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Sculpture Sought for Wisconsin Riverfront

Posted by City of Wausau ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Sculpture Sought for Wisconsin Riverfront



This Request for Proposals (RFP) seeks proposals from artists for the design and creation of a public sculpture to be located along Wausau, Wisconsin’s downtown riverfront.  The theme of the sculpture is open to anything relating to Wausau’s early history and/or its location along the Wisconsin River.

Budget: $150,000
Eligibility: Artists and teams with all members age 18 and older
Deadline: 01/31/2019 4:00 PM Central Time

NOTEThis opportunity is a Request for Proposals. Applicants must submit a conceptual proposal and budget, without compensation for design work, as part of the application process. Please review full RFQ for site information and photos.

Project Description
This 16-acre area along the river contained industrial/brownfield sites before it was recently cleaned up for commercial and residential redevelopment. The area now contains many public amenities including a wharf, a reclaimed stream, and a variety of well-landscaped green spaces along the waterfront. New commercial and residential developments in this area continue to take shape.

The following websites contain information about Wausau’s history:

Artwork Goals
The commissioned artwork should be reflective of Wausau’s early history, particularly relating to early lumbering that took place along this part of the river but potentially other industrial uses that followed until recently. The artwork should provide public interest many years into the future. It should add an artistic asset to the riverfront to help promote additional public art.

Artwork Location Description
The sculpture site is located along Wausau’s downtown riverfront. The specific location is within a redeveloping area adjacent to the central business district, called RiverLife. The River Edge Parkway is a multi-use path running along the banks of the Wisconsin River. The parkway connects many important features of the community, particularly on the east side of the river. The sculpture would sit at a very prominent site along the river at the end of a new Fulton Street. The street is currently being designed and is anticipated for construction in 2019.  For more information about Wausau’s riverfront redevelopment please visit:


  • Proposal deadline:  January 31, 2019
  • Artist selected by Wausau Arts Commission:  February 2019
  • Execute agreement and project start:  March 2019
  • Artwork is completed and installed:  November 2019

Selection Process
The city’s Arts Commission will review the proposals and provide a recommendation to the local foundation who will also review the proposal. Final approval will be given by the city council.

Selection Criteria
Proposals will be evaluated in terms of how well a piece of art is anticipated to meet the goals stated above, as well as the following criteria:

  • Completeness of proposal – Are all details of design, construction, and installation being considered?
  • Context-sensitive – Will the sculpture fit on the proposed site, not only in terms of scale, but with its surrounding environment?
  • Durability – Will the design be resistant to natural elements and potential vandalism?
  • Public Safety – Does the design minimize potential safety concerns for the general public?
  • Aesthetics – Will the artwork be compelling and provide lasting interest and community pride?
  • Feasibility – Can the proposed sculpture be completed as proposed, within budget and without causing undue strain on city resources?
  • Experience – Does the artist or team of artists have experience completing similar works of art on time and within budget?

What to Submit

  1. A cover letter with full contact information shall be provided. The cover letter, or a separate narrative, shall describe the project in detail, including but not limited to design intent and materials to be used.
  2. A conceptual design, in the format of the artist’s choosing, shall be submitted along with the cover letter/narrative.
  3. Also included in the proposal shall be a budget, timeline (from design to installation), a professional resume and sample portfolio.
  4. Please see the RFQ for an additional signed statement that must be included.

Please limit proposals to a maximum of seven (7) pages, excluding attachments.

How to Submit

Proposals are due by 4:00 p.m. Central Standard Time, Thursday, January 31, 2019. Please email the proposal to Brad Lenz, City Planner at

QUESTIONS?  Contact Brad Lenz,


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