Call Detail
Detroit Civic Sculpture - TCF Center
Entry Deadline: 6/2/20
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 3
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 2, Maximum:Max. 10
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 2, Maximum:Max. 11
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: National
State: Michigan

Detroit Civic Sculpture - TCF Center

TCF Center, 1 Washington Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan 48226


Contact Email:

Call Type: Public Art

Eligibility: National

State: Michigan

Entry Deadline: June 2, 2020 at 5pm




Images – Minimum 2, Maximum 10

Video – Minimum 0, Maximum 1

Total Media – Minimum, Maximum 11

Call for Civic Sculpture:

TCF Center is seeking proposals for a large-scale exterior sculpture. The sculpture will reside outside the beautifully renovated convention center in downtown Detroit. It will be placed in the center of the main entrance circle drive.

There are only a few truly iconic sculptures that define the global and innovative City of Detroit, including Spirit of Detroit by Marshall Fredericks (1958), Joe Louis Memorial by Robert Graham (1986) and Transcending by David Barr and Sergio De Giusti (2003).

This new sculpture will significantly enhance the cultural offerings in downtown Detroit through its affirmative message, aesthetic impact and prominent location. The piece will celebrate Detroit with local residents and the 1.4 million annual visitors to TCF Center.

Artists are urged to consider the physical placement, material and size in their proposals. Three artists will be invited to create a maquette of their design. From this, one proposal will be awarded a budget of $250,000 to support its conceptualization, fabrication and installment, with an additional $50,000 for the artist.


January 15 – Call for Artists is announced

February 28 – RSVP required to attend mandatory meeting at TCF Center, Detroit.

March 1 at 1pm – Tour for all interested artists.  Please note the Sunday March 1, 2020 meeting is mandatory. Either the artist or the artist’s representative must be in attendance. For those unable to physically attend and with special permission, the meeting will be live streamed.  Please RSVP by February 28.  There will be an information packet with detailed instructions for this project distributed in advance to all who RSVP. It is to your benefit to RSVP early and to attend in person. This will allow you to review this information in advance of the meeting and to see the site, building and surroundings in person.

Detailed information packet will be distributed to all who RSVP.

June 2 – Deadline for proposals.

June: Jury will review proposals

July 15 – top three proposals will be announced. These artists will receive a $5,000 stipend to create a maquette of their proposed sculpture.

September 1 – Maquette complete

September: Jury will review three designs and present to DRCFA Art Foundation Board for approval

October 1 – final selection to be announced.

The entry deadline is June 2, 2020 at 5pm.

About TCF Center:

Cobo Center, now TCF Center, is Detroit’s premier convention center and was originally named for Albert E. Cobo, mayor of Detroit from 1950 to 1957. The original Cobo Hall and Arena was designed by Giffels & Rossetti and opened in 1960

Expanded in 1989, the present complex of 2,400,000 square feet includes 700,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than double the original footage. The renovation provided banquet rooms, 80 meeting rooms and a ballroom that captured a panoramic view of the Detroit River.

Events held at Cobo Center include the annual North American International Auto Show, the International G-7 Job Summit, the annual Society of Automotive Engineers International Congress, and the world's largest sit-down dinner, hosted by the Detroit NAACP Freedom Institute.

Since the opening in 1960 until September 2009, Cobo Hall and Arena was owned and operated by the City of Detroit. On September 15, 2009, the Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority (DRCFA) took over operations of the center under a collaborative agreement with the Michigan State Legislature, the City of Detroit, and Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. The board operates with five members, one from each body, and is heralded as an example of successful regional cooperation. When the Hall and Arena were combined as one building, the name shifted to Cobo Center.

In 2010, the DRFCA began a $279 million expansion and renovation to Cobo Center. Over the course of five years numerous improvements were made such as an electrical upgrade, improvements to the loading dock, repairs to roof leaks, technology upgrades and new catering features including the Detroit Made Kitchen food court. The number of meeting rooms has increased to 100 and there are now three ballrooms, one of which is the converted arena, a 40,000 square foot space now called the Grand Riverview Ballroom. A three-story, 30,000 square foot atrium with a view of the river was also added and public access all around the building has been improved.

Through a naming rights agreement, the center was renamed TCF Center in 2019.

An art collection with nearly 100 works on display, includes pieces by such artists as Carl Milles, Gilda Snowden, Sergio De Giusti, Tyree Guyton and a recent commission for a large-scale fresco by Hubert Massey titled “Detroit: Crossroad of Innovation.”


Artists 18 years of age or older with previous experience on similar projects are invited to submit proposals individually or collaboratively.

Selection Criteria:

Proposals will be judged on artistic merit, capability, budget and impact as evidenced by this proposal, past work and supporting materials. The Selection Committee will review all proposals and they will select the top three designs. These three artists will be invited to create a maquette of their proposal and they will be given a $5,000 stipend to complete this stage. Each completed maquette will be presented to the DRCFA Art Foundation Board and from these the final design will be selected and awarded the commission. This includes a budget up to $250,000 and a $50,000 commission paid to the artist(s).


Preferred themes may reflect the positive changes and growth ongoing in Detroit and SE Michigan, the strong spirit of innovation and design, the global impact of Detroit, renaissance of the region, etc.

The sculpture cannot exceed 30’ in height or 8’ in diameter.


Proposals are accepted for individual artists or collaborative teams. Artwork proposals are limited to a permanent, freestanding, site-specific sculpture. Artists are urged to consider the physical placement, material and size in their proposals. Due to the permanence of the installation, seasonal or ephemeral work will not be given consideration. It is expected that the selected sculpture will remain in good working order over time, withstanding harsh Michigan weather. Materials used in construction should be safe and appropriate to a public outdoor environment. Certain work might require the submission of additional information or materials for consideration.


Artist is responsible for all associated expenses directly related to design, fabrication, transportation and installation of the sculpture. Artists should factor these costs into their $250,000 budget. Please include a specific budget in the proposal.


Work is to be installed by the artist with TCF Center Capital Team and Art Curator managing the process. Costs related to transport and installation of the work will be the responsibility of the artist unless otherwise stipulated. Limited assistance from TCF Center’s Facilities Management Department is available on a case-by-case basis at the Center’s discretion. TCF Center will provide electricity, signage, lighting and basic maintenance of the site. Following installation and upon acceptance of final project, TCF Center will assume limited liability for any gross damage (unrepairable by the artist) or theft of the artwork, excluding damage resulting from faulty construction or materials.

Duration and Copyright:

Duration of the installation is permanent. Work is to be continuously displayed with open access. DRCFA Art Foundation will retain ownership of the work and the artist will retain ownership of the copyright, proposal drawing and maquette. However, the artist grants an irrevocable license to make photographs of the Artwork, including all preliminary versions, sketches, drawings and models, which photographs may be utilized solely in advertising, catalogues, brochures, programs and media publicity and for other non-commercial purposes; such license includes the right of the DRCFA Art Foundation to utilize such photographs in DRCFA Art Foundation catalogues and other similar publications, which right the DRCFA Art Foundation agrees to exercise in a tasteful and professional manner consistent with the reputation and professional standing of the Artist.

Application Materials/Requirements:

Submission must include the following items listed below.

1.         Resume. Two pages max.

2.         Artist Statement. One page max.

3.         Proposal. Five page max. Proposal should be clear, specific and outline a plan.           Consideration should be given to Guidelines, Budget and Installation.

4.         Budget. Two page max. Budget should support activities, purchases, costs,        etc. related to proposal.

5.         Media. Up to 10 images and 1 video are accepted. You are required to include          a rendering of proposed project as one of your images or videos. Image files            should be labeled with the last name, first name and number, indicating your           preferred viewing order. For example, John Doe his first image as                      doejohn1.jpg.

6.         Image list of previous work: title, materials, size, year completed, dimensions             and optional description for each image.


You will be notified by email of application status. No phone calls, please.

For Further Information:

Please send inquiry to

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria