The Connecticut River Artisans Group (CRAG) Sculpture Walk project is a multi-year effort headed up by the CRAG Sculpture Committee to acquire outdoor sculptures for display on the grounds of the Great North Woods Center for the Arts (GNWCA) in Columbia, New Hampshire. This public art project began in 2020 with the acquisition and installation of three sculptures by local artists and the inauguration of an annual CRAG Sculpture Competition – an open call for sculptural design submittals with a competitive selection process.
Our vision is to create and gradually expand a serene public venue featuring sculptural artworks by regional artists on the grounds of the GNWCA. For the first two years, a prize of $1,500 acquired through a combination of private and public funding was offered for the winning entry. Multiple exciting entries were received each year, and the winning sculptures (“Happy Hunting” by Liz Helfer installed in 2021 and “Winding Walk” by Gillian Christy installed in 2022) are truly outstanding works which are now on display along the Sculpture Walk.
The prize was increased to $3,000 in time for the 2023 competition, however none of the design proposals submitted that year earned the final approval of the Sculpture Committee. Still CRAG was able to install two new sculptures in 2023 (a supersize chime and timber supporting arch and “Late Bloomer” by Keith Hopps) through private donations. CRAG eagerly anticipates new acquisitions in the coming years, through the annual Sculpture Competition and through private donations as this exciting and unique North Country public arts project continues to grow.
Annual Sculpture Competition
OPEN CALL: Requests for Proposals for inclusion in CRAG’s Sculpture Garden and Walk at the Great North Woods Center for the Arts (GNWCA). Media Requirements: Submissions must be at least 3’ in height and be designed for outdoor display. All media that can withstand Northern New Hampshire weather extremes is admissible.
Cover Letter describing submission proposal
3 to 5 images of proposed submission
Artist resume including biography, educational background, and exhibition history
Entries Due Date: Submission must be sent no later than March 15, 2024
Notification to artists: Artists will be notified by April 1, 2024
InstallationTimeline: This will be decided by the artist and committee with a target date of around August 15th. An opening reception and possible artist talk will also be decided in consultation with the artist.
Accepted work: Artist must deliver the piece between the dates provided above and have the ability to install the sculpture with assistance from CRAG members. The winning sculpture will be displayed permanently outdoors along the CRAG Sculpture Walk located on the grounds of the GNWCA in Columbia, NH. The installation site will be determined by CRAG with input from the sculptor. Existing sculptures and more than one submission from the sculptor are acceptable and encouraged.
Prize: $3000 payable to the artist on delivery and installation of the work.
Jurors: A specially appointed committee of four board members of CRAG will be responsible for choosing the winning sculpture.
Contact: Proposals should be emailed to Michele Johnsen at [email protected]. For questions please contact Bette Guerin at [email protected], Nancy Smith at [email protected] or
Michele Johnsen at [email protected].
You can find out more about the Great North Woods Center for the Arts at gnwca.org.