Call Detail
Great Sauk State Trail Public Art
Entry Deadline: 1/13/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 11
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 11
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Wisconsin
Jury Dates: 1/16/23 - 1/31/23
Budget: 40,000

Seeking public art for the Great Sauk State Trail (GSST) in Sauk City, Wisconsin. 


The Great Sauk State Trail (est. 2017) parallels the Wisconsin River through the communities of Prairie du Sac and Sauk City, extending through the heart of the Sauk Prairie State Recreation Area. Built on a former Union Pacific rail corridor, this 10.5-mile trail is paved with asphalt. Visitors can enjoy beautiful views as they pass through two historic towns nestled above the Wisconsin River. 

The current trail is part of a larger idea that will continue adding successive segments and eventually connect this trail heading north to Devil’s Lake State Park, the 400 State Trail in Reedsburg, and the Elroy-Sparta Trail in La Valle. To the south, it will connect to the Walking Iron Trail and other Dane County trail systems. It is anticipated that this may be the most used trail in the State of Wisconsin.

To learn more about The Great Sauk State Trail, visit

This project is made possible due to funds received from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 through the Tourism Capital Grant Program.

Budget:  $40,000

The selected Artist will receive $40,000. The price will include all taxes, insurance, materials (including base materials), labor, engineering fees, and installation fees, as well as any equipment the artist may need to complete the public artwork.


This public artwork should ideally be 100’ long and 6’ tall (smaller dimensions would be considered).  The goal is to hide an unsightly fenced area with something more visually appealing and inviting to users of the trail.  A freestanding mural or sculpture may be most ideal, but we encourage creativity in the design.

Selection Criteria: 

Art on the GSST should respect the natural scenery, and speak to the history and geology of Sauk County. The artwork should also provide a sense of excitement and discovery and may or may not include interactive or kinetic elements. The art committee will place priority on artistic excellence, visual impact, connection to the history of Sauk County, demonstrated ability by the artist to execute projects of this scale, and durability.

Durability, Maintenance, & Safety: 

All applicants are expected to consider the issues of long-term conservation and maintenance of public art. These projects will be exposed to Wisconsin weather and physical stresses, as well as subjected to vandalism. Public art projects should be fabricated of highly durable, low-maintenance materials.

Selection Process:

Initial proposals will be reviewed and selected by a jury consisting of representatives of River Arts Inc (a non-profit arts organization in Prairie du Sac: and the Friends of the Great Sauk State Trail.  The top 3 finalists will be invited to meet on site and given 4 weeks to fully develop designs and an itemized budget.  All finalists will receive a $300 stipend for time and travel expenses as well as a one-night stay at a local hotel if travel distance exceeds 200 miles.  Final designs must also be approved by the Great Sauk State Trail Commission.


  • January 13, 2023: Email application due by 11:59pm CST
  • February 1, 2023: Finalists selected, applicants notified
  • March 1-10, 2023: Finalist site visits
  • April 10, 2023: Final proposals due by 11:59pm CST
  • April 17, 2023: Selected artist notified
  • Fall 2023: Artwork installed


Submission Requirements:

  • Preliminary Project Concept with installation and maintenance requirements
  • Resume or C.V.
  • Concept drawing(s): Upload to your portfolio and include with your "work samples". Be sure to clearly label this image.
  • 5-10 images of past public artwork

Artist must reside in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, or Michigan and be over the age of 18.