Eye on the Arts: Art sculpture call is officially open

Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, April 4, 2023

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Eye on the Arts by Konrad Hawkinson

Art is about to take over the streets of Albert Lea! Art Walk Albert Lea is excited to announce the acceptance of submissions for its first-ever sculpture collection this spring. Local artists are invited to showcase their artistic prowess by submitting their work, which will be displayed on and around the town’s various walking paths, delighting the community.

Konrad Hawkinson

This is an amazing opportunity for all area artists of every skill level to let their imaginations run wild, as there is no specific theme for the sculptures. So, go ahead and get creative with your choice of weatherproof medium!

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Albert Lea, with a population of approximately 18,000, is a town that is proud of its walk-friendly community. With an array of parks and paths around the lake and an accessible downtown, Albert Lea is the perfect setting for this display of local art. The community’s historic downtown, recreational lakes, and thriving businesses make it an excellent place to implement this exciting art presentation. Sculptures submitted don’t need to fit any particular theme or vision, but they must adhere to the size requirements, which are detailed below. If you have any questions or queries, contact Maggie Moller at maggie@explorealbertlea.com.

The deadline for submitting draft ideas for the sculpture proposal is April 21, and a jury will approve the submissions. Final completed physical submissions are due by June 30, for the second phase of approval. On Aug. 25, the art sculptures will be placed, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to celebrate the completion of this incredible public art display.

What are the submission guidelines?

The maximum height of the artwork must be no more than 84 inches, with a maximum base width of 18 inches and a maximum width of 54 inches. The material used must be safe in all four seasons, with stone, metal and ceramic as some examples. The bottom of the art piece must have the ability to be welded onto the metal pedestal plate. Any moving components must gain jury approval, and no sharp edges or similar risks should be present.

The jury process is rigorous to ensure the art meets public appropriateness guidelines. No overtly sexual, political or profane images/language are allowed. Initial submissions are due on April 21 in the form of drawings, photos, etc. The final completed physical submissions are due by June 30, as the jury must review the art in person. Additional guidelines and liability information can be found on the Art Walk Albert Lea website and Facebook. www.artwalkalbertlea.com

Why apply?

Once selected, the art sculpture will be leased to display for 12 months, and an artist stipend will be available upon jury approval. Furthermore, the sculpture will be posted for sale to the community, with Art Walk Albert Lea receiving a portion of the sale proceeds to put toward future public art projects like this one.

This is your chance to showcase your artistic talent to the community and get involved in the birth of a monumental local art display! Submit your proposal to Maggie Moller at Art Walk Albert Lea by April 21, and be a part of this fantastic opportunity to share creativity.

This project is a win-win opportunity for both the town and artists. The community gets the chance to enjoy — and even purchase — beautiful art displayed in accessible areas, while the artists get to showcase their work to the public and promote sales. It’s an exciting and transformative time for the people of Albert Lea, and we can’t wait to see the masterpieces that will be submitted. Let your creativity shine and create a piece of art that will be admired by the entire community!

Konrad Hawkinson is with the Albert Lea Main Street program.