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Sculptures Celebrating STEAM Sought for College Campus

Posted by University of West Florida ; Posted on 
Public Art; Visual - DEADLINE :  
Sculptures Celebrating STEAM Sought for College Campus


The University of West Florida announces an international call for permanent public sculptures that celebrate some aspect of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics). Artists may propose a single installation, a series, or a connective pathway between works of art. Artists must submit letters of interest and qualifications, along with project renderings.

NOTE:  This is a Request for Proposals.  Artists are asked to create designs as part of the application process.  Download and review full RFP document with site photos at

BUDGET:  Total of $500,000 for up to 6 commissions

ELIGIBILITY:  Professional artists

DEADLINE:  6/30/2018,  11:59 p.m. Central

University of West Florida and Site Description
The University of West Florida has just celebrated its 50th anniversary. Located in Pensacola, Florida near the Gulf of Mexico, it has the second largest campus in the Florida State University system with 1600 acres, much of which is undeveloped. The climate is considered to be humid sub-tropical. The natural setting is complex with rivers, wetlands, and meadows along with diverse foliage.

Two campus locations have been identified for the installations. They are across from one another on either side of a main road which winds its way through the university campus.This area includes a large open lawn on one side where the Center for Fine and Performing Arts (Building 82) is located and an area with a number of trees abutting a sidewalk on the other where the Hal Marcus College of Science and Engineering is located (Building 4). Bldg. 82 is just South, Southeast of Bldg. 4. Occasional University-related social activities take place on the lawn of building 82.

The sculptures will be visible to traffic by foot and by car and must be lit at night.

Conceptual Theme: The Potential of STEAM
The university is increasingly foregrounding interaction between colleges/disciplines, and the commissioned sculptures will be a visual component of these initiatives. General objectives of the project are: to highlight the potential for collaboration across disciplines; to visually (or otherwise) link the science and art buildings on campus (across the road from one another); and to stimulate thinking on transdisciplinary work.

Questions/concepts to consider might be:

  • Transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary integration of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
  • Is it possible to rise above merely illustrating a design and practice? We seek projects that will integrate the disciplines.
  • How does transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary practice further creativity and awareness?
  • How can the production of this project and a resultant sculpture directly and compellingly engage in interdisciplinary issues?
  • Projects that actively engage interdisciplinary practice in design, installation, etc. and projects that continue to operate as a locus for hybrids of disciplines.
  • Any other concept that explores transdisciplinary practice.

The call to artists is open to a range of ways in which this might be addressed. Some areas that might be of interest include perception, geometry in art and reverence (sacred geometry, the golden ratio), color and the sensory, eco-art and the local longleaf pine (see E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth Project, 175-79, and site photos), the sublime, sound/silence, nature and memory, optics and the use of light (including natural), the will of nature/the will of man, among others.

Materials and Designs
Materials and designs need to be durable enough to last through potentially severe and hazardous weather, including tropical activity and high winds and withstand harsh conditions over a long course of time without extensive maintenance. Final installations must meet all current applicable codes. UV-resistant and rust resistant materials should be used. Artists’ proposals will be evaluated by a fine arts conservator to identify future maintenance and conservation needs. Artworks should be constructed to reasonably discourage theft and vandalism and must take into consideration the ground surrounding the piece. Include plans for nighttime lighting.

A budget of $500,000 has been allocated for permanent public art through this initiative. These funds will be split among finalists, and the amount may vary depending on the scale and complexity of the artwork. It is anticipated that individual awards will range from $75,000 to $100,000. However, the selection panel will consider larger installations with higher awards or a connected series. The awards will be structured as all inclusive including the artist’s design fees (including travel and housing), materials, fabrication, engineering inspection fee, shipping and installation (including any subcontracting). Artists are responsible for the installation. Projects that involve students in the process of completion are encouraged.

Selection Process
The call is open to professional artists or artistic teams that have a strong exhibition record and an interest in working between disciplines. Artists must show evidence of completion of a project with a similar budget, scale, and scope. The responses will be evaluated by a jury and semi-finalists selected and notified by July 30, 2018. The jury will consider past work, innovative ideas, experience, appropriate relationship of the work to the site, transdisciplinary engagement, and durability of the project. Final proposals accompanied by engineering safety confirmations are due on August 30, 2018. Members of the community at large will be invited to offer comments on projects in September. Semi-finalists will be interviewed by Skype in September and by October 1 the jury will select the finalists. Final location of individual pieces will be determined by October and finalists will be urged to visit campus. Successful applicants will work with the jury to finalize proposals. Construction, fabrication, and installation must be completed by April 30, 2019. Students may be assigned to each sculptor or group to assist with the installation where appropriate. Artists will be asked to give a public lecture on their work.


  • June 30, 2018: Submission deadline
  • July 30, 2018: Semi-finalists notified
  • August 30, 2018: Submission of final proposal with engineer’s confirmation of workable design
  • September 2018: Semi-finalist projects exhibited to the public; semi-finalists interviewed via Skype
  • September 30, 2018: Finalists selected and notified
  • October-December 2018: Sculptures fabricated
  • April 30, 2019: Installation of sculptures completed

Submission Components
Incomplete or incorrectly formatted applications will not be considered. Components include:

  • CV/Resume: Submit an abbreviated CV with project-related relevant information (maximum 2 pages). Format needs to comply to one-inch margins, no less than 10pt font, and minimum single spaced. Please include your preferred contact method (e.g. landline, mobile, email, etc.).  Note for group submissions: Submit a single document with all resumes integrated per formatting instructions above. Each individual not to exceed two pages. Please order the first cv as the primary contact for your team and include preferred contact method.
  • Letter of Interest: One page. Address the conceptual approach you will be taking.
  • Artist’s Statement: One page maximum.
  • Your Project: Upload a detailed sketch or digital rendering of your project with actual dimensions indicated and plans for placement. Describe materials and their durability. See timeframe above and address how your project will comply. Explanation of maintenance requirements and estimated maintenance expense.
  • Timeline of Your Project: One page
  • Budget: One-page breakdown of project estimate, including projected cost of installation.
  • Examples of Work: 10 digital images of relevant work created in the last seven years.
  • Successful Public Project: Contact information verifying the satisfactory completion of at least one public art project including the dimensions/format of the piece, the commissioning organizations and budget.
  • References: Contact information for two professional references.

How to submit
All responses must be submitted to no later than 11:59 p.m CST June 30, 2018. COMPILE COMPONENTS AS ONE PDF. Please title submission all lower case by last name, first initial, followed by an underscore, followed by uwfSTEAM. If your name is John Smith you would submit your file as smithj_uwfSTEAM.pdf. There is no application fee.

QUESTIONS? Inquiries can be directed to


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