Call for Public Art on STEAM

Total Funding: $500,000 for up to six installations. Submission Deadline: June 30, 2018

Call to Artists

The University of West Florida invites artists to submit letters of interest and qualifications, along with project renderings, to be considered for the commission of permanent sculptures to be installed on the campus of the University of West Florida. The call is open to all professional artists or teams of artists. Artists may propose a single installation or a series. The artworks will be maintained and owned by the University of West Florida.

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

  • 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 ration), color and the sensory, eco-art and the local longleaf pine (see E.O. Wilson, Half-Earth Project, 175-79, and attached 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.

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. (View the interactive campus map and related photos below.) 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. Maps, photographs, and additional descriptions are provided below.

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 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. Finalists will be required to provide an engineering safety confirmation of the project. 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.


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. Inquiries can be directed to

Submission Components

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


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 time frame above and address how your project will comply. Explanation of maintenance requirements and estimated maintenance expense.

Timeline of Your Project

One page


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.


Contact information for two professional references.


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.


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