Sculpture Walk

Call for Artists: 2021 Sculpture Walk

 Erie Arts & Culture and the Erie Downtown Development Corporation are initiating a public art project designed to be highly visible and create pedestrian-scaled environments for the enjoyment of residents, visitors, and the public at large. We are soliciting Requests for Proposals from artists or artist teams who have established reputations for design, execution, and installation of original outdoor sculptures. Sculptures will be displayed from June 2021 through August 2023 in Downtown Erie and along the Lake Erie Bayfront. For the first wave of this initiative, a minimum of eight and a maximum of 15 sculptures will be leased from artists and installed as temporary public art exhibitions.

Program goals include:

  • Enhancing the visual landscape in Downtown Erie and along the Lake Erie Bayfront with an exhibit of original and unique pieces of art.
  • Stimulating interest in Erie Arts & Culture’s public art initiatives and adding cultural and creative value to the area.
  • Attracting visitors, residents, and businesses to the area.
  • Serving as the foundation for developing an ongoing program throughout the City of Erie.

Potential sculpture walk locations may include:

  • Erie Events’ property, including the Convention Center
    (1 Sassafras Street, Erie, PA)
  • Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel (55 W Bay Rd Drive, Erie, PA)
  • UPMC Hamot campus
  • Cashier’s House (417 State Street, Erie, PA)
  • Lot 10 (Between Erie Art Museum and expERIEnce Children’s Museum)
  • Erie Insurance campus
  • Gannon University campus
  • City Hall (626 State Street, Erie, PA)
  • Erie Art Museum
  • 100 State Street


Formed in 2017, the Erie Downtown Development Corporation (EDDC) is a privately funded 501(c)3 led by a group of business and community leaders that are collaboratively working together in the name of transformational change. The EDDC’s core mission is to fuel economic growth through real estate development in Downtown Erie. Projects support existing businesses and residents, and are intended to attract further commercial and residential investment in the heart of the city.

This project is the inaugural phase of the Erie Sculpture Walk, a collaborative initiative led by the EDDC and Erie Arts & Culture (EAC), with the intention of having this serve as an integral component of EAC’s efforts to bring more public art to the City of Erie. The goal is for the Erie Sculpture Walk program to be expanded in future years and funded through donations from individuals, families, and area businesses. Included in the program will be promotional materials highlighting and marketing the exhibit, artists, and sponsors. The public will be encouraged to explore each sculpture through walking tours outlined in the promotional materials. Sculptures will be located in key locations, making them highly visible for maximum public impact. Public art is a driver of economic development and tourism and as such is a priority for the EDDC and EAC.

  • A minimum of eight (8) and a maximum of fifteen (15) pieces will be chosen for the initial sculpture walk tour.

  • All sculptures will be insured for liability and physical damage through the EDDC.

  • Artists may submit up to three pieces for consideration. There is no fee to the artist for  submitting artwork.

  • All entries must be original works of the submitting artist or artist team; however, they do not need to have been created specifically for this exhibit.

  • Pieces should be constructed with audience safety in mind, understanding that they will be displayed in a public setting prone to four-season weather conditions.

  • Pieces may vary in size and will be selected for the proposed locations as appropriate.

  • Artists will not be responsible for installation or site engineering.


An art selection committee will review all applications submitted through the RFP. Applications will be scored using a rubric that takes into consideration the following criteria:

  • Aesthetics and design

  • Quality of materials and execution

  • Installation and engineering requirements

  • Sale price of artwork

  • General community appeal

  • Durability of the artwork (preference may be given to pieces requiring less maintenance or that have better sustainability of materials)

  • Other evaluation criteria not outlined above may be considered as necessary


Artists chosen to participate in the Erie Sculpture Walk will receive a one-time stipend of $2,500 per sculpture, of which $1,000 will be paid at the date of delivery and the remaining $1,500 will be paid at the date of installation of the sculpture. Selected sculptures must be displayed for the entire duration of the exhibit.

The artwork remains the property of the artist throughout the exhibition period and reverts to the artist's keeping at the conclusion of the two-year lease. All sculptures will be insured for liability and physical damage through the EDDC. Sponsors may elect to purchase artwork during the display period and have the first right of refusal regarding purchase after the display period has ended.

Artists chosen to participate in the Erie Sculpture Walk agree that the EDDC and EAC may use images of the artwork for non-commercial, educational, and promotional purposes, with credit given to the artist when artwork is highlighted.



The EDDC and EAC will promote the sale of sculptures to the public - either for personal/commercial use or as a permanent donation to the EDDC or EAC, and/or the City of Erie. If an artist’s work sells during the exhibition period, the work must remain on-site for the duration of the exhibition. EAC will receive a 10 percent commission of the purchase price on sculptures sold during the display period.


  • Proposal must include a written description of the sculpture including: medium, size, cost, method and timeline for installation, and background information about the piece.

  • Proposal must include a brief artist biography as well as a CV.

  • Sculptures must be able to be structurally secured to a steel pedestal or concrete pad with anchor bolts or similar devices.

  • Sculptures need to be made of durable material appropriate for outdoor display and, at times, adverse weather conditions (high winds, low temperatures, high temperatures, snow storms, high traffic areas).

Artists must submit a copy of all items listed below as part of their application. Proposals submitted without these necessary items and all information may not be included for consideration. Present your materials in the following order:

  • Artist Bio
  • Current CV
  • 5-7 Work Samples and descriptions
    • Materials
    • Dimensions
    • Budget
    • Location
    • Year created
  • Photo, title, and narrative description of the proposed artwork. The narrative should include the origin of idea, theme, design/creative rationale, etc. The narrative must include approximate dimensions and weight, installation requirements, materials used, and any other special requirements.

The EDDC and EAC reserve the right to accept or reject any and all submittals, waive technicalities and informalities, change scope of work, and amend said Request for Proposals as desired. The EDDC and EAC reserves the right to negotiate with artists and to select the artworks that are most likely to achieve the project’s desired outcomes.

Artist Proposals Due

February 22, 2021

Initial Meeting of Selection Committee

March 4, 2021

Selection of Works

March 25, 2021

Contracts Executed

April 22, 2021

Announcement of Awards

May 6, 2021

Delivery of Works

May 6 to June 1, 2021


June 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021


July 1, 2021


Please submit your application through Submittable by 4:00 p.m., EST, February 22, 2021. For additional questions, please contact:

Patrick Fisher
Executive Director
Erie Arts & Culture

Questions in regards to the published RFP should be submitted no later than 4:00 p.m., EST, February 15, 2021.

Apply here