The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Penn State Sculpture Commission: “We Are”

"We Are" Sculpture Site

Penn State’s 2013 Senior Class is sponsoring a national competition for a public art sculpture that represents the University’s iconic theme, “We Are.” The sculpture will be a gift to the University and is to be installed adjacent to the east side of the Intramural Building on Penn State’s University Park Campus. This highly visible site is centrally located on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive and is recognized as a primary gateway to campus from the east.

The words "We Are" should appear somewhere on the piece, and the words of the Penn State Alma Mater in the original handwriting of Fred Lewis Pattee need to be incorporated into the piece (a copy of the handwritten text is included in the project prospectus). The alma mater was written in April 1901 by Pattee, professor of American literature, and embodies Penn State pride. The inscription on the sculpture will serve as a visual representation of what it truly means to be a Penn Stater. Penn State President Rodney Erickson explained that a ‘We Are’ sculpture “enhanced with the words of the Penn State Alma Mater combines two of Penn State’s most cherished expressions of who we are ... It will certainly become a 'must see' landmark on campus."

The final piece will be placed outside and will therefore need to be able to withstand the variety of weather conditions in Central Pennsylvania. The commissioned work should be successfully integrated into the surrounding landscape. The sculpture must be appreciated from all sides. Pieces that require water and/or electricity will NOT be considered, except for potentially some minimal accent lighting. The artist will determine the size, material(s), and exact location of the sculpture. The location and configuration of the adjacent stone walls cannot be altered to accommodate the sculpture.

Artists planning to submit a proposal should provide a link to a website where your proposal can be downloaded. As an alternative you may mail a CD to the address below. Your proposal is to include the following:

  • The attached one-page entry sheet as the cover to your submission
  • A resume that highlights relevant experience as an artist, selected works in public collections, exhibitions, publications, professional training, and commission experience
  • A brief description and interpretation of your artwork (i.e. titles, mediums, dates, sizes of works, inspiration, etc.)
  • Photographs of your relevant portfolio
  • Images that represent your proposed concept for the “We Are” sculpture
  • A description of your proposed concept for the “We Are” sculpture, including total project costs.

A completed entry packet as outlined above must be received no later than Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Proposals will be evaluated by an appointed Selection Committee. The Selection Committee will develop a short list of three artists. The Committee will invite the short-listed artists to campus between July 16 and July 31, 2013 for an interview.

The commissioned work is being funded by the Class of 2013. The selection and funding for this artwork will meet the highest professional standards. A total commission fee of up to $155,000 will be available and will include ALL costs for the sculpture (i.e. design fees, construction costs, delivery to campus, installation, etc.) - complete and in place. Final amount available will be realized around January 7, 2014 and is determined by the amount raised by the Class of 2013.

This Call for Entries is available in downloadable format at  If you have any questions about the procedures for entering this competition, you may contact Geoff Hallett at 814-865-0198 or email: . CD’s may be mailed to Geoff at the Office of Annual Giving, 0200 Bristol Place I, State College, PA 16801.