Wisconsin Sea Grant to celebrate 50th anniversary with public artwork

A call for artists seeks proposals related to the Great Lakes and science

Wisconsin Sea Grant is celebrating its 50th anniversary year through a special commission for a piece of public art that will be displayed in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Sea Grant, headquartered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and with field offices around the state, is a science-based organization focused on Great Lakes research, education and outreach. It is part of a network of 34 Sea Grant programs nationwide in coastal and Great Lakes states.

Sturgeon Bay City Hall will be the site of a new artwork.

Sea Grant and the City of Sturgeon Bay are partnering on this artistic endeavor and invite proposals from qualified artists for an original artwork to be displayed outdoors at Sturgeon Bay City Hall. Information about the call for artists is available now on the Sea Grant website, and Sea Grant will begin receiving proposals next month.

Artists, or artist teams, may submit proposals for two-dimensional works of art that reflect Great Lakes science themes. Detailed instructions for submitting a proposal can be found on Wisconsin Sea Grant’s website. An online system to receive proposals will open on or around April 12.

Proposals will be judged on artistic merit, creative interpretation of the theme and other criteria outlined in the call for artists.

Said Sea Grant Associate Director Jennifer Hauxwell, “We’re excited to mark 50 years of Great Lakes science that serves the people of Wisconsin and the broader Great Lakes region. We also greatly value our state’s many vibrant coastal communities, such as Sturgeon Bay, and hope that the artwork resulting from this process brings enjoyment to people and raises awareness of our precious water resources.”

Added Helen Bacon, a city alder and chair of the Sturgeon Bay Arts Board, “We’re excited to showcase our waterfront, our walkable downtown and our commitment to the arts here in Sturgeon Bay. We’re making public art a priority, and this collaboration with Sea Grant is one part of that. I’m excited to see the proposals we receive through this process.”

The community hopes to build other artistic and educational activities around aquatic themes through the library system, local merchants and more.

Commented Sturgeon Bay Mayor David Ward, “We are delighted that Wisconsin Sea Grant has chosen the City of Sturgeon Bay as the site for an outdoor work of art to commemorate its 50th anniversary. Sea Grant was an early and active participant in identifying challenges and opportunities to preserve and improve the waters of the Great Lakes. The artwork will commemorate that work and Sturgeon Bay is proud to host it.”

The completed artwork is expected to be installed in Sturgeon Bay by early fall.

Artists who have questions after reading the call for artists on the Sea Grant website are encouraged to contact Science Communicator Jennifer Smith via email at smith@aqua.wisc.edu.