2017 Sculpture in the Garden

Call to Artists

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Sculpture in the Garden page

Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Additional Resources



Martini Pillow - Wilma Wyss (2016)

Grace - Ted Bayer (2016)

Artist Agreement for 2017  

Exhibition Date: June 17 - August 13, 2017

Entries Due: Friday, April 14, 2017

About the Exhibition: More than 2,000 people came to visit the Garden during the month-long show in 2016. Over 90 works sold during the show itself, and sales continued after the show closed, with artists receiving increased interest as well as commissions as a result of being showcased.

About the Venue : The Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California is a world renowned public garden famous for its extensive collection of rare succulent and drought-tolerant plants, trees, and shrubs. It provides a spectacular backdrop for artists to display their sculptures along the meandering garden paths. Each year, dozens of  artists, including many new to the Bay Area art scene, produce and install public-scale outdoor sculptures.

Prizes: Best in Show - $600, 2nd prize - $400, 3rd prize - $200; Peoples Choice -$200 (to be awarded at end of show)


Drod Duo -

Dan Rider (2016)

Kamakura -

Jefferson Mack (2016)

Concrete Ocean -

Bruno Kark (2016)

Owls -

Lisa Lee (2016)


Youth - Jiajun Lu (2016)

Cactus - Peter Keresztury (2016)


Amphora -

Garr Ugalde (2016)

Red Top Woman -

Leslie Safarik (2016)

Coral -

Katie Swan (2016)

Totems -

Henriette Cons-Ponte (2016)


Submitting: There is no submission fee. Sculptures of all media appropriate for outdoor gardens will be considered. Please use the online submission form at the bottom of this web page. A printable version of the online form is available through a link in the upper right of this page. In general, only completed works may be submitted for judging. Works in progress may be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please send an email to sculpture@ruthbancroftgarden.org for approval before submitting any work in progress. For series pieces, you should submit one photo that shows or is representative of the entire series and indicate the individual prices or the price range. If you plan to display on a pedestal in the garden please include an image of submitted piece on the pedestal you will use. Pedestals not included for review may be refused at time of installation.

Plantable pieces: Please be advised that RBG staff will be unable to water any pieces that include plants outside the normal garden watering schedule of approximately every 2 weeks. Please contact the sculpture coordinator at above e-mail if you have any questions.

Site Logistics: The average display site is 3’ wide, 3’ deep, and 6’ high. There are a limited number of spaces for sculptures that are wider (up to 8’) and/or taller (up to 20’). Sculptures will be located along the garden's gravel pathways, generally not in garden beds. Sculptures must be adequately secured for safety and stability without below-ground excavation or stakes longer than 4". There are only a few locations that can accommodate fountains, lit sculptures, or other works that require electricity. Please specify if your sculpture requires any special installation requirements, such as water or electricity, and also be aware that the Garden is not open after dark.

Selection: A jury will choose which pieces will be accepted and will also award prizes. The 2017 jurors will be announced in April 2017.

Invitational Component ("Art Walk"): In addition to the juried "Sculpture in the Garden," there will be an invitational "Art Walk." The Art Walk has been a component of several past sculpture exhibits. It provides a venue for smaller or more inexpensive pieces, garden vessels or planters, unique outdoor furniture, or the work of emerging artists. These works will be displayed concurrently in the Garden but will be physically separate from the juried show. Artists not chosen by the jury may still be chosen by RBG staff to participate in the Art Walk, and the same terms of agreement apply.

Terms of Agreement - Please Read Carefully!

Submission of work constitutes an agreement to the conditions set forth and acceptance that the decisions of the Committee and the Jurors are final. The Ruth Bancroft Garden may photograph accepted work for promotional purposes. Artists may not withdraw accepted entries before the close of the exhibition without having a suitable replacement approved. Submitted images must reflect an accurate representation of the work or risk rejection at time of installation. Artists are responsible for installing work and providing waterproof pedestals if needed. All artwork must be for sale to enter the exhibition.

Pricing: All price ranges are welcome, but artists should be aware that pieces priced under $5,000 are the most likely to be purchased. This event is a fundraiser; the Garden's commission is 35%. Please note on the submission form if there is an additional price for any pedestal used for display or if there will be a delivery/installation fee in addition to the selling price for each piece.

DurabilitySculptures must be stable and freestanding. They may be exposed to automatic sprinklers on several occasions during the exhibit. Please note that the Garden irrigates with well water, which is high in minerals and leaves spots on most dark surfaces. The water may also react poorly with some finishes.

Liability: Artists assume all responsibility for loss or damage not covered by the Garden's insurance policy. The Garden is entirely fenced in and there is a video alarm system by Bay Alarm that is armed every night. There has never been an instance of theft or vandalism in the past 22 years of Sculpture in the Garden.

Notification: Artists will be notified by mail and/or email if their work has been accepted by April 24, 2017.

Delivery and Pick-Up: Works are to be delivered and installed by the artists between June 6 and June 15, 2017. Works are to be removed between August 15 and August 18, 2017.

Event Attendance: Artists are strongly encouraged to be present at the opening weekend of the exhibit: Opening Night (Saturday, June 17), Father's Day (Sunday, June 18). The Opening Night Sunset Social on June 17, 2017 is a fundraiser for RBG. Tickets are $25 ($20 for RBG members). Artist is granted free admission for him or herself and one guest to the Preview Party and can purchase additional guest tickets for member price of $20. Pre-registration is required for all attendees. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy