Conner Prairie Seeks Artists for Sculptural Exhibit

Conner Prairie Seeks Artists for Sculptural Exhibit


Conner Prairie seeks artists to create sculptures for an outdoor exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service about wildlife habitats This exhibit is expected to have a lifespan of approximately 1-3 years. Artists will construct artistic interpretations of elements of various habitats using durable materials and in collaboration with Conner Prairie staff.  Artists may be selected for one or more elements. This exhibit is intended to highlight some of the best features of Conner Prairie’s beautiful property and will be a core part of a brand new experience area for guests. 

Sunday, June 20th at 11:59 p.m.

To be eligible to submit for this opportunity, artists must:

  • Be able to meet all of the project requirements (see below)
  • Be age 18 or over
  • Be willing to meet all contractual obligations and adhere to a strict budget and timeline
  • Carry personal liability insurance for the duration of the project (Noblesville Creates can provide a referral to an insurance provider if needed)


  • Providing the application information described below
  • Collaborating with Conner Prairie staff to develop designs for the exhibit
  • Constructing key exhibit elements using durable materials and to meet the size and design requirements set forth by Conner Prairie
  • Coordinating with Conner Prairie staff for the installation of the elements
  • If applicable, coordinate with artists working on other exhibit projects to create complementary designs and plan installation schedules

Commission rates will vary, based upon which exhibit element(s) the artist is selected for. The minimum commission will be $1,000 for design, fabrication and installation of the artwork(s). This fee is to cover all of the artists’ compensation and anticipated expenses, including (but not limited to) design fees, construction materials, paints, installation hardware, sealant, other materials, production and labor. Payment will be made in two installments: 1/2 will be paid to the artist at the beginning of the project, with the remaining 1/2 to be paid upon completion of the project. Please note that these payments can take up to 30 days to arrive.

Habitat was developed by Smithsonian Gardens. The exhibition at Conner Prairie is a build-it-yourself traveling exhibit coordinated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), consisting of graphic panels, landscape designs, and site-specific three-dimensional elements. It highlights the importance of protecting natural habitats while showcasing the beauty and diversity of the Conner Prairie landscape. The installations will be placed in select guest experience areas and on a new trail system stretching over two miles along the White River. 

Click on the link below to see a file of examples of how this exhibit has been developed in other locations:

Artists must submit their qualifications to Allison Cosbey ( by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 20th,2021. Representatives from Conner Prairie and Noblesville Creates will review submitted qualifications and select up to 8 finalists to interview further.

Note: While this is the intended selection process, in the event of an insufficient number of qualified applicants, Noblesville Creates reserves the right to invite an artist to propose, or to directly select an artist and also reserves the right to cancel the opportunity entirely at any point and for any reason. 

Finalists will be selected based upon the following criteria:

Technical Ability: Artist’s submission indicates professionalism, skill with materials and techniques, and indicates the capacity to meet the requirements of this project

Artistic Quality: Artist’s past work is appropriate to its context, innovative, creative and stylistically distinctive 

This timeline represents the project as it now appears. Changes may be necessary as the project progresses.

  • Release Request for Qualifications: May 14, 2021
  • Deadline for qualification submissions: June 20, 201 
  • Selection Committee Review: Jun 20-Jul 9, 2021
  • Selection of final candidate: No later than Jul 12, 2021
  • Design & Fabrication: Jul 12-Sep 30, 2021
  • Installation: Any time between Sep 30 and Dec 31, 2021, depending on weather.

Artists must submit the following information to Allison Cosbey, Exhibit Developer, Conner Prairie note: submission materials will not be returned to applicants).

  • Application: Please fill out the form below completely and return it (including your proposed budget) with the other items listed below.
  • Resume: Please include a copy of your artistic resume
  • Cover Letter: Please include a statement about your interest in this project, as well as any personal or professional connection you have to Conner Prairie and how that connection influences your interest in this project. Please also include a statement about how your previous work experience qualifies you for this opportunity.
  • Examples of previous artwork: Submit 2-10 digital images in .jpg or .pdf format of past work. Please limit the file size of each image to 2MB or less. If possible, include images of at least 1 previous project that is appropriate to the conditions of this brief.
  • Image information sheet: Submit a sheet with the following information about each submitted project: title, date completed, client/neighborhood/site name, total artwork budget, and a brief (1-2 sentences) description of the project or piece at is relates to this project. Include a directory of which image titles you have submitted are associated with each project (ex: for an artist named Smith: PROJECT x: Images Smith 1, Smith 2, Smith 3; PROJECT Y: Smith 4, Smith 5, Smith 6). Submit this sheet in .doc, .docx or .pdf format.

Submissions may be emailed to, shared via Dropbox, or hand-delivered to Allison Cosbey at Conner Prairie located at the below address. 

Mailed or delivered submissions must be loaded on a single usb drive. CDs, DVDs, or printed items cannot be accepted. USB drives must arrive Conner Prairie no later than 11:59 pm on Sunday, Nov 29, 2020. A Dropbox share request must be time-stamped by 11:59 pm on Sunday, Nov 29, 2020 – all items must be included in the shared folder by that time. Any item that is time-stamped as being uploaded after 11:59 pm will be disqualified from consideration. 

The Delivery Address is: 
ATTN: Allison Cosbey 
Conner Prairie 
13400 Allisonville Road
Fishers, IN 46038

Contact: Allison Cosbey, Exhibit Developer, Conner Prairie: or 317-214-4761.


Artist name: 
Mailing address: 
City, State and Zip: 
Phone number: 
Email address: 
Website (if applicable):

Do we need to know anything else about you or your schedule as it relates to the proposed timeline for this project? 

Tell us about your ideas for this project:

Ailithir McGill

Did you know? Nickel Plate Arts is becoming Noblesville Creates!

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Noblesville Creates is Now Noblesville Creates