Quick Takes

Lexington seeking public artwork to commemorate its 250th birthday next year

By: - February 5, 2024 9:57 am

Lexington, the inspiration for Big Lex, the Blue Horse, was born in 1850 and was the greatest Thoroughbred sire of his time. (City of Lexington)

In honor of the 250th anniversary of its founding next year, Lexington is seeking proposals for an outdoor work of art to be placed in the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza.

“Lexington has a long history with the arts, and a new work of art in the heart of downtown for our city’s 250th anniversary provides a meaningful connection between our early identity as the ‘Athens of the West’ and the cultural legacy that we are building,” said Mayor Linda Gorton.

The 250 Lex Commission is inviting professional and practicing artists residing in the United States to submit qualifications to propose a permanent, unique, 3D artwork in recognition of the city’s anniversary, according to a news release.

A a prominent outdoor site along Main Street in front of the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza is the selected site for the permanent artwork, according to the release which said it will be “the largest work of public art ever commissioned by the City of Lexington.”

Artists and design teams interested in this project can access the official request for qualifications (RFQ) on the 250 Lex Commission website. Artists must submit their qualifications through CAFÉ – Call For Entry. All interested and qualified applicants must submit qualifications by 11:59 p.m. MST – Mountain, Thursday, February 29 (in Lexington, 1:59 a.m. EST-Eastern, Friday, March 1).

A selection committee composed of City of Lexington personnel, artists, arts professionals, and other community stakeholders will review the credentials of professional, practicing artists and design teams that can demonstrate experience in successfully executing large-scale public sculpture projects. Entries not meeting requirements will not be considered.

Upon review of all qualified RFQs, three finalists will be invited to submit a proposal for the design of a site-specific public artwork. Finalist proposals should represent a unique commission in ample detail.

For more information, go to https://www.lexingtonky.gov/250lex.

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