Call For Artists



Wichita State launched a placemaking initiative last year with the goal of encouraging people already on campus to “linger longer,” and to attract new external audiences to WSU’s main campus. The intention is to soften up campus, make it more interesting and provide a richer visitor experience that enhances students’ and faculty’s attachment to campus.

Several projects in the placemaking initiative have already come online and more will appear in the coming months. Projects already completed include (1) the Wulip flower installation designed by artists Kristin Beal, Meghan Miller, Hallie Linnebur and Mike Miller; (2) “The Pods at WSU” created by sculptor Brady Hatter; and (3) electrical/utility boxes painted by muralist Delilah Reed.

Additional information on these projects and the larger placemaking initiative can be found at

This project is made possible through grant funding provided by the Knight Foundation at the Wichita Community Foundation.

The opportunity

WSU seeks to bring visual interest to the outdoor staircase on the south side of Clinton Hall where WSU’s Barton School of Business is located. The stairs are highly visible – located on a centrally-located quad with a lot of student activity and close to the Rhatigan Student Center.

WSU is seeking artist’s proposals to bring life, energy and something uniquely WSU to this prominent entry. The staircase has 12 steps with two exterior railings and two interior railings. The entire site is available for activation including the railings and the tread part of the stair (you step on this) and the riser or vertical portion between stairs.

Inspiration for this Call to Artists is found in the following article “19 Stunning Staircases Transformed by Artists Around the World"

Our canvas is smaller with fewer stairs than most projects seen in this article but WSU looks forward to seeing how Kansas artists respond to this unique activation opportunity.

Who's eligible to participate

Respondents to this Call for Artists can be individuals or teams although the budget remains constant to all. An application fee is not required. Submitting artist(s) must:

  • Be over 18 years old
  • Reside in the state of Kansas
  • Submit proposals with a WSU theme.

WSU employees are encouraged to apply and will be subject to all requirements of this Call for Artists and any resulting contractual documents and WSU employee payment procedures.

Existing conditions and dimensions

Photos of the site are to the right. The site includes:

  • 12 concrete stairs that are 23 ½ feet wide with the tread measuring 12 inches and the riser between stairs measuring 6 inches
  • Iron railings – two interior and two exterior
  • Small triangular concrete facia adjacent to exterior railings.

Artist(s) will need to submit proposals that allow for the continuation of walking on the steps. Special thought and attention must be given in consideration of materials that adhere to concrete surfaces and the iron railings. A high-quality commercial grade paint is often used for this kind of activation although other materials and applications will be considered if they can withstand the site conditions including ongoing walking (without creating slippery conditions) on the tread part of the stairs.

The proposed aesthetic must celebrate WSU by integrating the university’s brand and/or past visual treatments of the university’s mark. More information is available at


The total all-in project budget is $10,000 inclusive of artist’s honorarium and all costs to execute the project. $1,000 will be paid at the time of artist selection with WSU and the selected artist(s) jointly establishing a payout schedule for subsequent payments. Costs of materials and supplies to execute the project can be paid upfront or purchased by selected artist then reimbursed on a pay-as-you-go basis with receipts required for all expenditures. Purchases made by WSU are tax-exempt so the university will work with selected artist(s) to buy supplies and materials to reduce costs.

Artist must possess personal expertise to complete the project or be part of a team with the know-how to see the project to completion. Sub-contractors can be used but must be paid from the total project budget.

The artist will be under contract with WSU to complete the project. Selected artist(s) agrees to allow WSU to publish both submission images and the completed work for publicity purposes. Selected artist also agrees that the finished piece is the property of WSU, providing the university the right to modify or remove artwork.

Submissions to include

  1. Artistic vision statement
  2. Work plan including timeline
  3. Budget
  4. Current resume/CV for team participants
  5. Images, photos and/or renderings of concept sketches
  6. Compile these requirements into a PDF or Microsoft Word document with attached photos in .jpg or .pdf format and email to



Application Period: Thurs., June 20th – Mon., July 15th.
Applications to be emailed to by noon, July 15th.

Announcement of winning design: July 25th.
All artists who submit work for consideration will be notified of the jury decision at this time.

WSU would like project execution to begin ASAP following selection. Desire to complete project as early as possible, with latest execution by November 15th, 2019. WSU reserves the right to update or revise the schedule as necessary.


A selection panel will review the submissions and select the winning proposal. The panel will include the following individuals: Kristin Beal of WSU/Harvester Arts, Ty Tabing of WSU placemaking, Emily Patterson of WSU Facilities Planning, Dotty Harpool of the Barton School of Business, and Mackenzie Haas of Student Government Association. WSU reserves the right to modify the selection panel as necessary.

Selection criteria include:

  • Overall appeal/aesthetic quality including an impactful capture of the spirit of WSU
  • Experience with similar projects
  • Ability to complete work within desired timeframe and budget
  • Concept must be suitable to the environment including ability to endure weather conditions and not present safety, tripping or other hazards.


Please email with any questions.