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The City of Ashland, Wisconsin, seeks competitive design proposals from local artists for an art installation in H. Pearson Plaza, behind City Hall. The main goal of this installation will be to incorporate solar panels to provide an educational opportunity as well as to further beautify the park area. Energy created from the solar panels will be monitored and described on a plaque adjacent to the installation. H. Pearson Plaza has approximately 7,000 square feet of area to work with, is centrally located off Main Street, and visible on US Highway 2. This project will demonstrate the dedication of the City of Ashland to sustainability, as well as further distinguish the city as artistic and unique.

Ashland is a small city with an outstanding collection of natural, cultural, and historical assets. Ashland utilizes the waterfront with a marina, walking/biking trails, various parks, 3 beaches, boat launches, a pier, RV park, redevelopment plans of the superfund site, and a vision for development of a nearly 2,000 foot ore dock base into a unique civic space. Historical influences shaping the present include educational institutions that reflect a commitment to ecology and place, including Northland College and Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College; a downtown filled with history and creativity, with numerous historical architectural landmarks, a historic district on the National Register, and a growing tradition of local public art; and a grid street network that provides the building blocks for a walkable, neighborly, and well-connected community.

The City of Ashland Planning and Development Department is looking to expand the City’s vision as a sustainable city of the future. As one piece in multiple initiatives to expand the sustainability infrastructure, the City would like to commission a local artist to design and install a sculpture incorporating solar panels in H. Pearson Plaza. This piece would serve as a demonstration of solar technology as well as further beautify the newly redesigned park.


  1. Provide educational material on the process of PV solar energy generation
  2. Incorporate this energy production into an aesthetically beautiful art piece
  3. Establish Ashland as a sustainable, unique place to live and work

Art Requirements

  • Must include solar panels1
  • Must be able to connect to the grid
  • Must include charging ports for electronics
  • Must include lights or lighting for night use
  • Must incorporate local culture, history, and/or natural environment
  • Artist must be resident of Ashland, Bayfield, or Iron County1 All artists will have access to local electrician to help with the design process as well as hookup to the grid.

The location of this installation will be in H. Pearson Plaza, directly behind city hall. This location was chosen because of its visibility, connection on utilities, relationship with city hall, and the recent beautification efforts that have been successful within and adjacent to the Plaza. The total area available for this artistic installation is 151 feet long by 52 feet wide.

Included in the project proposal is an estimated project budget broken out by material cost, commission fee, and installation. Given that the project budget will be provided through area grants and other various sources, exact amount is subject to change, pending grant approvals; completion of the art piece is subject to city securing funds to complete. Slight variation in project is acceptable after acceptance to accommodate budget fluctuation.

  1. Letter of interest: Description of interest in the project; Initial vision for the work; Relevant experience or background (artistic as well as solar); Contact info: name, address, phone, and email; please include community residing in, and how many years in the Chequamegon Bay region
  2. Concept of proposed art piece: Description of the concept of the proposed project, including design intent, color, size, materials, lifetime, and fabrication process
  3. Concept design: Rendering of the conceptual design, including multiple viewpoints/angles
  4. Budget estimate: Estimated, itemized budget for the proposed project, including costs for materials, fabrication, installation, and any other relevant costs
  5. Project schedule: Schedule for completion of work
  6. Resume: Current professional resume
  7. Work sample: A minimum of three and up to ten samples of past work, including anannotated image list stating the title of the piece, commissioning body, project budget, date, medium, and dimensions

The top 3 candidates will each receive a $100 gift certificate.

Submission Deadline

The required submittal must be received on or before March 19 at 4pm local time. Include 2 paper copies and 1 electronic file (email/pdf or flash drive preferred). Label submittal: Artistic Solar Public Art Project.

For more information view the proposal information pdf.


Laura Loucks

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