United States presently recognize women. In Lexington, Kentucky there are none. Lexington is about to change that statistic with the Breaking the Bronze Ceiling initiative. The goal is to have a monument in place in a prominent downtown Lexington location in 2020 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, enacting women’s right to vote and the role Lexington / Fayette County women played in that historic event.

The commemorations honoring women’s history will:

  1. Commend the history of women in their organizations, activities, accomplishments in the Lexington-Fayette area;
  2. Demonstrate support for womens’ contributions and the continuing empowerment of all women in our community, and;
  3. Serve as a source of inspiration and encourage to all citizens


Breaking the Bronze Ceiling is committed to using community engagement throughout the planning process for the artwork.  The selection process will include community input.


Lexington’s region today boasts eighteen institutions of higher learning and a thriving music and arts scene. It is a pastoral university city encircled by farms, racetracks, bourbon distilleries, and the palisades of the Kentucky River. It was the first city of America’s pioneer west. In recent years, Lexington has seen a dramatic revitalization of its historic downtown. This public art initiative seeks to build upon this very positive momentum.


Additional background related to this opportunity can be found by visiting these sites:


  • March 15, 2019 – RFQ posted
  • May 15, 2019 – RFQ Deadline
  • June 15, 2019 – Finalists notified
  • July – August, 2019 – Site Visits to Lexington
  • September 1, 2019 – Proposals Due
  • September 15 – 30, 2019 – Community Engagement: Proposals displayed in public exhibition
  • November 2019 – Final Artist(s) chosen/notified


This RFQ seeks all qualified artists with the experience and capacity to produce permanent artwork. Responses are due May 15, 2019. After a thorough review of RFQ submissions by a jury of stakeholders, three to five artists will be selected as candidates for the Request for Proposals.

Guiding criteria for selection

  • Ability to draw public attention to the history of Lexington womens’ role in the women’s suffrage movement
  • Artistic distinction and aesthetics
  • Interactivity with the viewer
  • Contextual integration into the landscape of Lexington
  • Public safety and appropriate materials for longevity in an outdoor setting

What to Submit

The following documents are required:

  1. Letter of interest (typed, 2 pages maximum): Should include a description of artist’s approach to public art.
  2. Current and Professional Resume (2 page max please)
  3. At least (3) professional references for individuals or institutions who possess or have commissioned your artwork. Please provide address, email and phone number.
  4. Visual Support Materials: six to ten recent/relevant jpg or pdf images of works that illustrate previous experience. Names of digital images should consistently read: [Image Number] _ [Project
    Title]_[Title of Work] _ [Artist(s) Name(s)].

How to Submit

Submit ONLINE ONLY through the CaFe system.

After a thorough review of all qualified RFQs, three to five artists will be invited to participate in commissioned proposals to design a site specific public artwork for Breaking the Bronze Ceiling in Lexington. Selected finalists will have a site visit to Lexington prior to delivery of the artwork proposal.   Proposals are expected to represent a unique commission in ample detail and provided in a format that may be exhibited.  Each artist will be awarded $2,000 upon receipt of a qualifying proposal. In addition, there is a travel allowance of up to $750 per finalist to visit the proposed site and research the area. Submitted materials will become the property of BTBC; copyright of these materials will be owned by the artist.

QUESTIONS? Contact Nathan Zamarron, Community Arts Director, or 859-255-2951



Q: Based on the title of the project, is it envisioned that there is an expectation the artwork should have a figurative representation of local women who fought to realize the 19th Amendment?

A: Requests for proposals will  not be limited to figurative work.


Q: In order to best reflect our ability to incorporate figurative elements into our unique approach to commemorative design, may we include a schematic rendering of a site specific concept for this RFQ?

A: While figurative bronze is definitely an option we are open to concepts that are in other materials and artistic styles.  Images of past work are required to demonstrate your ability to design and realize public art; schematic renderings will not be reviewed by the panel for the RFQ.


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