Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award
2020 Application Guidelines
Deadline: Sunday, February 2, 2020
Clare Weiss (1966-2010) was the Public Art Curator for NYC Parks. During her tenure, she curated more than 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city and organized complex, thought-provoking, and visually compelling thematic exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery. Clare’s passion, humanity, energy, courage, and collaborative zeal were valued by all who knew her.
The Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award is granted to one emerging artist who submits the most compelling proposal for an outdoor sculpture in a New York City park. The grantee receives an award of $10,000 to create their proposed artwork. This award was made possible with support from Janet and John Koehne.
Fort Tryon Park, located in Northern Manhattan between the neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood, has been selected as the location for the 2020 Award. Containing one of the highest points in Manhattan, Fort Tryon Park towers above the Hudson River, offering magnificent views of the Palisades and the lower Hudson Valley.
The selected artwork will be sited on the upper plaza of David Rockefeller Linden Terrace. Artists are strongly encouraged to visit this area of Fort Tryon Park before submitting a proposal. Additional information about the park can be found on the NYC Parks' Fort Tryon Park page.
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This award is open to New York City-based emerging artists only—artists who have specialized training in their field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution), who are at an early stage in their career, and who have created a modest independent body of work.
Artists who are enrolled in a school, college, or university are not eligible for the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.
Proposals for previously exhibited sculptures will not be accepted.
- February 2, 2020: Proposals due
- March 2020: Award Recipient announced
- Fall 2020: Sculpture installed in park, dedication ceremony and opening reception
Proposals will be subject to NYC Parks review and follow NYC Parks’ public art guidelines. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF and include:
- Resume with current contact information
- One-page statement describing artist’s work in general
- Proposed sculpture
- detailed description of no more than 2 written pages
- representative drawings or renderings of proposed artwork
- list of materials, dimensions, and weight
- installation recommendations
- maintenance recommendations
- proposed budget
- list of proposed supplemental programs or events
- Names and contact information of two references who are familiar with artist and artist’s work
- 5-6 images of previous work; each image should be labeled and succinctly described
All materials must be received by Sunday, February 2, 2020. Proposals should be emailed to NYC Parks Art & Antiquities at: firstname.lastname@example.org with “Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award” in the subject line.
The chosen recipient will be granted an award of $10,000. The artwork will be installed in Fall 2020 and will be on view for up to one year. The grant recipient will be selected through an open application process and will be chosen by a committee of art professionals and NYC Parks and Fort Tryon Park Trust representatives.
Artwork can be attached to the terrace’s asphalt surfaces but areas with pavers should be avoided. The proposal should allow for pedestrian flow. Objects cannot be attached to trees or lampposts.
Grant recipient will be responsible for the installation and removal of the artwork, and cover fabrication, labor, supervision, insurance, and maintenance of the artwork throughout the exhibition. At the end of the grant term, the artist is responsible for returning the park to its original condition.
NYC Parks will assist the awarded artist with logistics such as permitting and site specifications. The artist will be responsible for engineering documents if necessary. Grantees are encouraged to procure in-kind donations or additional funding if exhibition costs exceed the grant amount. NYC Parks can assist with letters of support and recommendations for such efforts. Artists are encouraged to research partnership opportunities with community and cultural organizations.
NYC Parks’ Art in the Parks program has consistently fostered the creation and installation of temporary public art in parks throughout the five boroughs. Since 1967, NYC Parks has collaborated with artists and arts organizations to produce over one thousand public artworks in New York City parks. For more information about the program visit our Art in the Parks page.
Previous Award Winners
2015 Award Winner
Wendy Klemperer, Shadow Migration
November 7, 2015 – November 7, 2016
Court Square Park, Queens
Shadow Migration exhibits animal silhouettes cut from steel plates and installed throughout the park. Klemperer investigates animal populations that were threatened in the 20th century, but are now rebounding and showing up in “our backyard.” Wild animals are finding their way into suburban and urban environments as human populations sprawl into their natural habitats. While many species have been devastated, some are adapting and thriving on the largesse of urban life. Hawks dive from high rise cornices to feast on the rich urban population of pigeons and rats; bears walk through New Jersey neighborhoods; and just several blocks from Court Square Park, a coyote found its way to a rooftop in Long Island City.
Klemperer’s animal silhouettes are steel forms, punctuated with cutouts in the shape of countries from around the world. Each animal is a melting pot, bearing countries on its body that are also represented in Queens’ population—the most diverse community in the world.
2014 Award Winner
Jarrod Beck, Uplift
August 20, 2014 – August 19, 2015
Sara D. Roosevelt Park, Manhattan
Uplift sits on a tree–lined terrace in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Made from recycled rubber conveyor belts once used to cart ore out of West Virginia mines, the work suggests stratified rock or a grouping of recently unearthed tectonic plates. Uplift is both memorial and artifact, reminding us of loss, but also rooted in a deep time beyond our memories.
2013 Award Winner
Karlis Rekevics, All-Too-Familiar Tangle
June 27,2013 – June 27, 2014
Tappen Park, Staten Island
Recipient of the third annual Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award, Karlis Rekevics is drawn to the overlooked part of our urban landscape that we regularly see but rarely register: bridge supports, store facades, guardrails, signs, and scaffolding. After documenting notable forms and architecture around the park, Rekevics created a series of wooden molds that combine recognizable elements in altered scales. The monumental All-Too-Familiar Tangle references the wooden bollards that line the coast near the Staten Island Ferry, as well as the neo-classical limestone columns and rounded portico entryway of the landmarked Staten Island Savings Bank located at 81 Water Street. Further investigation reveals the dormer window details from the park’s historic Village Hall conflated with the defining form of the sculpture—a wall-like structure with three peaks and low windows that echoes the distinctive pink design that covers the face of 7 Beach Street.
Katherine Daniels, Ornamental Paths
June 7, 2012 to June 2013
Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx
Katherine Daniels transforms everyday objects and materials into elaborately woven ornamental forms in her site specific installation, Ornamental Paths. The large-scale pieces are currently on view on the Grand Concourse between 161st and 164th Streets in the Bronx. “The placement of the weavings defines the inner triangular shape at the heart of Joyce Kilmer Park and creates a place where people can enter into a spatial drawing.” The brick and mosaic Art Deco patterns that have historically defined the neighborhood’s architectural landmarks are interpreted through Daniel’s interlaced geometric forms, horizontal stripes, and vertical bands that grace the park’s permanent wire fencing. Transcendent of an ordinary walk through the park, a stroll through Ornamental Paths will be a new experience full of color and history.
Ruth McKerrell, Ancient, Goatie Boy, and Goat as Wolf
June 1, 2011 to May 30, 2012
Fort Greene Park, Brooklyn
McKerrell’s three sculptures, originally made of reclaimed Styrofoam, have been cast in aluminum, giving them a timeless presence reminiscent of traditional garden statuary. Two sprightly goats and an alert deer will animate this welcoming space. Attracted to the naiveté and purity of animals, McKerrell has focused on them in her recent drawings and sculptures. A native of Scotland, she frequented local farms as a child and even owned a pet goat, which inspired Goatie Boy. A regular visitor to the Central Park Children’s Zoo, she creates studies from direct observations, as well as historical paintings, and anatomical reference books. However, her final works are made entirely from memory, working intuitively as she imbues her playful subjects with plasticity, life, and undeniable charm. McKerrell is attracted to the “freeness and rawness” of her modeling materials, which permit her to work spontaneously, and comments that they enable her to “create textured surfaces suggestive of an animal’s tactile form.”
Please help sustain the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award. Please send contributions payable to the City Parks Foundation with CWEAA noted in the Memo field to NYC Parks & Recreation, Art & Antiquities, The Arsenal, Central Park, Room 20, New York, NY 10065. For more information, please contact Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Art & Antiquities at (212) 360-3410 or Jennifer Lantzas, Public Art Coordinator at (212) 360- 8163.