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School Opens Art Competition for New Building

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An artist's rendering of the atrium of the new engineering building, which is the ultimate location for a sculptural work designed by KU students.


The University of Kansas School of Engineering and

A. Zahner Company

announce a sculptural art competition for students at the University of Kansas. The winning entry will serve as inspiration for a piece to be installed in the new engineering building at KU.

The competition is open to all KU current students and will offer the winning entrant the opportunity to work collaboratively with professionals at Zahner, an international architectural metal and glass design, consulting and fabrication firm based in Kansas City, Mo. A few of the signature works by Zahner include the Kauffman Performing Arts Center and Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, as well as Cowboys Stadium in Dallas and Experience Music Project in Seattle and a number of iconic structures designed by architect Frank Gehry. The contest winner will see their design transformed by Zahner into a large-scale hanging installation in the atrium of the new KU Engineering building set to open in summer 2015.

The deadline to submit a conceptual design is Dec. 5, 2014. All contestants

must complete an official entry form

available at the School of Engineering website and review official rules (below) that will guide their submission as well as their eligibility. The top five entries will be selected before the end of finals week. Finalists will receive funds to assist in developing a small-scale prototype of their work during the semester break, which they will present to the judging committee. The winning entry will be announced January 26, 2015.

Students interested in seeing the installation space first-hand can take part in a tour of the partially finished engineering building at 4 p.m., Monday, Nov. 24. Because the installation space is an active construction site, tour participants must wear pants and closed-toe shoes and sign a waiver before being allowed on site. Meet at Eaton Hall, Room 1 promptly at 4 p.m. Contestants are not required to participate in a tour to submit an entry.

Learn more about the possibilities and the work of


and be sure to view their

Hands of the Artist site


Download the

official entry form.


For questions, contact:

Amy McCurdy,


Jill Hummels,


Amy Wierman,



Art For Engineering Competition Design Information and Rules

The University of Kansas School of Engineering announces a 3-dimensional art competition for

all KU students

. The top five entries will be able to purchase through KU up to $500 in materials to develop a small-scale prototype for presentation before a panel of judges. The winner will get to work with Zahner, a Kansas City based engineering design consultancy and fabrication shop (www.azahner.com) that will coordinate design and fabrication of the artwork to be permanently installed in the atrium of the new Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 building on the main KU campus.

Contestants should design with the following parameters in mind. The sculptural form that ultimately is installed in the space will have the following requirements:

  • Artwork will be suspended from the structure ceiling in 2-story space

  • Materials to be primarily metal or metal and glass – visit azahner.com to learn more about the possibilities

  • Weight is not to exceed 2,000 pounds

  • Finished size of the work and required suspension must fit in the space demonstrated by the gray box on the attached Atrium Section architectural schematics.

  • General style of the submission should complement the atrium space

  • Artwork should not block ceiling lights

All entries must be original and must be the work of a currently enrolled KU student.

Competition Submittals:

  • Submit design concept as PDF file no larger than 10MB along with a completed

    entry form

    to Amy Wierman, awierman@ku.edu, by Dec. 5, 2014.

  • Show elevation, plan, and/or other views with notes of the concept

  • Students may include important statements (250 words or fewer) about their design concept

  • The 1


    place student must be willing and able to work collaboratively with Zahner on the final design during the spring 2015 semester.

Contest Constraints:

The 1


place submitted art may not be what is ultimately installed.  The selection committee reserves the right to reject all submissions.

Tentative Competition and Project Schedule:

Competition opens, Upon announcement

Tours of installation space, 4 p.m. November 24, 2014*

Conceptual image of entries due, December 5, 2014

Top 5 entries selected, December 14, 2014

Top 5 present prototypes in person to judges, Week of January 20, 2015

Top 3 entries and winner announced, January 26, 2015

Winner develops concept with Zahner, February, 2015

Submit final concept for review, March, 2015

Zahner constructs art, April – June 19, 2015

Contractor installs art, June 30, 2015

*Tour participants should meet at Eaton Hall, Room 1.

Because the installation space is an active construction site, tour participants must sign a waiver. Students will need to wear pants and closed-toe shoes before being allowed on site.

Contestants are not required to participate in a tour to submit an entry.



Amy McCurdy

, 785-864-5348

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