Call for Artists: Downtown Albany Outdoor Placemaking Exhibit


Update >> Thank you to all artists who applied to participate! Due to the overwhelming response to the call for artists, the BID has decided to place out 20 statues instead of the originally planned 10.


The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) is seeking artist proposals for Downtown is Pawsome, the 2017 outdoor placemaking exhibit that will feature 10 3-foot-tall sculptures of Albany’s famous canine resident, Nipper. The sculptures will be on display at locations throughout Downtown’s business and entertainment corridors from June 2017 through May 2018. Inquiries to sponsor these sculptures are also being accepted. Applications, which can be downloaded here, are due May 3 at 12:00 PM.


A beloved mixed-breed terrier residing in Bristol, England in the late 1800s, Nipper was immortalized in the 1898 oil painting “His Master’s Voice” by Francis Barraud. He became an instantly recognizable mascot for the RCA Recording Company throughout the 20th century, perhaps most familiar to locals via the 28-foot, four-ton statue that keeps guard over the Capital City from a perch atop the former RCA distribution warehouse at the corner of Broadway and Tivoli Street.


“Public art is a key component in establishing a positive sense of place and pride in a community,” said Georgette Steffens, executive director for the Downtown Albany BID. “This continued collaboration with local artists highlights the amazing talent found in the Capital Region, while creatively activating our streets and inviting those who work, live, and play in Downtown to view their shared public spaces in new ways.” 


In 2005, the outdoor placemaking program (formerly “Sculpture in the Streets”) was established to connect Downtown employees, residents and visitors with the places they share by reinventing public spaces with various art forms. From regional creators to world renowned artists like Seward Johnson and George Rickey, the exhibits have attracted thousands annually. Similar past projects included the installation of customized pianos as part of Luke Jerram’s internationally touring Play Me, I’m Yours series in 2014 and giant Dutch clogs celebrating Albany’s history in 2012, all enhanced by the Capital Region’s local art community. Walking tour maps of the 2017 Placemaking exhibit will be available on the BID’s website at


The Garden Party formally launching Downtown is Pawsome will be held on Friday, June 16th, 2017 in Tricentennial Park (Broadway and Columbia Street). For more information about the exhibit, contact Jason Bonafide at [email protected] or 518.465.2143  x11.