Creative Waco requests sculptures of zoo animals for zoo entrance

Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Journalist

By Brooke Hill | Staff Writer

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

Creative Waco, Waco’s local arts agency, has partnered with the city to request proposals for sculptures of Cameron Park zoo animals to line the roads leading to the entrance of the zoo.

The request for proposals is extended to individual artists, art students and design teams with no geographic limitations as to place of work or residence. Submissions may be in the form of new work or existing art available for purchase. The subject matter is limited to sculptures of animals found in the Cameron Park Zoo. These pieces may vary in style and form from figurative to abstract but must be recognizable by the average person as representing the animal depicted, according to the Creative Waco website.

“I think it’s just going to add more things to the park for people to come and see,” Director of Cameron Park Zoo Jim Fleshman said. “It’s kind of a reminder that the zoo is here, since it will sort of be a pathway up to the zoo. I think what it’s gonna do is drive interest to the park itself below us and then people will hopefully come up to see the live [animal].”

The project is being sponsored by a local philanthropist. Upon completion, the sculptures will be dedicated to the City of Waco as part of Cameron Park Zoo’s 25th anniversary celebration.

“We are immensely grateful to that philanthropist for just having this vision and the generosity to do the project in this way, because we think that this way of inviting artists for proposals is one of the most generous ways of seeking artistic proposals in order to get people’s imaginations going,” Executive Director of Creative Waco Fiona Bond said.

The goals of the project include the following:

  • Place new, high quality works of public art that complement existing pieces in the Brazos River Corridor.
  • Grow Waco’s reputation as a community that values and supports the arts and as one of the State’s newly designated Cultural Districts.
  • Contribute to the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Cameron Park Zoo in 2018.
  • Serve as a visual cue to guide people to Cameron Park Zoo.

“I think what I’m most looking forward to seeing is an artistic interpretation of what makes Waco special, because although these sculptures are about animals, ultimately these sculptures area about Waco,” Bond said. “I think this provides a really unique opportunity for local sculptors to be part of a public art project in a way that helps them to really think about what is special and unique about Waco, especially for people who actually know Waco well.”

The potential site zone encompasses a strip of land along the east side of University Parks Drive, beginning at the intersection of University Parks Drive with Colcord Avenue and ending at the entrance to the Cameron Park Zoo. Portions of the potential site are visible from the street, the riverwalk and/or the river.

Proposals are due Dec. 1 and will be reviewed by Creative Waco and City of Waco staff for compliance with minimum technical/safety requirements as stated in the RFP. Technically eligible proposals will be submitted to a jury consisting of professionals from the fields of art, design, engineering, and representatives from Creative Waco and the City of Waco. The jury and donor will select the finalists from Jan. 11-15. The rubric for what the jury will be looking for and more information can be found here. April through August will be the creation period where the artists will build their sculptures, with installation taking place in September or October.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing what kind of submissions they get…I think it’ll be interesting to see what kind of ideas different artists come up with,” Fleshman said. “I think that will make it a very unique type of sculpture.”

Bond said that Creative Waco is delighted that they have already received many inquiries already from all over the country and they are very optimistic that they’ll have some great proposals.


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