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Cemetery Sculpture Competition
The City of Batavia is seeking proposals from artists to create a public artwork to adorn the new columbarium (pictured right) at Batavia’s west cemetery along Illinois Route 31.
Open to artists over 18 years old and residing in the United States.
The City has budgeted up to $40,000 for commission of the completed and installed sculpture. The actual award value, as well as timing of distribution, will be negotiated with selected the artist prior to the commission grant.
According to city officials, the sculpture work will become a woven part of the fabric of the cemetery and will remain in place for at least the next century.
“The sculpture should present a timeless design that reflects a level of reverence, honor and dignity befitting of those who rest within the cemetery,” said Gary Holm, the City’s Public Works Director.
The columbarium, a structure for interring remains behind personalized, engraved niches, was added to the west cemetery in 2021. It is visible from Rt. 31 and within steps of the cemetery’s military war memorial. The sculpture will be located atop the columbarium structure and visible from most areas of the cemetery.
Some of the criteria for artwork to be considered include:
- Ability to withstand severe outdoor weather conditions.
- Built from materials that are durable, low-maintenance, resistant to vandalism, and sustainable.
- Identical artwork by the artist must not be currently installed within 50 miles of Batavia.
The winning design will be selected by a jury of art professionals. In combination with the professional review process, a public open house will be held and Batavia’s city council will solicit feedback from the judges as well as the general public. No more than 10 final candidates will be asked to provide a scale model of their work and given a $500 stipend to complete the model submission.
The scale models will be reviewed again by the jury and shown at another open house. City council members will make the final award.
Artists have until Aug. 10 to submit initial proposals. Finalists will have until Sept. 21 to submit their models. The winning design will be announced in early October.
Complete details are below, and in a pdf here.
Gary Holm, P.E.Director of Public WorksPhone: 630-454-2309
Laura NewmanCity Administrator
City of Batavia
West Cemetery Sculpture Competition
Call for Sculpture Proposals
March 1, 2023
The City of Batavia, Illinois, a city of approximately 26,000 located 40 miles west of Chicago (cityofbatavia.net), announces a sculpture design competition for a work of public art.
The City owns and manages two municipal cemeteries. In 2021 the City completed construction of a columbarium structure within its west cemetery. The west cemetery was originally established in 1845. It consists of 21 acres of wooded property, just west of the Fox River. The west cemetery is located along Batavia Ave. (IL Rte. 31) between Morton and Merlo Streets, near Batavia’s historic downtown. The City desires to have a work of public art installed atop the new columbarium structure.
Purpose/Theme: It is anticipated that the sculptural work will become a woven part of the fabric of the cemetery and will remain in place for at least the next century. As such, the sculpture should present a timeless design that reflects a level of reverence, honor and dignity befitting of those who rest within the cemetery. The columbarium is within eyesight of the cemetery’s military war memorial. Many servicemen and women have been laid to rest within the cemetery; however, the cemetery does not just honor fallen veterans. The cemetery provides a final resting place for all of Batavia’s citizens, young and old, regardless of their individual backgrounds. The cemetery is publicly owned, non-denominational and non-sectarian and is open and accessible to people of all faiths and religions. The sculpture should strive to capture a sense of inclusion, peace and tranquility.
Location of Project: The Sculpture will be located atop a newly constructed columbarium structure within Batavia’s west public cemetery. The sculptural work should be designed for viewing from all sides and angles. The columbarium structure is visible from most areas within the cemetery and from Batavia Avenue, a main thoroughfare that carries approximately 15,000 vehicles per day.
The sculpture is to sit upon a 36” long x 36” wide x 4” thick square granite pedestal integrated into the top of an octagonal shaped columbarium structure having dimension of approximately 87” wide x 87” deep x 90” tall. The sculptural piece should have dimensions appropriately scaled to be complementary of the underlying columbarium structure and also be easily visible from a distance of approximately one hundred feet (100’) away.
The piece should have a maximum weight that does not exceed 1,800 pounds. The piece will need to be designed and fabricated with an awareness of its Midwest, urban location. The piece should account for the potential for vandalism. The piece should be constructed of materials that can remain outside, exposed to all types of weather conditions, for a period of several decades. Preference will be given to bronze or stone submissions; however, other appropriate materials will also be considered. An external lighting source currently shines upon the columbarium structure. The City has future plans to modify the lighting so that it is more appropriate for the selected piece.
The sculpture will be anchored directly to the granite pedestal using 3” deep drilled holes in combination with Type 304 or 316 stainless steel or mill finish or anodized aluminum or copper or bronze pins. Pins shall be adhered to granite pedestal using Sika AnchorFix 2020 adhesive (or approved equal). Any joint between the sculptural piece and the granite pedestal shall be caulked with the applicable color of Dow Corning DOWSIL caulk.
Who May Submit Proposals: Open to artists 18 years of age or older residing within the United States of America.
Awards: The City has budgeted up to forty thousand dollars ($40,000.00) for commission of the completed and installed sculpture. The actual award value, as well as timing of distribution, will be negotiated with the selected artist prior to the commission grant.
What type of artwork will be considered:
- Sculptures must withstand severe outdoor weather conditions includingexposure to the sun, rainfall, sleet/hail, high winds, high humidity, intense heat, sub-zero cold, snow, ice, etc.
Sculptures must be fixed in location. Kinetic works will not be considered.
Materials used should be durable, long-lasting, low maintenance, resistant to vandalism and with excellent sustainability. Preference is given to bronze or stone.
All design work, labor, supplies and materials are the artist’s responsibility.
Delivery, site preparation, assembly, and installation are also the artist’s responsibility.
Both existing and newly created works will be considered. Existing works must not be currently installed within 50 miles of Batavia, and the artist must sign a statement to the effect that the piece will not be replicated and/or installed within 50 miles of Batavia in the future.
The final work will be chosen based on the artwork’s own merit. However, consideration will also be given to the artist’s background and demonstrated ability to complete the project on time and within budget.
Proposal Submittals Shall Include:
1. Concept Statement and Description of Proposed Work. The artist is required to submit a one- to- three page written description (single sided, double-spaced/legible) of the work and enough simple drawings of the concept to give an accurate visual impression of the finished work. Drawings/ description should include basic dimensions and proposed materials.
2. An Artist’s resume and artist’s statement. If applicable, submit information regarding any other public art installations. Resume must legibly state the artist’s current mailing address, e-mail address, and daytime and evening phone numbers.
3. Images of Recent Work. If applicable, submit 8-10 digital images of recent work (within the past five years) on other similar projects. Please make sure that your submission materials are clearly labeled with your name and phone number on each page submitted. All images should have accompanying descriptions or explanatory notes. All images should be labeled with the artist’s name, project titles, media, year, size (height x width x depth) and weight.
NOTE: City will review artist’s prior works in the context of evaluating the artist’s abilities and the artist’s future potential to work on the proposed project.
NOTE: If you are proposing an existing work for this project, then you should submit multiple slides showing all possible views of existing sculpture and description of materials. Artist should furnish a list of locations where the piece is currently installed/exhibited (and note any differences)
4. Entry Forms. Artists desiring to make more than one submittal shall separate their submittals into complete, comprehensive, and separate packages.
5. Submitted items. All materials submitted will become property of the City of Batavia and will only be returned if special arrangements are (1) made at the time of submission; and (2) confirmed by the City of Batavia.
The Selection Process: All Proposals will be viewed and considered by Batavia’s Mayor and City Council as well as Batavia’s professional staff members. The City will also solicit feedback from Batavia’s art community and general public via an “open house” type event. Batavia’s City Council will select no more than five (5) finalist candidates who will each be asked to provide a maquette/scale model that will provide an accurate depiction of their work. Candidates will be given approximately thirty (30) days to complete their maquette/scale model. Each candidate will be provided a stipend of five hundred dollars ($500) toward material costs at the time of maquette/model submission. Maquette/models of the winning piece will become property of the City of Batavia. Following submittal of the maquette/scale models, the City will once again solicit feedback from the public. The Mayor and City Council will then make a final award. The selected Artist will be required to sign a contract with theCity of Batavia for this project.
City Contact Information:
The City’s primary point of contact for this project is Mr. Gary Holm, Director of Public Works, (630) 454-2309, email@example.com
The City’s secondary point of contact for this project is Ms. Laura Newman, City Administrator, (630) 454-2053, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wednesday, March 1, 2023 - Contest Announcement
- Wednesday, April 12, 2023 - Last day for submittal of questions regarding the project
- Wednesday, April 19, 2023 - Final date City of Batavia will accept concepts/proposals
- April 19 to May 9, 2023 - Consideration by Batavia’s local art community and general public via “open house” viewing
- Tuesday, May 9, 2023 - City Council selection of finalist candidates for maquette/scale models
- Wednesday, May 10, 2023 - Official notification to finalist candidates
- Wednesday, July 12, 2023 - Final date City of Batavia will accept maquette/scale models
- July 12 to July 19, 2023 - Consideration by Batavia’s local art community and general public via “open house” viewing
- July 25 or August 15, 2023 - City Council final award*
* Given the importance of the final selection, City Council reserves the right to discuss the matter at multiple meetings.
All proposals and related materials should be sent to:
West Cemetery Sculpture Competition
Attn: Laura Newman
City of Batavia
100 N. Island Ave. Batavia, Il 60510
City Contact Information:
The primary point of contact for this project is Mr. Gary Holm, Director of Public Works, (630) 454-2309, email@example.com
The secondary point of contact for this project is Ms. Laura Newman, City Administrator, (630) 454-2053, firstname.lastname@example.org