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Rotating Public Art Exhibition | 2023 Call for Artists

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OVERVIEW

Polk County Conservation and the Jester Park Nature Center invite artists to submit an application for pre-existing artwork to participate in Jester Park Nature Center Prairie Sculpture Trail’s annual rotating art exhibit. This exhibit is a temporary outdoor exhibit, displayed behind the Jester Park Nature Center in conjunction with our permanent outdoor Prairie Sculpture Trail. 

EXHIBIT DETAILS

  • Selected artist will receive a $2,000 stipend for the use of their artwork.
  • The artist retains ownership of their work and agrees to loan it to the exhibit. During the exhibit, the artwork will be covered under the County’s insurance policy for the retail value of the artwork; however, artist must also carry standard liability insurance coverage. Artist will be required to provide proof of liability insurance if selected.
  • The Sculpture Trail rotating piece will be promoted through local media. Marketing efforts will include but are not limited to:
    • An article in Nature News (18,000+ subscribers)
    • News and information on the Polk County Conservation and Jester Park Nature Center’s websites
    • Polk County Conservation and Jester Park Nature Center’s social media accounts (combined following of over 19,000)
    • Jester Park Visitors (1.4 million+ visitors annually)

*Polk County Conservation reserves the right to photograph and reproduce images of the artwork on exhibit for promotional and educational purposes.

EXHIBIT LOCATION

The Jester Park Nature Center is located in Granger, Iowa and offers 1,600 acres of prairie, wetlands, and forests for visitors to explore. Hiking, bird watching, camping, fishing, golfing, and horseback riding are just a few of the activities visitors can enjoy at the park. The Nature Center is located in the heart of the park and serves as a gateway to the outdoors.  The Prairie Sculpture Trail features five unique nature-inspired public works of art. Each sculpture is located along a beautiful nature trail beginning at the front entrance of the Jester Park Nature Center. The sculptures on the trail are meant to educate, inform, and nurture our fascination and curiosity about the natural world. Selected work will be bolted to a 4’ x 4’ steel plate located behind the nature center, adjacent to the patio.

INSTALLATION OF ARTWORK

Artist is responsible for all costs, equipment, and labor necessary for the delivery, installation, and removal of their work and assume all risk and damage to their work before and during installation and during and after removal. Work not appropriate for installation onto a 4’ x 4’ steel plate will not be allowed. Lighting and power will not be provided at the artwork locations. The artist shall affix their artwork to the plate in such a way that non-authorized removal would not be possible. Polk County Conservation will not provide labor or equipment for install.

SALE OF ARTWORK

The selected piece of artwork must have a pre-determined purchase value or sale price that is set by the artist. If someone desires to purchase the displayed artwork, artwork must remain on display throughout the duration of the exhibition. The $2,000 stipend provided to the artists is not part of any sales transaction.

ARTWORK CRITERIA

All artwork must be the original work of the artist (in concept, composition, and execution) and suitable for outdoor public display. Work will be selected by a selection panel. The following criteria will be used in the selection process.

    Required Artwork Characteristics

  • Artwork that is suitable for public viewing
  • Artwork that displays high quality of technical skill, imagination, and innovation
  • Artwork that is suitable for outdoor display in adverse weather conditions
  • Artwork that has soundness of construction, is durable, and is safe for viewing.

    Desirable Artwork Characteristics

  • Artwork that creates a sense of discovery, surprise, and emotional connection
  • Artwork that uses kinetic devices, optical effects, dynamic shapes, or bright colors to create a vibrant and interesting exhibit
  • Artwork that is participatory
  • Artwork that is whimsical, uplifting, and creative
  • Artwork inspires curiosity about our natural world

 2023 EXHIBIT TIMELINE

  • Call for Artists issued                                                                                     November 3, 2022
  • Artwork applications due                                                                              November 28, 2022
  • Selection panel deliberation and recommendation                                                December, 2022
  • Notification of selection to artist                                                                        January 12, 2023
  • Delivery and installation of artwork                                                                   April 15-30, 2023
  • Removal of artwork                                                                                           April 1-14, 2024

Download Application Here

Applications due by 4:30 p.m. on November 28, 2022.

Contact Missy Smith, Nature Center Coordinator, at 515-323-5317 or missy.smith@polkcountyiowa.gov with questions

 

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"Art has the power to inspire us in times of adversity, and the ability to teach our society that even in times of ugliness, beauty is still all around." – River Mural Artist, Jan Hutchison
 
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Tune into Polk County Conservation's Facebook page Monday - Friday at 10 a.m. for a live educational program!

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Located outside the Jester Park Nature Center along the streamscape path, you will find decorative leaf towers that are designed to honor a special person, family, company, or a loved one that has passed.