Howard Park Call to Artists


Venues Parks & Arts (VPA) is seeking submissions for four sculptural art pieces to be placed throughout Howard Park. Submissions should be completed pieces of art that the artist would loan Venues Parks & Arts for a minimum of two years to be displayed year-round outdoors at Howard Park. VPA is looking for submissions that are original, creative, and dynamic.

Venues Parks & Arts will pay the artist of each selected work $1,500 for the two-year lease and provide basic installation and removal. Please see below for additional details.


South Bend’s Howard Park is located in the East Bank Village in downtown South Bend along the St. Joseph riverfront. Fully redeveloped in 2019, the park is a four-season attraction that sees hundreds of thousands of visitors annually and has been recognized as a top destination in the Midwest region. The new park includes a state-of-the-art playground, ice trail and pond with features found nowhere else in the world, riverfront access, trail connectivity to other downtown destinations and parks, ADA accessible paths and plaza space, event center and restaurant space, fire pits, beautiful landscaping, and space for public art.


  • Open for submissions: July 13
  • Applications due: August 10 at 5:00 pm
  • Artists will be notified of selections: August 24
  • Installation: within 8 weeks of final selections

What We’re Looking For

A guiding principle at VPA is the concept of “Surprise and Delight.” We hope that submissions will invoke an element that is both surprising and delightful to guests of Howard Park. This concept could be exhibited in a number of ways – whether it’s through a piece that is intriguing, has a social message, allows the viewer to interact with the piece, fits uniquely into the environment surround it, or makes people want to take a picture in front of it (“Instagrammable”). The examples below are meant to provide examples for these types of concepts in action but are not meant to be copied.


Artwork Requirements/ Selection Criteria

  • Art pieces should be original creations and not replications.
  • Art piece must be made of durable material that can withstand all weather conditions outdoors in a civic setting for a two-year period. Art must be capable of being secured to a concrete pad.
  • Content must be appropriate for display in a public park environment. The VPA selection committee reserves the right to determine appropriateness of art submitted.
  • There may be access to WiFi and electricity. Please detail any such requirement in the submission.
  • For installation purposes, the base can be no wider than 3 feet in diameter. There are generally no height/width limitations beyond the base.  A site visit is recommended, however, for any art that may extend beyond the base or be above 6’ in height. The Selection committee reserves the right to determine if the art will not fit the location.
  • Because of the timeline for installation, the art piece will likely need to already be completed at the time of submission, though submissions for progressive pieces may still be considered by the selection committee.
  • The artist may sell the art piece while it is in place at Howard Park, but the piece must stay in place for the entire term of the lease unless otherwise agreed to by the City. Any desired increase in insurance on the piece above the original agreement will not be the responsibility of the City.


  • Artist must deliver the art piece to Howard Park on date agreed upon by the artist and VPA but must be on or before September 30th. VPA will install the art piece once it is on location. Installation must be able to be performed using general labor. If any engineering, electrical work, or other specialty trade is required for installation it must be supplied by the artist. Artist must be present for installation and provide any necessary guidance.
  • Venues Parks & Arts will also provide removal of the art piece in the same manner as installation following the term of the lease. Artwork must be collected by the artist within 30 days following removal of the piece. Any art remaining after 30 days shall become the property of the City.
  • The City reserves the right to discontinue the lease and remove the art piece at any point during the 2-year term if it is determined in the best interest in the City to do so due to public safety, health, or unforeseen circumstances.

Additional Items

  • Basic insurance for the art piece will be provided by the City.
  • VPA will provide a small plaque recognizing the artist and a short description of the art piece.
  • VPA will provide recognition on the Howard Park and VPA websites of the artist. The artist must agree that the City has full rights to use the image and likeness of the art piece in promotional graphics or any other means that the City determines is in its best interest.
  • VPA and artist will negotiate final terms once the artwork is selected.

Submission Instructions

Artists submissions should be sent to and include the following:

  • Short written description of the art piece including the concept in addition to materials used and any necessary installation requirements.
  • Artist must provide document detailing the value of the piece for insurance purposes.
  • Several photographs of the art piece that show several angles and details.
  • Any special requirements for installation including whether the art piece requires electricity or internet connectivity.
  • Dimensions of the art piece and base.
  • Artists whose pieces are selected will be required to complete an artwork loan agreement.
  • Up to $1,500 will be paid to the artist directly. Selected artists will need to provide a W-9 and register as a vendor with the City.

Submissions are due on Monday, August 10 before 5:00 pm.

Location Information

  • Wi-fi and electricity may be available at art pad locations.
  • Images of each location are below. Dimensions for each art pad are also listed below.

See the map below for the four locations where artwork will be placed in the park.