Works in Public

The League’s exclusive public sculpture program, presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

a large metal sculpture in front of a bridge and a city

About Works in Public

Works in Public is the League’s exclusive public sculpture program, presented in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. A professional development program that offers artists the opportunity to create site-specific, large-scale public sculptures, Works in Public was founded in 2010, and originally known as the Model the Monument program. Since its inception, 46 artists have completed this program and had their sculptures installed in year-long public exhibitions at Riverside Park South and Riverside Park at 145th Street. Beginning in 2022, the program has been lead by renowned sculptors and League instructors Haksul Lee and Natsuki Takauji, who are alumni of the program. After being on display in New York City, many pieces from the Works in Public program are relocated for permanent display in at the Florida Keys Sculpture Trail.

Artists who participate in the Works in Public conceive of, create, and install site-specific sculptures in partnership with League instructors, Works in Public advisors, and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. In this program, artists gain experience working with the physical materials and processes that are used to create original works of public art. Works in Public participants receive a monthly stipend and a scholarship for a full-time class at the League for the duration of the program.

Each individual artist works independently to fulfill program requirements. Because of the program's rigorous nature, nominated students must be willing and able, should they be selected, to make a substantial time commitment.

To view and download the full program prospectus, click here.

How to Apply

Works in Public uses an open application process. Selected artists must commit to attending The League full time during their participation in the program. Your application's success is based on the strength of your proposed concept and portfolio; artists working in all media are invited to apply.

The 2023-23 Works in Public program offers two tracts:

Two-Year Course: Starting in the Fall of 2022, the first year will be dedicated to seminars on the history and contemporary understanding of public sculpture, the study of sculptural concepts, proposal and presentation methods, site analysis, fabrication processes, engineering, and studio visits. This year culminates in the creation of a proposal for a full-scale public artwork. The second year will be dedicated to the fabrication process of selected proposals, culminating in the installation of the artwork in Riverside Park for a one-year public exhibition in the Summer of 2024. The course will offer biweekly seminars, welcoming guest lecturers and critics. It will include visits to public art sites and artists’ studios, discussions, recommended readings, assignments, and consultations.

One-Year Intensive Course: Starting in the Fall of 2022, the same curriculum as the two-year course is compacted into a year-long program, with an emphasis on developing the proposed project and the fabrication, culminating in the installation of the artwork in Riverside Park for a one-year public exhibition in the Summer of 2023. The course will offer biweekly seminars and access to some of the seminars of the two-year course. There will be additional meetings as needed.

Applications for the 2023/24 Works in Public program will be available in late Spring 2023.

Contact for More Information
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How do I become eligible to apply for the Works in Public program?

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Works in Public is a professional development program for students who attend classes at the Art Students League of New York. Artists who are accepted will be expected to take classes at the League during their time in the Works in Public program. (Selected artists will receive a scholarship that allows them to meet this requirement without having to pay tuition fees.)

Is the Works in Public program accessible online?

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This is an in-person program only. Participating artists will be required to attend in-person meetings, events, and consultations in the New York City metropolitan area.

Are Works in Public artists compensated? Is there a tuition fee?

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Artists who are selected to participate in the Works in Public program are awarded a small monthly stipend to help cover project-related expenses, as well as a scholarship that covers the cost of attending a League class during the program.

What is required of artists who are selected to participate in Works in Public?

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Participating artists are required to attend biweekly sessions with their fellow Works in Public artists and advisors. In addition, artists are expected to regularly work on their sculptures and attend meetings necessary to complete fabrication and installation. Works in Public artists must also attend a class at the League. (Classes typically meet for approximately 3-hour sessions, 2–5 days per week.) Artists must meet internal and external deadlines in order to complete their projects.

What is the budget for a proposed Works in Public project?

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A budget of $25,000 per project is established to cover costs for materials and fabrication. This does not include transportation and installation fees.

Where are Works in Public sculptures fabricated?

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Fabricators are selected based on the unique requirements of each proposal.

Do Works in Public artists need to have prior experience creating sculpture or public art?

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Artists are expected to have some experience working in three dimensions. Experience creating public artworks is not required.

It is not required that artists have the capability to create the actual sculpture entirely on their own. However, we do ask that artist's applications and sculpture proposals display a basic understanding of the fabrication process on a large scale in general, and any specific knowledge that your proposed sculpture may require.

What makes a Works in Public sculpture proposal successful?

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The artistic merit of your portfolio is as important as your proposal. Submitting a proposal that displays your maturity as an artist is crucial. We also want to see how artist's general art practice (as presented in your portfolio) is connected to their public artwork proposal. This doesn’t mean that artists have to propose ideas similar to the rest of their portfolio work—but we are looking for proposals with visual, conceptual, and/or technical relationships to the artist's ongoing art practice.

Generally speaking, on top of the unique artistic vision, successful public art is often site-specific, addressing the spirit of the time (social or political climate, and/or holding public serviceability in visual enhancement, education, or community engagement).

Do I have to make a physical model (maquette) of my Works in Public proposal?

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Yes. Artists will be required to submit photographs of a maquette as part of their application portfolio. Graphic or animated representations of your proposal are optional.

Your maquette should approximate as accurately as possible the actual materials or the appearance of your proposed sculpture.

Can I amend my Works in Public proposal after I am accepted?

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Yes, we expect artists to further develop and modify their proposals throughout the course of the program.

What happens to the installed Works in Public sculptures after the exhibition ends?

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All of the  sculptures fabricated as part of Works in Public become the property of the Art Students League.

Every effort will be made to reinstall the sculptures in permanent locations following the exhibition as the League develops relationships with other municipalities.

Thank You to Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge leadership support for Works in Public from The Harry Feinberg Family Foundation. Works in Public is also made possible with the major support of Dr. Lawrence Spielberger & Dr. Greta Spanierman Family Foundation, Ludmila Schwartzenberg Bidwell, Susan Dryfoos and Kathleen H. Seidel. Additional support is also provided by the Brigitte and William Crovello Foundation Inc.

For more information, email To support the program, please email Elizabeth Kingman at

New York State of Opportunity | Council on the Arts