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Knoxville Seeks Artist for Sculpture Commission

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




The City of Knoxville’s Public Arts Committee invites artists and artist teams to submit qualifications for a permanent work of art to be located in front of the main entrance to State Street Garage on State Street in downtown Knoxville. The Committee seeks artists to create a significant, site-specific work of art for this important location in downtown Knoxville.  Works that have previously been created for other spaces are discouraged.  Works that have been previously exhibited in other locales are disqualified.


This opportunity is open to all artists or artist teams over the age of 18.


The maximum budget for this project is $60,000, which includes artist fees, design fees, travel expenses, equipment rental, all materials and fabrication cost, lighting, insurance costs, site-preparation costs, traffic control costs, engineering expenses, shipping and transportation to the site, installation, any applicable permit fees and taxes, any costs associated with the development of site-specific concept(s), and any other expenses related to the design including fabrication and installation.


The garage is located in downtown Knoxville on State Street just east of the Tennessee Theatre, the official state theatre of Tennessee. It is also located across from Knoxville’s oldest and most picturesque churchyard, adjacent to First Presbyterian Church. The churchyard is the final resting place of Governor William Blount, one of the original signers of the United States Constitution, as well as other prominent citizens.  The garage’s proximity to many restaurants and downtown attractions often means it will be at maximum capacity on weekends.  Residents and visitors to Knoxville make frequent use of the garage and the convenient pedestrian walkway that connects the garage to Gay Street.


Previously, there have been temporary public art installations at the proposed site.  A concrete pad for sculptures was installed, and the dimensions measure 90.5” wide by 123” long.  Lighting has also been installed at the site and would be available to light the permanent installation.  There is additional space bordering three sides of the concrete pad measuring 62”, 63”, and 61” in width.  Photographs of the site are available here.


The committee seeks to enliven this well-trafficked area with public art that is: viewable day and night; inviting to pedestrian traffic; well-integrated with the surrounding landscape and garage; and considers the historic nature of the surrounding neighborhood.


Artists and artist teams are asked to submit qualifications to Liza Zenni, staff liaison for the Public Arts Committee. Out of these submissions, up to three (3) artists will be selected as finalists to prepare and present a proposal design to be considered for the site. An honorarium of $750 will be provided to each finalist/team to create and present a design proposal, as required.


  • Submission deadline: December 15, 2016
  • Finalists (up to 3) are notified: January 6, 2017
  • Proposed designs to selection committee: March 1, 2017
  • Winning artist/team is notified: March 10, 2017
  • Final design review: March 24, 2017
  • Installation: Spring 2017



  • Completed application form (available here)
  • Current CV/resume
  • Letter of interest (1 page maximum): applicants should briefly describe their interest in the project and include a description of their approach and proposed design for the project.
  • 4-6 digital images of previously completed work that demonstrate an ability to design, create and install large-scale, outdoor artwork.
  • Description of each image, including title, date, size, material, and location if a public artwork.
  • 3 professional references with current contact information

Please note: submitted materials will not be returned and incomplete applications will not be considered.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  THURSDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2016.  All materials must be received no later than 5:00 PM.  Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.


Mail or e-mail complete applications to:

Arts & Culture Alliance
ATTN: Liza Zenni
PO Box 2506
Knoxville, TN 37902

Call (865) 523-7543 or e-mail: