The Great ARTdoors

The Great ARTdoors
The past year has brought about challenges that no one among us could have predicted. After months and months of uncertainty, unrest, and immeasurable loss, we are moving toward a time of recovery, healing and unity. As we all search for ways to build back, the power of art can once again be channeled to create vibrancy, amplify voices, and provide refuge – with this type of revitalization in mind, the Great ARTdoors, a collaboration between the Spurlock Museum, the Urbana Park District, the Champaign Park District, the Urbana Arts and Culture Program, and 40 North, is kicking off a new cycle of awarding selected local artists stipends to create outdoor art installations in several Champaign and Urbana parks and community gardens. This program is once again guided by the belief that public art has the ability to visually and intellectually activate outdoor spaces by connecting people and sparking dialogue. This project is also committed to supporting local artists, prioritizing underserved communities, and ensuring accessibility for all. The 10 selected artists will receive a $1,000 stipend and the artwork will be featured in 1 of 10 designated locations. Artists are asked to submit a proposal of artwork by midnight on March 14th. Selected artists will be notified via email by March 22nd and artwork will need to be ready to install by May 10th, 2021. The selected artworks will remain installed through October.


  • You must be an artist living or working in Champaign County
  • Artists must submit up to 10 images of related work and/or preliminary drawings, diagrams, photographs, or models of final concept to be considered - images must be submitted as jpegs not to exceed 2MB each
  • All files should be labeled with name and title of work. Ex: Yourname_titleofwork.jpg
  • Please include a separate image list file with the following information for each image: title, medium, dimensions (including depth if 3D), date
  • Artists must also include a written description in pdf format of proposed artwork including all relevant details (including any special installation requirements)
  • Artists are free to propose a site specific design for one of the ten designated locations (please see detailed maps and related images) or leave the siting decision up to the jury
  • Email your submissions to: with subject line: GreatARTdoors2020_YourName
  • No submission fee required
  • All artwork should be designed to withstand outdoor environmental conditions for at least 6 months and must be constructed from materials that can withstand all types of weather
  • Artwork should be family friendly and appropriate for public spaces
  • Collaborations are permitted and encouraged, but stipends are per sculpture, not per artist
  • Artwork should be able to be fastened safely to a vertical (from 6 to 10 feet) 4”x4” post of pressure treated lumber that will be set 2 feet into the ground (e.g., wrapped around the post, a platform set a top the post, a painting screwed directly to the post, multiple pieces attached to multiple sections of the post, etc.) Artists can also suggest and provide detailed instructions on an alternative installation to be considered that would have no lasting impact or damage to the park grounds
  • Artwork will be manually installed so therefore able to be lifted by a maximum of 2 people – no large mechanical equipment will be provided
  • Artwork can be one individual piece or made up of multiple parts
  • Submission of work indicates that the artist has an understanding that no party assumes responsibility for any damage or loss – selected artists will be required to sign a waiver
  • Selected artists retain ownership and rights to the artwork but are expected to honor 6 month display duration
  • Selected artwork must be ready to install the week of May 10th


  • Sunday, March 14 | Submission Deadline
  • Week of March 22 | Winners notified via email with further instructions
  • Week of May 10 | Artwork installation – Artists will be expected to meet with park district representatives to discuss details of installation as well as assist with final installation
  • October | Removal of artworks – Artists will be expected to assist with removal (if unable to assist with removal and claiming of artwork, artists surrender ownership)

DESIGNATED LOCATIONS (click links below for detailed maps and images):

1)         Chief Shemauger Park (1001 E Kerr Ave, Urbana)

2)         Weaver Park (2205 E Main St, Urbana)

3)         Crystal Lake Park (Corner of Broadway & Park, Urbana)

4)         South Ridge Park (3008 S Myra Ridge Dr, Urbana)

5)         Lierman Neighborhood Community Garden (Washington & Lierman, Urbana)

6)         Beardsley Park (1006 N. Walnut St, Champaign)

7)         Citizen Park (1311 Garden Hills Dr, Champaign)

8)         Randolph Street Community Gardens (1001 N Randolph St, Champaign)

9)         Skelton Park (101 E. Washington St, Champaign)

10)       Douglass Park (501 E. Eureka St, Champaign)

Another element of the Great ARTdoors is the outdoor community gallery. Community members are encouraged to be creative by transforming their windows, balconies, porches, yards, and neighborhoods into art that expresses their thoughts and feelings. This outdoor gallery inspires neighbors to further explore their neighborhoods while maintaining social distancing guidelines. Please share images of your creations on all social media platforms using hashtag #cuARTdoors

The Great ARTdoors is organized by the Spurlock Museum, the Urbana Park District, the Champaign Park District, the Urbana Arts and Culture Program, and 40 North.