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Earth Expression

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Earth Expression

Cincinnati Nature Center’s Earth Expression project is an outdoor and interactive art exhibit consisting of sculptural installation(s) located in our Witt Pollinator Garden and/or Nature PlayScape. The Nature PlayScape is a 1.6-acre enclosed habitat that lets children safely explore forests, fields, and streams with minimal human-made interventions. The Witt Pollinator Garden allows guests to wander through a spiral-shaped garden of native plants that attract birds, bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. The Nature PlayScape and Pollinator Garden reside next to one another on the property; ideally, the project would connect the Pollinator Garden, physically or conceptually, to the Nature PlayScape.

Our goal is to welcome, surprise, and engage both new and repeat visitors from across the region in a captivating outdoor art experience. The exhibit is a temporary, six-month installation during late summer, fall, and early winter.

Earth Expression will create an art experience that is active, immersive, and social and stretches the boundaries of the sculptural form. The project will be promoted through various channels, including social media posts, e-blasts, press releases, and our website. Earth Expression is a grant-supported project with ArtsWave.

Cincinnati Nature Center staff will design program opportunities around the installation(s) that may encourage guests to create their own art using natural materials, or if appropriate for the artist’s vision, assist in co-creating the artwork.

Selection Process

One artist will be selected through an RFP process and committee. When choosing an artist, the committee will consider:

  • The proposed sculpture(s) is based on a nature theme related to the Cincinnati region
  • The proposed sculpture(s) can withstand wind and rain/snow
  • The proposed sculpture(s) are touchable and/or interactive
  • Artist experience creating installations in an outdoor setting
  • Artist experience working with the public and ability to share and promote their work
  • Artist ability to represent the regional arts community
  • References

Deadline

Proposals are due June 1, 2022.

Budget

Artist payment: $4,000

Artist will be granted a contract payment paid at intervals upon mutual agreement between Cincinnati Nature Center and the artist.

Materials Budget: $1,500

Artist will be allowed to submit for payment or reimbursement of pre-approved project materials; artist is highly encouraged to use natural/recyclable/compostable materials.

About Cincinnati Nature Center

Since 1967, Cincinnati Nature Center has provided everyone in the greater Cincinnati region the opportunity to engage with nature through hiking, wildlife viewing, nature education, informative exhibits, and outdoor events. As the largest member-based nature center in the US, we welcome over 220,000 visitors each year; we are a regional leader in land stewardship and conservation and manage a variety of native habitats across 1,780 acres. Our naturalists and nature education professionals are experts in interpretive practices and guide visitors through programs that teach all ages about wildlife, plants, and local ecology. 38 full-time and 46 part-time staff and over 500 volunteers work tirelessly to drive our mission to Inspire Conservation.

Application Details and Deadline

The intent to apply is due June 1, 2022. Interested artists should submit a preliminary proposal that includes a resume, cover letter, and conceptual design outline.

Applicants may visit the site with pre-approval. Please contact Anne Robison at arobinson@cincynature.org or 513-582-4523 to arrange a visit.

The concept design outline should include:

  • Brief summary of the concept and suggested materials
  • Size and space requirements
  • Installation timeline

Proposals should be submitted via email with PDF attachments to Anne Horne at ahorne@cincynature.org.

Applicants that are chosen for interviews will be contacted by June 8. Applicants that are chosen for an interview will be asked to bring detailed plans and renderings as well as examples of past portfolio work.

For questions regarding the application process, please email Anne Horne at ahorne@cincynature.org. No calls please.

Earth Expression: Finding Home

Our first Earth Expression installation took place in 2021 and was created by Joel Armor. To learn more about his vision and installation, watch video below.