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Sweet Pass Sculpture School

Application Due: March 1, 2021
Selection Notification: April 2021
Site Intensive: June 1 - 14, 2021
Final Exhibition Date: June 2022

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Sweet Pass Sculpture Park announces its new education based exhibition program, Sweet Pass Sculpture School (SPSS). The program consists of a two week intensive in Dallas, TX, a year long remote mentorship for research and project development, and a concluding exhibition centered at Sweet Pass Sculpture Park.

Artists invited to participate will engage in site visits, lectures, screenings, readings, and dinners - meeting with local cultural producers, thinkers, and experts to collectively explore the city of Dallas and the surrounding region. After the site intensive, SPSS will organize periodic virtual studio visits and critiques to help participating artists develop their final projects over the following year. This program will conclude in a group exhibition at Sweet Pass Sculpture Park, with an emphasis on site-responsiveness, the speculative, and reflecting connections to the surrounding region and communities. This program is offered free of charge, and a $1000 base stipend will be presented to each artist after the completion of the program to support their final projects.


The Texas Blackland Prairie, the ecoregion where Dallas is located, is the most endangered large ecosystem in North America (currently less than 1% remaining). SPSS will guide participants on a broad survey of this lost prairie, while exploring the embedded histories, hidden natures, and infrastructures in the region. Like decoding stratum in sedimentary rocks, we will examine how the past has shaped the city's construction and look at the resulting impact upon the ecology.

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  • Applicants must be 21 or over.
  • Prior experience in the visual arts, art history, or design is preferred, but not required.
  • Artists who are enrolled in a school/college/university are not eligible.
  • Artists must have the ability to travel to Dallas, TX and participate in group settings while complying with developing Covid protocols.
  • This program will involve hiking and participation in outdoor activities, it should be considered that Texas can reach the mid to upper 90’s during June.
  • Housing will be provided, but artists will be responsible for their own travel to Dallas and the majority of their own meals.
  • SPSS’ will select artists whose careers and creative practices would benefit from the format of this opportunity.


Sweet Pass began on an empty lot but was conceived in the vacancy for contemporary outdoor projects in Dallas. To date, we have worked with over 100 international and local artists, as well as students from local universities, schools, and youth organizations. Our programming highlights emerging and mid-career artists in an outdoor setting on a rotating basis with a focus on project-based exhibitions. Sweet Pass is dedicated to experimentation, community engagement, and creating systems that exist in the gaps between ideas of gardens, green spaces, and public spaces while supporting contemporary art. Through these pursuits, we’ve identified another deficit in the city; education initiatives that foster and facilitate site-responsive art projects. To address this need, we propose Sweet Pass Sculpture School (SPSS).

As COVID-19 and the economic downturn force the rapid development of new modes of education, we believe it is crucial to reimagine arts education and creative production able to sustain, inspire, and support a young and diverse set of contemporary voices. We hope that this program can expand arts education outside of the traditional studio and use the city as a space for practice.


Three to five Artists will be selected based on previous work and experience to come to Dallas and participate in SPSS which will unfold in three phases:

  1. (June 1 - 14, 2021) Artists will engage in an intensive and immersive 2 week residency in Dallas, TX. This first phase will be focused on research and project development through day trips, conversations with local artists and cultural producers, visiting lecturers and a supplemental reader. While studio spaces are not provided at this phase, accommodations and selected group dinners will be provided.

  2. (August 2021 - May 2022) Once the two-week residency has concluded, artists will develop their research and projects over the course of a year. In phase 2, SPSS will organize periodic virtual studio visits, critiques, lectures and conversations in support of each artist’s individual work.

  3. (Summer 2022) In the final phase of SPSS, artists will be invited back to Dallas for a 2-week period at the beginning of June 2022, to install their final projects that 2343 developed and discussed over the previous year. Housing and an installation stipend will be provided by Sweet Pass Sculpture Park. The exhibition will be on display for 3 months (June - August 2022). The exhibition will feature a text and screening series organized and curated by the participants.


Artists will be selected for Sweet Pass Sculpture School by jury - based on a competitive, open application process. Completed applications must be submitted by the deadline (Feb 20, 2021, By 11:59pm). Artists will be selected based on the quality of their application materials, past experience, and clarity of vision in their statement of interest.

Following the recommendations of the jury, Sweet Pass Sculpture Park staff will conduct individual interviews and make final decisions by March 31, 2021.


  • All materials are to be submitted as a single PDF to sweetpasssculpturepark@gmail.com
  • Artist contact info (Name, pronouns, email, address, website)
  • Artist CV
  • Artist Bio
  • Statement of interest in the program (500 words or 2-3 min video)
  • 15 examples of past work (links to video and sound based works are limited to 3 mins total)
  • Image List