Sensory Garden Sculptures

The addition of sculptures created by local artists in June 2013 have greatly enhanced the visual and tactile elements within the sensory garden.  These stimulating pieces of art are the result of a competitive grant offered by the Lansing Lions Club with support of the City of Lansing Arts & Cultural Grant Program funded through the Lansing Economic Development Corporation and administered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership with assistance from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

The Jabberwocky, Paul Nilsson, Artist

from Through the Looking Glasss and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll, 1872


Snow Leopard, Dace Koenigsknecht, Artist

The snow leopard perches atop strata of snow covered rock, depicting the often barren and remote habitat this species calls home.


River Song, Lee J. Kronenberg, Artist

A whimsical bird of paradise



Call for Artists - Lansing Host Lions Club

Sculptures for Sensory Garden at Potter Park Zoo
Proposal submissions must be received by February 28, 2013.
About the Project
Through a grant provided by the City of Lansing and Leap as a part of its “Sense of Place in the Arts” grant program, the Lansing Host Lions’ Club, in cooperation with Potter Park Zoo, is accepting proposals from artists interested in creating and installing permanent public sculptures for its newly dedicated Sensory Garden at Potter Park Zoo. The Sensory Garden, which opened to the public in the fall of 2012, provides Zoo visitors of any age or ability with the opportunity to enjoy the Zoo by utilizing all of the senses. Located next to the bird sanctuary on the Zoo grounds, the Sensory Garden includes raised planting beds with colorful and aromatic perennials, gentle, winding pathways of brick, wood, concrete, and asphalt, a delightful “touch and smell” herb garden, a waterfall and babbling pond, and a beautiful wooden gazebo in which to relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings with family and friends. Since its dedication, the Sensory Garden has quickly become a hot spot for hundreds of Zoo visitors and will serve as the future site of many scheduled special events and wedding ceremonies. Annually, the Zoo welcomes nearly 165,000 attendees and the Sensory Garden is anticipated to capture 75% of these visitors.
Proposal Eligibility Requirements
  • No entry fee required.
  • Artists whose principle residence is located in the greater Lansing region (Ingham, Eaton, Clinton and Shiawassee Counties) are eligible to apply. More than one piece may be submitted for consideration. 
  • Artists must be 18 years and older.
  • Artists must apply as an individual and not as part of an organization or group.
  • Artists must not be enrolled as a full-time student.
  • Works already executed must have been created within the last three years.
  • All works must be original to the artist applicant in concept, design, and execution as reflected by the artist’s submitted portfolio of past work.
Sensory Garden Criteria and Evaluation
Up to three sculptures will be selected for three separate locations in the Sensory Garden. Two works will be placed at either ends of the centrally-located raised plant bed, and one will be located next to the gazebo. Sculptures should be designed to fit one of these spaces, shall be fabricated and installed by the artist for permanent installation, and shall be a minimum of 4’ in height, and have a base that shall not exceed 36” in width (see schematics for locations and details). Due to the zoological nature of the environment, artists must also employ materials that are safe for humans and animals. A list of materials used to create the work will be a required component of the project (see proposal requirements). Additionally, opportunities to speak to environmental sustainability (recycling or reuse) and/or the conservation of animals will be highly-valued.
Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Winning entries will be selected based on eligibility requirements, artistic merit, craftsmanship, and the degree to which the piece meets the outlined criteria for placement in the Sensory Garden. This includes:
  • Quality of the proposed work and quality of previous body of work.
  • Ability for the sculpture(s) to highlight the unique, public setting of the Sensory Garden at Potter Park Zoo and be designed for persons of all ages or abilities to see and to touch.
  • A sound installation and maintenance plan.
  • Demonstrated concern for the environment by outlining the use of non-toxic materials and finishes that are safe for humans and animals, and
  • The degree to which the proposal encourages education and dialogue that speaks to the caring of animals and/or depicts animals.
Up to $4,000 per sculpture, with an additional allowance of up to $500 per sculpture available for the preparation and installation of a footing, base, fasteners, and/or other permanent installation materials to secure permanent placement. One-third of the payment will be made to the artist upon the signing of a contract. The second payment will be made upon committee members’ mid-project review. The final payment will be made upon the completion and successful installation of the project.
Artists will receive notification in March regarding the decision of the jury. Contracts for winning proposals shall be executed in March. A mid-project review for second payment shall occur in May. It is the goal that each sculpture be permanently installed by June 30, 2013.
Proposal Requirements
In order to be considered, interested artists must ensure their proposal materials are received by the Lansing Lions Club by February 28, 2013. A complete proposal packet shall include 5 sets of the following:
  1. A brief written narrative and initial sketches describing the proposed concept or high quality jpegs submitted on disc of pre-existing artwork proposed for installation.  Please also list the media, including non-toxic materials and finishes, and approximate dimensions.
  1. Estimated budget for the sculpture(s) proposed.
  1. An installation plan for the work being proposed including your plan to create and install a base, type of fasteners you will use, or any other materials or information needed for installation (for example: you will be delivering the piece on a flat bed truck, or that it will take two weeks to pour concrete before fastening, etc). In addition, please provide requirements necessary to maintain the piece over time.
  1. Up to 10 images of your past artwork submitted on a disc as high quality jpegs. Please do not submit prints, photos, slides or actual work. Only high quality JPEGs on disc will be reviewed. Each image on the disc must be saved with the artist’s LAST name, title (i.e. Smith, Composition #1).
  1. A corresponding image description sheet of the artwork you have included on your disc. The list should describe the title, medium, dimensions, and year of each artwork created.
  1. An artist resume that includes your education, training, list of previous exhibitions, and contact information.
  1. A SASE if you would like your materials returned.
  1. 5 complete sets of the above materials must be submitted by February 28, 2013 to:
Lansing Lions Club
Sensory Garden Art Project
PO Box 14163
Lansing, MI 48901-4163
Only completed submissions with all 5 sets of required materials will be reviewed (no faxed paperwork or emails will be accepted).
For additional information about the Sensory Garden project and the call for sculptures, please contact Lions Club member Roger Boettcher at (517) 243-5006.


Sculptures pictured below are on temporaty loan and depcit the desired locations. One on either end of the raised-bed planter and one on the right side of the gazebo. It is preferred that sculptures be placed so that they are "touchable" from the walkway. See the orange pentagonal icons in schematic at the bottom of page. Note: gazebo pathway depicted in schematic has changed and likewise, the location of the sculpture at the gazebo (howling wolf).


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