Call Detail
City of Sparks: Victorian Square Temporary Art Project
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Contact Email:

Entry Deadline: 1/18/21
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 9
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 9
Call Type: Public Art
Eligibility: Regional
State: Nevada

Call for Entries for Victorian Square Temporary Art Program

The City of Sparks, Nevada is seeking up to 5 temporary sculpture installations for the inaugural City of Sparks Victorian Square Temporary Arts Program, an outdoor artwork exhibition. (There is a mural as part of this project; the Request for Proposals is located on the City of Sparks website,

SPONSOR: City of Sparks Nevada
LOCATION: Victorian Square, Downtown Sparks, Nevada
EXHIBITION TIMELINE: June 2021 to May 2023
ELIGIBILITY: This opportunity is open to established professional artists residing or working in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, OR, UT or WA; age 18 and older. All submissions must be previously completed artworks. No artwork proposals for yet-to-be-created art will be accepted.
ARTIST HONORARIUM: $3500 to cover any associated travel and installation costs.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: All entries to be submitted via Café via MIDNIGHT, Mountain Standard Time, on or before January 18, 2021. 


The Victorian Square Temporary Art Program is a curated collection that will showcase regularly rotating installed art throughout downtown Sparks, Nevada. This program is designed to enhance the local environment and promote the understanding and enjoyment of public art by inviting artists to temporarily exhibit select works in selected areas. Collections will rotate every two years.


  • Create attractive public environments by integrating outdoor art into public spaces; 

  • Showcase public art that celebrates Sparks’ historical and aesthetic values; 

  • Invest in Sparks’ cultural environment; 

  • Enhance the character of Sparks through visibility of community-valued artworks; 

  • Promote public participation and interaction with artists and artwork; and 

  • Stimulate the downtown economy through increased pedestrian activity and organized art walks, events and educational opportunities. 

THEME: Renewal

All pieces submitted for the Victorian Square Temporary Arts Program should integrate and embody a specific sense of renewal, newness or rebirth. As this is the first collection in a downtown after a metamorphosis over the past 20 years with changes in the footprint concluding in a development of new housing, increasing residences from less than 200 in 2015 to over 3500 in 2021 along with new businesses and event venues. 

In 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic, the downtown had a quiet year with dozens of events, concerts and markets cancelled. 2021 is the time to rise up and celebrate the re-opening of a new Victorian Square. We are asking the art to be a source of inspiration to our citizens for the new future of the space. The aim of this installation series is to invite the citizens of Sparks to come back downtown and discover what the Victorian Square had always meant to be: a central gathering place. 

Artists must provide a written statement (up to 150 words) as part of their submittal explaining how their sculpture addresses and illustrates the theme. This is just as important as the quality of the art.


Artworks will remain on view for a period of approximately two years (June 2021-May 2023), during which community members and visitors may vote online to select one artwork for the “Peoples’ Choice Award”. This award will be announced in spring prior to close of the exhibit. The winner of the “Peoples’ Choice Award” will receive a Proclamation from the Mayor and Sparks City Council. 


Printed and downloadable brochures with a map of art locations enable self-guided viewing of the exhibition, and volunteer docents lead Victorian Square Temporary Art Program tours. 

The following will be also provided to increase public awareness of this exhibition: 

  • Grand Opening reception / Meet and Greet with the Artists 

  • Media releases 

  • Printed and downloadable brochures 

  • Victorian Square Temporary Art Program Website (TBD)

  • Utilizing Latest Beacon Technology for Art Tours

  • Posts on social media (10K followers) 

  • Email lists (with over 7K addresses)

  • Ad in the bi-Annual Parks and Recreation Activity Guide reaching 40K residents

  • Docent-led tours 

  • Inclusion in media and school tours 

  • Artwork plaques 

  • Peoples’ Choice Promotion 

  • Instagram account dedicated to the Victorian Square Temporary Art Program

There will be an opportunity for the public to have one-on-one conversations with the artists during their time in Sparks. These will be voluntary and at the convenience of the artist. In coordination with Sierra Arts Foundation and Sparks Heritage Museum, the City of Sparks will organize small group gatherings for interested parties to meet the artists, ask questions and hear about their work and interests. 


Victorian Square Temporary Art Program sculptures are mounted to concrete pads and secured by bolts or brackets. There are 3 sizes: 

  • 24” high x 48” x 48” 

  • 54” high x 48” x 48” 

  • 24” high x 72’ in circumference, approx. 22ft across. This location will house a large permanent piece in a future year 

Each submitted artwork should indicate the size and dimension as well as the method for securing the sculpture. Ideally, there should be no more than 4 bolts necessary to secure the art, and bolt locations should fit within the perimeter of each pad. To the extent feasible, each template should contain holes for 4 bolts fashioned in a square or diamond pattern. All artworks must securely attach to the concrete pads. All sculptures must be designed with tabs or other devices that can be utilized to secure the artwork to the concrete. If the installation plan is not provided, the submittal will be disqualified. Artists will be responsible for bringing all hardware necessary to secure the piece to the concrete pad, including bolts, brackets, etc. as well as a hammer drill equipped with bits to accommodate the piece if utilizes atypical size brackets or bolts. The artist will be responsible for any necessary hardware purchases prior to the scheduled installation. 

The City will determine the location of each artwork based on its size and dimension for the designated space, as well as setting and other factors. No location changes will be permitted once the final sites have been selected. 

The footprint of the artwork must be smaller than the length and width of the pad so that there is at least a 6” wide border of clear space at the edges of the pad. The artwork’s footprint must be no larger than 36” long x 36” wide, unless placed on large round pedestal.

Any projections beyond the perimeter width of the concrete pad must occur at heights no lower than 7 feet from the ground to avoid pedestrian conflicts. 

Upon installation of the artwork, the artist or artist representative must remove and store or dispose of all packing and crating materials. 

A plaque with the artist name, studio location/home, sculpture information, and map number will be provided and installed by the City of Sparks upon installation of the artwork. 


All artwork may be listed for sale during the exhibition with permission from the artist. The City of Sparks emphasizes the availability of sculptures for sale as part of its ongoing publicity efforts and will collect a 10% commission on sales resulting from the exhibit. This commission will be used to advance the Sparks Temporary Arts Program in the future. Sold artworks must remain on site for the duration of the exhibition. 


Each selected artist will receive an Artist Honorarium of $3,500 to assist with transportation, insurance, travel and other expenses; $1750 will be paid upon artwork installation in 2021, and $1750 will be paid upon artwork de-installation in 2023, at the end of the exhibition. 


In 2015, the City of Sparks began one of the largest redevelopment projects in its history in downtown Victorian Square.  Planned for completion by 2022, a six-square-block area of downtown Sparks called Victorian square will be transformed into housing for 3,500 new residents, new restaurants and retail spaces, an event venue, a central plaza and gathering space. The city has allocated funding for a new streetscape plan includes new public sidewalks, planters, curbs, and landscaping. A portion of the streetscape plan allocated a portion or budget for art.

To leverage the arts, culture, and creativity to help drive this change, growth and transformation, the city was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant in 2016 to develop a Creative Placemaking Plan for the district.  This planning process and the implementation of the plan relied heavily on community input using the creative placemaking model. The “Together We See Sparks” Creative Placemaking Plan for Victorian Square was approved by the City of Sparks Arts and Culture Committee on December 19, 2019. The plan was adopted by the City Council in May 2020.

The Reno/Sparks region has over five million visitors each year. The downtown Victorian Square hosts more than 30 events with over 700,000 visitors. The events are a cornerstone to the downtown area and share the area with new and well established and popular businesses, including the first brewery in the State of Nevada, Great Basin Brewery Company. The area includes locally owned restaurants and bars, a winery and tasting room, and a newly remodeled 1600-room hotel casino resort with regular convention traffic, concerts and events year-round. The eight block area is also home to key city cultural assets: the Sparks Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, historic train display, Glendale Schoolhouse (the oldest one-room schoolhouse in the state), The Depot Gallery which showcases local art exhibitions, IMAX movie theatre, a small amphitheater (seating 300), and a large amphitheater (seating 8500) which hosts top level entertainment from Spring to Fall each year. 



Applicants must be established professional artists currently living or working in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah or Washington. They must be at least 18 years of age. 


Artists will be responsible to deliver the selected artwork to the site and install the artwork between March and May, by appointment, to be coordinated with the City of Sparks personnel. Although the artist will be the primary installer and will direct the installation, the City of Sparks will provide support for installation assistance and equipment (if needed) in accordance with the artist’s Art Installation Plan. Artists must provide any and all hardware that is required for the installation, including bolts, brackets, hammer drills, cleaning brushes, etc. Artists will be responsible to pick up their artwork within 30 days of the exhibition’s closing date, to be coordinated with city staff. Although the artist is the primary de-installer during de-installation, the City of Sparks will provide assistance and equipment to de-install artworks if required. 

Selected artists must enter into an agreement with the City of Sparks (see attached “Sample Agreement”). Artists are required to carry insurance to cover any potential damage to their artwork whether the damage occurs via natural or man-made events.  The City will not provide insurance or provide any compensation for damage that may occur to the artwork during installation, display or removal.

Artworks must be structurally safe for the general public, including children. Artworks must be extremely durable in outdoor conditions and maintenance-free for the period of the exhibition. If, however, occasional cleaning or other maintenance is necessary, the artist must agree to keep the artwork in good aesthetic and operating condition by performing regular maintenance. Beyond regularly scheduled maintenance by the artist, the City may contact the artist to inform him or her that the artwork needs maintenance. In that case, the artist -- or his or her designated representative -- must tend to the artwork within two weeks of receiving notice. If the artist does not respond to the City’s request within the specified time frame, the City may take actions as appropriate and necessary to clean, repair or remove the artwork in order to prevent damage from occurring. If damage to an artwork causes a public safety concern or is a continuing attractive public nuisance that results in undue maintenance calls, the City reserves the right to remove the artwork from the locations. The artist will be notified in advance if this type of action becomes necessary. 


Only completed artworks are eligible. Conceptual artwork proposals will not be considered. All artworks must be ready for exhibition at installation. Any artwork that cannot be installed by the installation deadline will be disqualified and the artist will forfeit the honorarium. 

Artworks will be selected based on the following criteria: 

  • Artistic merit, including artwork concept, design and craftsmanship as well as the artist’s experience; 

  • Artistic context, including the interpretation of the theme and how effectively the work contributes to the overall exhibition’s variety of media and artistic approaches; 

  • Maintainability, including the artwork’s durability and safety in the public realm, structural and surface soundness, materials, resistance to vandalism and weathering, and limited or lack of maintenance requirements; 

  • Location context within the public realm and its ability to be accommodated on one of the sites; 

  • Responsiveness to the overall vision of set theme. 

  • Responsiveness to size and weight criteria as specified above. 


Artist submissions will be accepted online only via CaFÉ. The submittals will be screened for responsiveness to the Selection Criteria, and submittals that do not respond to the criteria will be eliminated for consideration by the jury. The City may require follow-up information from the artist regarding the submittal before a final selection can be made. 

A select jury of the City of Sparks Arts and Culture Advisory Committee along with two local stakeholders (downtown business merchant and resident) and one visual arts professional will review the submissions, make recommendations and approve selections. 



All submissions must be made online at: 


Incomplete Submissions will not be considered. Complete Submissions must include the following: 

  1. Images Artists may submit up to 3 artworks, with 3 views each, for a total of 9 images maximum. Images should accurately represent the work size, including height, span, and ground clearance. At least one image per submission must include the artwork with an adult person next to it for scale. (The City of Sparks reserves the right to use images of selected artworks and/or the exhibition for publicity. Please specify image credits as necessary.)

  2. Image list & Description Artists will provide an image list including the following for each artwork: 

    1. title 

    2. date of completion 

    3. medium (please be specific) 

    4. dimensions (height x width x depth) 

    5. weight 

    6. fair-market (retail) value 

    7. Insured value

  3. The Artist must install the artwork with the dimensions as submitted in the entry. There will be no departure from the size as submitted by the Artist. For example, if an Artist has created duplicate works in more than one size, only the submitted version shall be installed if selected. For each artwork submitted, please provide a short description (up to 5 sentences) of the piece and any aspects of the work that may not be obvious in the images, or any other relevant information. This information is useful for the jury panel and may also be used in the audio tour recording and brochure description. 

  4. Statement Regarding Theme: Artists must provide a short written statement (150-word maximum) describing how each piece incorporates the theme of renewal. 

  5. Art Installation Plan 

    1. An installation plan for each entry must be submitted. 

    2. Installation plan should specify the weight of each artwork and clearly illustrate the method of installation, including identifying the points of attachment to the pad. 

    3. Please provide detailed information about the type of hardware to be used for the attachment and clarify how such hardware will be made secure from vandalism. 

    4. Larger works of art that require engineering components in the footing or base should be clearly noted. 

  6. Artist Resume and theme statement will be used in Victorian Square Temporary Arts Project collateral and website. Artists may be asked to record their own information for the project, which adds value and personal interest for our audience. 

  7. E) PROJECT TIMELINE (some dates subject to revision) 

    1. Submission Deadline: January 18, 2021 

    2. Jury Meeting Date: March 2021 (Date TBA)

    3. Selected Artist Notification: April 2021 (Date TBA)

    4. Agreement Executed: April – May 2021 (Date TBA)

    5. Artwork Delivery and Installation: May to Mid-June 2021, by appointment 

    6. Kick Off Event: June 17, 2021

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria