Rockford Sculpture Biennial

Rockford Sculpture Biennial


Deadline: March 15

2024 CRE8IV: Transformational Art

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (RACVB) works to encourage and enhance cultural life and public art in the Rockford, Illinois region through facilitation, recognition, and financial support of public art. The organization’s Forest City Beautiful initiative includes a Sculpture Biennial consisting of a two-year installation of sculptors’ work for which each artist receives an honorarium of $2,000-$4,000, dependent on size/height/scope of installed selection. The RACVB is soliciting artists for the 2024-2026 Sculpture Biennial.


The River District is located along Rockford’s downtown, active riverfront. This area is home to parks, docks, local cultural institution and events, urban residential developments, sports facilities, local businesses, restaurants and Rockford’s historic business and municipal district. An existing pedestrian esplanade meanders along the east and west sides of the Rock River, providing brilliant views of the riverfront and various amenities of the area. The sculpture walk adds to the scenic walk offering residents and visitors a pleasant, cultural experience. Sculptures are enjoyed by thousands and provide varying views of the landscape throughout the four seasons. The Sculpture Biennial allows opportunities for artists to exhibit their work in a unique setting year-round.



• Artists will be commissioned to exhibit original sculptures from their existing collections.

• Works are required to be created in any durable media.

• Sculptures must withstand weather elements of the upper Midwest climate and abuse of an outdoor display.

• Sculptures should not have sharp edges or be an endangerment to the public and content must be appropriate for all ages.

• The review committee reserves the right to inspect all pieces and instruct the removal of a sculpture, if the committee feels it presents any hazards.

Rockford’s downtown offers the opportunity for the placement and display of a variety of sculptures. Life size and/or monumental sculptures of varying sizes are recommended. The piece must be structured so that a concrete slab is capable of supporting the art. Selection of sculptures and sizes may be dependent on the available sizes of foundation slabs. Sculptures must be ready for outdoor installation with a minimum mounting system of no less than 3/8” bolts and no greater than 3/4” bolts. A minimum 3-point bolting system is required. A template board with exact bolt locations is required and must accompany sculptures. Please indicate if you cannot provide your own drill equipment or power tools for installing and de-installing the sculptures – assistance may be available. Crane equipment for lifting and setting sculptures will be provided during installation and de-installation.

 To accommodate interested parties, all pieces must be available for sale. The RACVB will collect a 20% commission on sculptures sold during the period of the exhibit if the sale is attributable to the Sculpture Biennial. The artist’s name, title of sculpture, material of piece, year the sculpture was created, and sponsor of the sculpture will appear on a recognition plaque mounted on or near the base of the concrete foundation slab.


During the Exhibition Period, the RACVB shall maintain insurance coverage on each piece of Artwork for theft, vandalism; damage and loss, for each piece’s replacement value. The RACVB shall provide written proof to the Artist evidencing that such insurance is in full force and effect.

The Artist shall be responsible for arranging and paying for the insurance for the Artwork during the transportation, installation and removal of the Artwork to and from the Sites. Said insurance coverage shall be for each piece of Artwork’s replacement value. The Artist will provide written proof to the RACVB evidencing that such insurance is in full force and effect.

During the Exhibition Period, the RACVB will maintain from a qualified insurance carrier, including without limitation, a comprehensive general liability insurance policy which is sufficient to adequately protect against the risks associated with exhibiting the Artwork in an amount of at least $500,000 per claim and $1,000,000 in the aggregate. The RACVB shall name the Artist and The City of Rockford as an additional insured party under the aforementioned insurance policy and will provide the Artist with a Certificate of Insurance evidencing that such insurance is in full force and effect.


Artist hereby grants RACVB a royalty free, worldwide, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use images of the Artwork, for non-commercial purposes, to market, promote and advertise the exhibition of the Artwork. Within fourteen (14) days of the execution of this Agreement, Artist shall provide RACVB with high-resolution digital images of the Artwork.

Upon the installation of the Artwork, RACVB shall provide Artist with high-resolution digital images of the Artwork installed at the Sites. RACVB hereby grants Artist a royalty free, worldwide, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the images of the Artwork provided by RACVB to Artist to market, promote and advertise the Artwork.

RACVB shall promote and publicize the exhibition of the Artwork, which shall include: (i) hosting a news conference to celebrate the installation of the Artwork, (ii) producing and distributing handouts/brochures with information about and images of the Artwork; (iii) contacting local and regional newspapers and media companies about the Artwork; (iv) inclusion in RACVB promotional materials including on and across its social media platforms.

Artist shall have the right to determine what attributions, if any, must be included with any image of the Artwork used by RACVB. Artist shall provide RACVB with written notice to RACVB of any such attributions that Artist requires to be used with images of the Artwork.


Sculptures will be located on public display for two (2) years. Artists are responsible for delivery of and the removal of their sculpture at the expiration of the exhibit. If sculpture is not removed upon removal deadline, the sculpture becomes the property of the RACVB. Details of installation and removal dates will be submitted upon selection of art and artist. The 2024-2026 Installation is expected to start June 1, 2024 and run through May 31, 2026.


Artists will receive a $2,000-$4,000 honorarium per piece for the two-year period. The honorarium will be distributed over the two-year period per the following breakdown:

50% upon installation of the sculpture

25% at the start of the second year of the exhibit.

25% upon de-installation of the sculpture. Please note, final payment will not be given until sculpture is de- installed from the exhibit.

An additional amount of $250 as a travel/transportation stipend is available for each piece and will be paid upon delivery of the piece.

Each artist will be under contract with the RACVB for the duration of the exhibit. Selected artists are responsible for transportation to and from the site and are required to be on site to oversee installation.


Application Deadline: Midnight, March 15, 2024

Review and Selection: March 16-22, 2024

(Selected sculptures must be approved by Review Committee and City of Rockford)

Artist Notification: No later than April 15, 2024

Installation Dates: Anticipated to be completed on or by June 1, 2024, in conjunction with our CR8IV Festival.

The RACVB reserves the right to update or revise the schedule, as necessary.


A selection panel composed of community members and facilitated by the RACVB will choose the finalists. Artists will be contacted once the decision has been made in a timely fashion to allow for planning of installation of sculpture.

Selection criteria including but are not limited to:

• Durable media, must withstand all weather elements, including high winds off the Rock River

• Suitable for an outdoor setting and safe to the public

• Represents diverse materials and perspectives

• Artist reputation, resume, exhibition history

• Overall appeal and aesthetic quality


The Forest City Beautiful Sculpture Walk – 2024-2026 Exhibit Application Form (follows the Call for Art) including required supporting information must be received by midnight, March 15, 2024.

Email to:

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau – CRE8IV Sculptures Please indicate “2024-2026 Forest City Beautiful Sculpture Walk – Submittal” in the subject line

OR Mail to:

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Charitable Foundation Attention: Sculpture Biennial/Julie Huber

102 Main Street
Rockford, IL 61101

For more information on the Forest City Beautiful Sculpture Biennial and to view information on the City’s permanent pieces and previous exhibits, please visit:

If you have questions, please contact the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau at:

Phone: (815) 963-8111 or