NATURE ILLUMINATED: The Enchanted Garden Revealed

Call for Artists Guidelines – Deadline Extended

Deck the Halls Sculpture Project at Van Vleck House & Gardens

The Van Vleck House & Gardens (VVH&G) in Montclair, New Jersey is accepting submissions from artists or enrolled art students, age 18 or older, for the first indoor sculptural tree exhibition at Van Vleck. A maximum of 15 sculptures will be selected for a three-week exhibit at Van Vleck. Sculptures should reflect themes in nature, and can be either abstract or figurative. Selected artists will be eligible for a $500 cash award for Best in Show. A silent auction of the tree sculptures will benefit the educational programs and maintenance of the public gardens at Van Vleck. Artists will receive 35% of the final auction bid.

A jury panel including Lora Urbanelli, Director of the Montclair Art Museum, artist Pat Lay,
art professor and founding director of Montclair State’s MFA program, and artist Virginia
Schaffer Block, director of Studio Montclair Virginia S. Block Gallery, will select the sculptures for the exhibition. During the exhibit, viewers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite tree sculpture, resulting in a Best in Show determination based on highest number of votes. In the case of a tie, the winner will be determined by a vote of the jury selection committee. An opening reception for artists and invited guests will be held at Van Vleck on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.

The exhibit will be part of a larger outdoor sculpture exhibition entitled Nature Illuminated: the
Enchanted Garden Revealed. Our first piece, which was installed in September, is entitled East West Buddha by artist Mac Adams. Additionally, emerging artists from Montclair State’s MFA program are collaborating on a group work to be installed in November. We are very excited about this new endeavor and look forward to creating a world class sculpture garden here in Montclair.

A preview luncheon for friends and patrons of Van Vleck will be held on Thursday, November
15, 2012, featuring a talk by noted sculptor and jewelry designer Sam Shaw. On Friday evening, November 16, tree sculptures will be auctioned at a cocktail party for friends and patrons of Van Vleck. The Thursday and Friday events are ticketed, with the proceeds used to benefit the educational programs and maintenance of the public gardens at Van Vleck.

Nearly 5,000 people are expected to attend Deck the Halls and visit Van Vleck this holiday
season. Selected artists will be featured on Van Vleck’s website, Facebook page and Twitter
site. Additionally, artists’ websites will be linked to all online media relating to this event.
We anticipate extensive press coverage in the Montclair Times, Star Ledger, the Patch (various communities), New Jersey Public Radio and WNYC, NJ Monthly, Design NJ, Real Simple magazine, New York Daily News and, possibly, the New York Times (at the very least, we will have a listing). We also plan to utilize online media outlets as well as all social media to promote, advertise and market Deck the Halls and the Sculpture Exhibition. As a result of our collaboration with MAM and MSU, we will also have the benefit of exposure to their constituents as well.


Friday, August 17: Call to Artists is publicly listed/distributed.

Monday, October 22, 2012: Proposals due to the Van Vleck House & Gardens by 5 pm.

Thursday, October 25: Jury announces 15 artists selected to participate. Artists are notified of selection, sign contract and begin building sculptures.

Monday, November 12: Sculpture installation day. Artists will install their own work.

Wednesday, November 14: Opening Reception for Artists and invited guests.

Thursday, November 15: Preview Luncheon featuring conversations with Maine sculptor and
jewelry designer Sam Shaw.

Friday, November 16: Coctail Reception and Silent Auction for Friends and Patrons of Van
Vleck. Voting begins for Best in Show Award, continues through Wednesday, December 5th.

Thursday, December 6: Sculpture pick up.

Friday, December 7: Best in Show Award Announced ($500 award).

Proposal Guidelines:

Both single and collaborative proposals will be accepted. One entry per artist/collaborative team. There is no entry fee to submit a proposal.
Sculpture submissions must be either three dimensional (free standing) or wall hung (max. 50 lbs for wall reliefs); made from maintenance free, non organic materials of the artist’s choice (no live trees please); constructed to remain intact for the duration of the exhibition.

Existing works can be submitted.

All free standing sculptures must come complete with a base and stand independent from
any anchors to the ground, floor, wall or ceiling. Access to electrical outlets in available at
installation sites.

Sculptures should also be constructed to withstand a high pedestrian traffic environment. Please take into consideration any necessary safety requirements.
No sharp, pointy objects/finishes.
No unstable sculptures that can tip over easily.
No chemically reactive materials or finishes.
No moving/rotating parts where hair or loose clothing could get caught.
No loose objects that could fall off the sculpture at height.

Minimum height is 3 feet.

Submission of illuminated sculpture is encouraged but not required. Illumination can be achieved through use of luminescent and/or iridescent materials/finishes and/or light.

Proposals must include, but are not limited to, the following:

1. A typed 250 word statement of the sculptural tree concept.
2. A resume and artist statement
3. Color sketch of proposed work or photo of existing work (jpeg), title of the work,
detailed description of materials, and approximate dimensions of the piece. Also,
whether the sculpture is designed for indoor or outdoor installation. Contact information
including name(s), email, phone and address.

Please mail materials to:
Van Vleck House & Gardens
Attn: Tree Sculpture Project
21 Van Vleck Street
Montclair, NJ 07042

Or email conceptual statement, jpeg, and
attachments to:

Any questions, please email:

• Van Vleck House and Gardens reserves the right to photograph/and or videotape any submitted
work for documentary and publicity purposes.
• Artists may not choose site location for sculpture installation. All tree sculptures will be exhibited
• Final sculptures will be displayed with label including artist(s) name, title of work, materials, and
minimum bid amount (based on artist’s own valuation of work).
• Artist’s valuation of work will be considered in setting the minimum auction amount.
• 65% of the final auction bid for each tree sculpture will be used to benefit VVH&G. Artist will
receive 35% of the final auction bid amount.
• Unsold sculptures will be returned to the artist.

About Van Vleck House & Gardens

Van Vleck House & Gardens is owned by The Montclair Foundation, a 501(c)
(3) organization supporting non-profits in our community. The Foundation is
dedicated to preserving the historic Van Vleck property for public enrichment,
and horticultural education and research. Continuing the Van Vleck family’s
commitment to the community, the house serves as a center for non-profit
events and is home to several New Jersey foundations. The gardens are open
to the public daily. For more information about our education programs,
volunteer opportunities, workshops and events, please visit our website at http://