Call for Artists and Makers: Create two Kinetic Sculptures for the Ontario Science Centre’s The Mind Exhibition.
The Opportunity This is a call for applications to create two sculptures with kinetic elements themed on the...

The Opportunity

This is a call for applications to create two sculptures with kinetic elements themed on the following topics: (You can submit an application to create one or both sculptures)

  1. Boredom
  2. Emotional baggage

These kinetic sculptures will be part of a travelling exhibition, The Mind, which will open at the Ontario Science Centre (accessible venue) in August 2019 for 6 months and then travel across North America for approximately five years.

Project Intent

One of the key goals of this project is to seamlessly incorporate these two kinetic sculptures into an exhibition with 22 other exhibit experiences. The process of working with the OSC will therefore emphasize communication and collaboration between the OSC staff and the selected artists.

Artist Fees

A fee of $18,000 will be paid to the artist or artist collective (the collective shall choose how to distribute the fee among its members) for each of the two sculptures. An additional supplies fee of $2,000 is also available for each sculpture and the amount to be determined will be based on the proposed supplies budget by the artists. Ownership of the kinetic sculptures on full payment to the selected artists will transfer to the OSC.

Artist Eligibility and Project Selection Criteria

This call is open to artists, makers, artist collectives, and innovative entrepreneurs, to create an original large-scale kinetic sculpture based on either boredom or emotional baggage. Project proposals will be selected based on the following criteria:

1) Artistic and Conceptual Merit.

We’re seeking fun and whimsical kinetic sculptures themed on the topics of boredom and emotional baggage. These unique sculptures should be thought provoking and capable of sparking dialogue and public engagement. Two sketches (titled “The Boredom Machine” and “Show of Emotions”), inspired by Rowland Emett’s magical machines, have been included for reference only. They convey how a playful interpretation of a topic can be engaging. Artists are free to change the title accordingly.

2) Durability.

The kinetic sculptures need to be constructed so that they are robust enough to remain functional without requiring excessive maintenance or repair over the course of the travel tour. Each stop along the tour is for a period of typically three months with an annual average of three host venues. A typical day would likely consist of 8- 10 hours of operation.

3) Dimensions.

  • Height -Ranging from 2.34 m (92”) to 3.7 m (12 ft.). NB. Any elements taller than 2.34 m (92”) must be removable to allow for shipping in crates.
  • Width – Maximum of 2.29 m (90”)
  • Length – Maximum of 3.05 m (120”)
  • Weight – Less than 90.72 kg (200 lb.) is desirable. However, up to 226.8 kg (500 lb.) is allowable with some justification

4) Eco-friendly.

One of the key goals of The Mind exhibition is to use sustainable and eco-friendly building materials. These sculptures should therefore consist of a combination of new, recycled or upcycled materials. Artists should keep the life cycle of all chosen materials in mind and plan to use natural and sustainable materials wherever possible.

Look and Feel

The Mind presents a unique space where elements such as colour, form, lighting and materials combine to help visitors explore their own minds. Structures with various degrees of porosity and transparency will provide powerful visual metaphors and thinking tools. Quirky and dynamic sculptures will spark inquiry and reflection. Thoughtful juxtapositions will encourage insights and mindful moments – all within a playful context inviting participation and observation. Graphics will be relatable, whimsical and full of surprises – with scaled-up physical and mental challenges and unexpected stimuli.

Selection Committee

  1. Mary Jane Conboy
  2. Carmela Laganse
  3. Christopher McLeod
  4. Joe Sponder
  5. Rich Vieira
  6. Bhavleen Kaur

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted until January 7, 2019 at noon at or can be mailed/ couriered to:

Ontario Science Centre
770 Don Mills Road
Toronto, ON M3C 1T3
Attn: Rich Vieira

(NB. Only complete applications, including all documents outlined in the call will be considered.)


Key Dates

December 3, 2018 – January 1, 2019 – Open Call for Applications.
January 7, 2019 – Call closes at noon on January 7, 2019
January 7-17, 2019 – Juried Competition
January 18, 2019 – Notification of successful applicant
January 21-28, 2019 – Artist and OSC Team meeting
April 26, 2019 – Consultation & Project Review with OSC team
June 7, 2019 – Milestone – Progress Check
July 31, 2019 – Completion Date
August 5, 2019 – Sculpture Delivered to OSC
August 5-15, 2019 – Sculpture Installation and Testing
August 19, 2019 – Opening – The Mind


Application form

1. Title of proposed Kinetic Sculpture:

2. Description of proposed Kinetic Sculpture:

  • Summary (50 words or less)
  • Detailed Description (500 words or less), including:
    • How the sculpture relates to the topic.
    • What are the kinetic elements?
    • What materials will be used to construct the piece?
    • What is the estimated installation time?
    • Estimated number of steps or pieces?

3. Conceptual sketches, Images, or Maquette of the proposed Kinetic Sculpture:
All images must be in JPG format and no smaller than 2550 x 3300 pixels. Additional links or PDFs will also be accepted. Please submit your entire application as one PDF file to

4. Image List
Please accompany your submitted image files with a separate text file that lists and describes the images/sketches/renderings.

5. Applicant Information:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • City
  • Province / State
  • Phone number
  • Project Website Address (URL), if applicable

6. Artist CV. (NB. If you are an Ontario Science Centre staff or family member you will need to follow the Conflict of Interest process.)

7. Brief biography (100 words or less)

8. How did you learn about this Call for Applications?

Personal Information. Personal information is collected by the Centennial Centre for Science and Technology under the authority of section 6 of the Centennial Centre of Science and Technology Act, R.S.O. 1990 c. C.5. for the administration of the juried competition.