Artists Info and Q&A (from the September 6th Meeting)

Liz Shea-McCoy, Project Director - (402) 430-5923,

Kyle Vohland, Manufacturer of the Hands - (308) 468-9411, 

Matt Schulte, Campus Life Executive Director, (402) 617-2828,


.  Artists whose proposals are sponsored and who will be using the “Hands” created by Icon Poly will receive a $500 materials stipend for each sponsored proposal (1 – 5 proposals may be submitted).

.  Steel and bronze artists, who will not be using the “Hands” created by Icon Poly, are invited to replicate the specifications of the sculpture and add their own individual creativity to the design. For these artists, a $1,700 stipend (rather than $500) will be provided to purchase the steel and/or bronze materials.

.  In addition to their stipend, each artist will also receive one-third of their sculpture’s proceeds following a public auction slated for September 2019.

.  Artists are welcome to submit three-dimensional models or maquettes rather than two-dimensional proposals on paper.

.  Icon Poly, manufacturer of the Hands sculpture, has developed products specifically for use by artists. The material they use is a fiber- reinforced plastic which has important creative, health and environmental benefits compared to polyester resins used in traditional fiberglass materials.

  • Icon Poly’s sculptures are easier to work with compared to traditional polyester-based fiberglass, important information for those who are considering altering and/or attaching elements to the basic “Hands” design.

  • Icon Poly’s material can be sanded, drilled, cut or carved with everyday common tools available at local hardware and home stores and can be manipulated without producing toxic fumes, odors or residue which can irritate the skin.

  • As long as proper prep guidelines are followed, the sculptures are formulated to accept adhesion of almost any adhesives or sculpture compound on the market.

  • Acrylic paints are highly recommended; however, for experienced artists who don’t wish to stray from their preferred medium, the sculptures created for “Serving Hands” will accept any formula of paint with proper preparation.

NOTE: The completed sculptures are designed to be displayed outdoors.

SPONSORS– the goal for the project is 50 sponsorships; however, we will accept more than 50, should additional individuals, businesses or organizations come forward to support the project.

CLEAR COATING - Anderson Auto has offered to donate clear coat required for all sculptures, unless the materials utilized in the design dictate otherwise (stained glass, mosaics, steel, bronze, etc.). All sculptures need to be clear coated and ready to install by April 15, 2019.



Question: What are the dimensions and weight of the sculpture?

                  Answer: The sculpture will be 68” tall x 68 ½” wide x 53” deep and will weigh between 130 – 150 pounds.

Question: May an artist submit 3-D models or maquettes instead of 2-D proposals on paper?

                  Answer: YES


Question: Can bio materials (plants) be added to the sculptures as a part of my design proposal?

                  Answer: NO – Each sculpture should be designed for outdoor display and to withstand the harsh variables of each season. Proposals which include bio materials (plants of any kind) will NOT be juried into the project!


Question: Will the material used to create the sculptures expand and contract with the weather/temperature?

                  Answer: YES


Question: Is there special grout artists should use for mosaic or tile? 

                  Answer: Flexible acrylic grout. 


Question: Will artists who use mosaics or stained glass on their sculpture need a clear coat?

                  Answer: NO        


Question: Is there a weight limit for an artist who is using and/or incorporating steel or bronze in their sculpture’s design?

                  Answer:  NO, we just need to be able to move and install the sculpture.


Question: The base of the sculpture will not be part of the artist’s design proposal, correct?

                  Answer:  That is correct.  The sculpture will be on a temporary, stabilizing base.  It will be placed into the permanent base at the time of installation.


Question: I was thinking about adding elements on top of the sculpture. Is there a maximum height I should keep in mind?

                  Answer:  Not really, but please keep the dimensions in mind as you will need to be able to make sure that the sculpture is able to get through the doorway of Anderson Auto for clear coating purposes. Please call or email Liz if you have questions related to the height.


Question:  Can the hands be turned so the hands are down and the wrists up?

                  Answer: YES, but you will need to work with Kyle at Icon Poly about this structural change to insure stability and to make sure water doesn’t pool within the adapted sculpture. 


Question:  There seem to be lots of anatomical details on the visuals I’ve seen of the ‘Hands.’ Are those visuals accurate representations of the sculpture?

                  Answer:  The sculptures will have some subtle, realistic details but not deep enough so that the Artist’s paint will deposit or settle within the creases.


Question: Can Icon-Poly make objects for artists to put within the sculpture’s hands?

                  Answer:  It would be best and ultimately save the artist money if they checked with Icon Poly in advance to see if Icon Poly already has the mold created of the object they are considering.


Question:  Can the hands be separated?

                  Answer: YES, but the artist should ask Kyle at Icon Poly for an estimate as he will need to charge per hour for the work necessary to separate them.


Question: Will the base have to be changed if the hands are separated?

                  Answer: Campus Life will work with the artists who have made sculptural changes to make the necessary adaptations to insure the permanent base works with the sculpture. Those artists need to communicate with Matt Schulte, Executive Director at Campus Life.


Question:  Is it at all important or will I have a better chance of being sponsored if I incorporate the mission or anything related to Campus Life, the sponsoring organization, in my design proposals?

                  Answer:  Not at all; in fact, we want the artists’ designs to reflect their own unique creativity!


Question:  I see I need to include an inspiration statement along with each of my design proposals.  What exactly is an inspiration statement and how long does it need to be?

                  Answer: An ‘Inspiration Statement’ can be a few sentences or a page and really adds a great deal of meaningful background to someone who is wanting to know more about the artists’ creative motivation.


Question: How much is a sponsorship and is it tax deductible?

                  Answer:  A sponsorship is $5,000 and it is totally tax deductible.


Question: When is the auction scheduled and how will the artists benefit financially at this event?

                  Answer:  The auction will take place in early September 2019 and artists will receive 1/3 of the proceeds of their sculpture’s selling price.


Question: How much weight can be put in the hands?

                  Answer: Kyle Vohland, manufacturer at Icon Poly, offers the following statement: “I feel fairly comfortable saying that a 200-pound person could sit in the hands like a chair. However, the weight of a 200-pound ball weight might be a different story. He also notes that artists should place the weighted object closer toward the palms of the hands to help stabilize the sculpture. Kyle encourages artists who wish to put a significant amount of weight within the hands to call to discuss what they have in mind.

Top 10 Questions from Artists

1).   What is Serving Hands and who is the Sponsoring Organization?

Serving hands is a Public Art Project which will feature 6-foot-tall fiberglass hand sculptures modeled after other Public Art Projects such as Lincoln’s Tour de Lincoln (Bikes), Illuminating Lincoln: Lighthouse (Light Bulbs) and Nebraska by Heart (Hearts).  The goal is 50 sculptures displayed in Lincoln from May 1 - August, 2019.

Campus Life is the Sponsor for this Public Art Project.  They serve teens in Lincoln and surrounding areas through camps, retreats, weekly clubs and mentoring relationships.  Campus Life has invested in thousands of students, helping them build healthy relationships and guiding them to make good life choices, to establish a solid foundation for life and positively impact their school. celebrating 50 years of positively impacting teens in and around Lincoln through camps, retreats, weekly clubs and mentoring relationships.


2).     Why was ‘Hands’ chosen for the concept of the Project?

Campus Life chose ‘Hands’ as a representation of their mission, as they serve the community and reach out to teens in difficult circumstances. 


3).      What are the sculpture’s measurements?  Will it be able to fit through a door? 

The dimensions hands is 68” high, 60” wide and 30” deep. The dimensions  of the separate base is 24” tall x 30” deep x 55” long.  The combination of sculpture and base is 8’ in height.  Most doors are now 32” wide.  This will allow the sculpture to be picked up (each sculpture will weigh about 100 pounds), placed sideways and angled easily through a 30½“ doorframe.


4).    Will the sculpture have a base?  If so, what are its dimensions and is it included in the Artists’ design process?

The sculpture will be initially attached to a temporary wooden base for stability purposes.  Following the design process (and prior to public display) the sculpture will be connected to a final, permanent base.  The final base will not be a part of the Artist’s design proposal.


5).   What materials can I use on the fiberglass sculpture?

The sculptures will be displayed outdoors.  For that reason, the following materials may be used:  Acrylic paint, mosaics, stained glass added.  In addition, relief [raised, 3-dimensional modifications) are encouraged!  Serving Hands welcomes all creative ideas – whimsical, contemporary, traditional – the sky is the limit!


6).  Do I need to submit two views of my design idea (front and back of the hands)?

Yes, but only if the back differs from the front.  Artists may submit 1 – 5 Proposals using the outline of the hands, provided by Serving Hands at the Artist meeting and available on the Project website (   The more information provided the better (details, color, materials, etc.).


7).  Will Artists receive monetary reimbursement for materials and their creative effort? 

Yes, Artists whose Proposal(s) are Sponsored will receive a $500 stipend for each Sponsored Proposal.  In addition to their stipend, Artists will also receive one-third of their sculpture’s proceeds during a public auction slated for September, 2019.


8).    Where exactly is Old Historic City Hall, the location of the September 6th Artist Meeting?  Is it the Grand Manse?

Old Historic City Hall is not the Grand Manse.  It is located at 920 ‘O’ Street, between 9th and 10th Street, facing ‘O’ Street.


9).    I have lots of ideas and many questions so I’m looking forward to attending the 7:00 Artist meeting on Thursday evening, September 6th!  How many Proposals may I submit and when are they due?

Artists may submit up to 5 Proposals (rated G for Community display), due by October 3, 2018.  Proposals will be juried and those accepted will move forward to the Sponsorship (individual, business, organization) phase of the Project, October, 2018 – January, 2019.  A Sponsorship is a tax deductable  $5,000 generously provided by an individual, business or organization for the manufacture of the fiberglass sculpture, Artist’s stipend and Project expenses.


10)   Are Artists required to attend that meeting, and if I’m unable to attend, whom do I contact with my questions?

The September 6th meeting is not required, but if you are able to attend, it’s a really great opportunity to meet and ask questions of the manufacturer (Icon Poly) of the fiberglass sculpture and hear the answers to questions raised by others during the meeting.  However, if you’re unable to attend, contact Liz Shea-McCoy, Project Director, (402) 430-5923 or and/or check.  Artists are also encouraged to check out the Project website

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors

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