Call Detail
Roanoke Rising - AIR (Art in Roanoke) in Elmwood Park
Entry Deadline: 1/14/19
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 9
Audio | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 9
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Virginia

The Roanoke Arts Commission (RAC) is seeking up to eight artists to exhibit in the fifth AIR: (Art in Roanoke), a temporary sculpture exhibition running May 17 through April 26, 2021.  
​The RAC is accepting submissions now through January14, 2019 at 11:59pm MT from experienced artists for freestanding sculpture. Artwork may incorporate interactive as well as functional elements.  This invitation is extended to all artists 18 and older regardless of where they live.  In addition to finished pieces, proposed work will also be considered.  An identification plaque will be provided for each selected work.  The RAC will also produce publicity materials and will promote the exhibition with local media.

All artwork will be sited in Elmwood Park, a pocket of nature and vibrant urban space, in downtown Roanoke.  
Since being purchased by the city in 1910, Elmwood Park has been a gathering place for people to enjoy a concert, the outdoors or spend quiet time.  Today it is well known as Roanoke’s premiere festival park with more than 50 annual events. It is also the home of the city’s main library. 2013 improvements to the park included a new amphitheater and stage, interactive fountains, an arbor, terraces off the back of the library and the Art Walk. An interactive playground with a Peter Pan theme is also in the park. Photos and drawings of the site can be viewed at under “current calls to artists”.

Information about the previous Elmwood exhibit can also be viewed on the above web site.

The theme of the show is Roanoke Rising.  
Early in the 21st century, Roanoke has evolved and risen to a service-centric economy allowing an exciting dynamic to unfold.  Downtown Roanoke has experienced a Renaissance as a host of successful restaurants, museums, cultural centers, breweries, shops, and beautiful apartments and condos have risen.  A greenway running along the Roanoke River allows runners, walkers, and bicyclists a means to escape the city and quickly, easily, return to nature.  A growing public art collection adds to the city’s overall aesthetic appeal.  Roanoke has proven, yet again, that it can rise even as economic upheavals unfold from within and from without.  Roanoke Rising celebrates this history and story of transformation and survival.  The Roanoke Arts Commission challenges and encourages artists to celebrate this transformation through sculpture. 

Guidelines for Submitted Works

·      Works submitted must be of a scale and material suitable for outdoor display. 
·      All proposed works must be designed to withstand an outdoor, high traffic, unmonitored        environment.
·      They must require little or no maintenance for the duration of the show.
·      They must be original and suitable for family viewing.
·     The works must be constructed so that they can be securely anchored.  

The Art Walk includes ten pads surrounded by native plantings.  Each pad is 6’ by 6’ and can hold up to 1,500 lbs. Work cannot be over 15’ tall and 6’ wide. Anchor bolts are required and must be set at least six inches from the edges of the pads. 

Payments and Awards

There is no entry fee. Artists chosen to participate will receive a stipend of up to $4,000 per selected artwork.  All stipends are payable in one lump sum upon completion of the installation and receipt of an invoice. In addition, one artist will receive a $1,000 People’s Choice Award. Voting will take place the weekend of Festival in the Park, one of the major festivals held in the park on Memorial Day weekend, 2019. 


  • Costs associated with transportation of the piece, travel of the artist, insurance during travel and installation, installation and removal of the work are the responsibility of the artist. 
  • The city will provide pads and installation support as feasible.
  • Completed installation must pass city inspection, meeting all safety requirements.
  •  Artists whose projects are accepted will be required to sign a loan agreement, a sample of which is posted on line.

 Please note information and photos of the site are on the web at

Entry Procedures
Each artist may submit a total of up to 3 completed sculptures or proposed pieces for consideration (image upload limited to 9).  

To apply, please attach the following in this order:

  • A current resume
  • Artist statement to include a brief statement of your vision for this project and relative experience and how you will assure the work captures the theme Roanoke Rising and fits the site location.
  • Illustrated drawing of how the piece will be anchored to the pad.
  • Projected budget of project, i.e. travel, mateials, etc.


  • Application is required by January 14, 2019 at 11:59 pm.  The application will then close on the CaFE system.
  • Chosen artists notified no later than February 15, 2019
  • Installation completed by May 17, 2019 – can be scheduled up to two weeks before May 17, 2019
  • Works to be picked up by April 26, 2021 

Selection Process

A panel representing diverse interests and expertise will review submissions and recommend up to nine artists to the Roanoke Arts Commission. The following criteria will be used:

  • The artist’s past experience with such installations
  • Quality and design of the art work or proposal
  • Appropriateness of the art work to the Roanoke Rising theme
  • Appropriateness for the site, including aesthetic content and public safety
  • Feasibility given timeline and budget
  • Durability – The art work’s ability to withstand weather and interaction in a highly public area over the 2 year of the exhibition
  • Other criteria not outlined above may be considered as well. 

Artwork Sale Opportunity

Sale of installed works will be encouraged.  Sale arrangements will be handled between the buyer and the artist. It is understood that work will remain on display for the entire exhibit.

In the past, the City of Roanoke has purchased five works from the four previous AIR exhibitions.

 For more information contact:

Susan Jennings, Arts and Culture Coordinator or call 540-853-5652

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria