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Special Events & Cultural Arts

Posted on: January 22, 2019

Elgin Cultural Arts Commission accepting applications for public art installations

Pam Seatter painting mural in parking deck

Elgin Cultural Arts Commission accepting applications for public art installations

The City of Elgin Cultural Arts Commission (ECAC) announces its’ third annual Call for Public Art.  The ECAC is searching for two new pieces of public art as part of the "new works program" as outlined in the City's Public Art Plan: one 2D piece and one 3D piece. Specifications and applications are available online at Hard copies of the applications must be delivered to City Hall, located at 150 Dexter Court, Elgin, IL 60120, by Monday, March 4 at 4:00 p.m.

Locations & Application
Available locations for the 2D work include the first floor of the Spring Street Parking Deck and the Highland Avenue bridge underpass along the riverwalk.  Available locations for the 3D works include Newsome Park, Walton Island, or a pedestal on Riverside Drive. As part of the application, the artist must select a location from those available, and propose their new public art piece specifically for that location.  Artists must provide a completed application along with a narrative, design illustrations, budget, resume, work samples, references, and supporting materials (if applicable).  The honorariums offered are $6,500 for each of the two new pieces of public art.

Scoring Criteria 
Applications are scored blindly by the ECAC based on the following criteria: Artistic Excellence, Technical Competence, Narrative Support, Appropriate Relationship to the Function of the Site, and Long-Term Feasibility.  City staff, to ensure installation feasibility, will evaluate the top three pieces scored, and the ECAC will make a final determination based on the scores and recommendations by staff.  Winners of the honorariums will be announced in late spring. After selection, production of the new works is expected to begin in early summer and be completed and installed in time for the annual Art Harvest event in late October.
The Public Art Plan provides that the ECAC selects and installs two new pieces of public art, or "new work," each year. In 2017, when the Public Art Plan was adopted, the ECAC selected and installed three new pieces of public art, all of which are located in downtown Elgin. Two sculptures are located on the Riverside Drive Promenade and a mural is located on a wall of the Hemmens Cultural Center. In 2018, a new sculpture was installed in Foundry Park and a mural was completed in The Centre parking deck. 


For more information, contact Amanda Harris at 847-931-6019 or

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