Artful Competition

Calling all Texas artists: El Centro College wants your outdoor sculpture

Calling all Texas artists: El Centro wants your outdoor sculpture

El Centro College
El Centro College is currently soliciting proposals for new sculpture at its Market Street and Lamar Street entrances.

El Centro College needs an artful facelift, and it wants your help. The institution's aesthetics committee has released a call for sculpture to accomplish its goal of maintaining the art collection. Are you a professional artist currently residing in Texas? Well then get to sculpting, because you are eligible.

Because El Centro's main campus is located downtown, it is important to the college to have meaningful sculpture at its entrance just as it is important for downtown Dallas to have public works of art on display. 

"Public art works enhance our environment for locals and tourists," says RoseMary Desplas, chairperson of the aesthetics committee. "It adds a unique element to each city. Dallas has a strong and growing cultural arts scene in the Arts District, which is not far from us. We would like to add the urban landscape by installing some creative and expressive artworks at our entrances."

There is currently a sculpture at the Main Street entrance near the H. Paxton Moore Fine Art Gallery, which was created by Houston artist Michelle O'Michael. But the goal is to increase the look of the entrances all around the college.

"We would like to have a three-dimensional work for the Market Street entrance and a wall relief sculptural work for the Lamar Street entrance. Both of these entrances are currently nondescript, and the addition of artwork would make them visually more appealing and invigorate the spaces."

Here's what a completed proposal looks like:

  • Letter of proposal summarizing your interest in the project
  • Professional resume (minimum three pages)
  • 10 jpegs of current work
  • Image key – typed, annotated and numbered according to jpegs
  • Three letters of reference (including name, address and telephone number)

The college is open to any medium; its only request is that the artwork be archival and able to weather the downtown elements. The piece needs to relate back to the mission of the college which, of course, is education.

It is the hope of the El Centro aesthetics committees that applicants will take time to visit the campus and research the school and its culture in order to turn in a more impactful proposal. A panel comprising members of the committee will review qualifications, and three artists will be short-listed for each project. Winning proposals will receive $12,450.

All entries must be submitted to Rosemary DesPlas by January 31 at The deadline for submissions is January 31. The short list of contenders will be determined on February 7, and finalists will present to the committee on February 28. The winners will be selected on March 7, and El Centro hopes to install the works in fall 2014.