Calling all artists, but particularly sculptors: the city of Manhattan will host a public sculpture competition and choose up to five winners to install along the 3rd Street Corridor.

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, the city’s Arts and Humanities Advisory Board will start its juried public art exhibition project later this month. Entrants who make it through the three-part selection process will win a $1,500 honorarium and have their entries displayed for approximately a year at 10 potential sites along 3rd Street in downtown Manhattan.

The Manhattan City Commission on Tuesday approved moving forward with the request for proposals.

Randi Clifford, director of recreation, told the city commission that the committee’s original plan was to install the works on Poyntz Avenue, but downtown businesses said the sculptures would add to the clutter on the narrow sidewalks in front of the storefronts.

Commissioner Usha Reddi likened the sculpture competition to the city’s flag competition earlier this year. She said the sculptures could be used in various ways, including as locations for scavenger hunts.

“People come back and say they want more art,” Reddi said. “This is the first step in the right direction.”

The competition will also have several criteria and specifications:

  • All artwork entries must be the original work of the submitting artist. Artists may submit up to three entries.
  • Artwork will be selected based on quality, artistic merit, design, craftsmanship, creative use of materials, scale, and durability and safety.
  • Artwork should be made as vandal-proof as possible. Artwork should also be free of sharp edges or the potential to harm. It should also withstand Kansas weather.
  • Existing artwork or concepts will be considered, but all artwork should be designed for long-term installation.
  • Artwork should be of an appropriate scale to mount on a 3-foot-by-3-foot limestone pedestal provided by the city.
  • The contest is open to all adult U.S. citizens currently residing in the U.S.

A to-be-determined arts professional will review the entries and make recommendations to a selection committee, which will consist of seven people chosen by city staff. That committee will then choose up to five artworks to submit to the City Commission for consideration in March, with installation scheduled for May.

The city will start accepting entries on Sept. 15 on entrythingy.com (Yes, that’s a real website). Artists will have to click on the “call for entries list” link to find Manhattan’s contest.

Entries will need up to four high-resolution JPEG images, as well as the artist’s name, sculpture title, dimensions, media, date of completion, price and insurance value, installation methods and requirements, in addition to an artist curriculum vitae and biography and a 200-word artist statement on the work.

The contest closes on Jan. 3 or whenever 150 entries are received, whichever is sooner.