[Borsheim Arts Studio]

How to Commission the Right Sculptor
[or Painter / Muralist]

by Kelly Borsheim

(Scroll down for some images of previous commissions - painting and sculpture)

Infinite Love The traditional gift for an eighth wedding anniversary is bronze. The client approved the above wax BEFORE it was cast into bronze.

There are two ways to go about securing a sculptor (that I know of). One would be for you to come up with a Prospectus or Call for Entry (usually this is done for public art). And then send that out to as many sculptors as you can. Basically it is an application that describes the job desired, the pay, the site, and the deadlines. Deadlines are typically of
  • application due date (postmarked by . . . ). Application includes images of the work (so you have an idea if the artist is capable of producing the kind of sculpture you desire)
  • notification by you of chosen artist (all applicants should be notified regarding whether or not they have been chosen)
  • delivery date of final sculpture.
Other information the sculptor would need includes whether or not you need the sculptor to supply the base that the sculpture will sit on (especially for large works), or, if you provide that, describe what it is (materials) and what it looks like. Also, include the surroundings and any other important information relevant to having a piece of art on long-term display. (Will it be outside or inside?) Certain materials require different kinds of care. Some should not be placed out in the elements for a long period of time.

The second approach would be to start looking at sculptors' work. Contact any sculptors whose work looks good to you and ask for a bid price. You still need to have the information listed above and anything else you can think of. It is unfair to make anyone put a bid on a job he or she does not fully understand and doing so will give everyone headaches in the long run.

Then hire the artist whose style, quality, budget and/or time frame works for you or your organization. I would suspect that quality is more important than a deadline; however, make sure you feel the sculptor will produce the work when he says he will--or at least will communicate with you a lot along the way so that you do not get any surprises.

If interested in commissioning a Borsheim sculpture (or a painting for that matter), you may contact the studio at the address and phone listed at the bottom of this page.

Just a final note, be prepared to pay up front between a third and a half of the total fee as a deposit. This helps the sculptor not only know that you are serious (and minimizes the risk for both parties), it also greatly helps with the startup expenses, such as materials (stone, wax, clay, assistant wages, etc.) and bronze foundry costs (if applicable). However, final payment should not be made until the work is shipped or delivered to you (or unless you completely trust the sculptor).

I hope you find some of this information helpful.

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Selected Past Art Commissions

Portrait Commmission of Children

[painting portrait commission]
2009-2010: 1 of 4 commissioned portraits - Iowa
(12" x 16" monochromatic oil painting)
[painting portrait commission]
2009-2010: 1 of 4 commissioned portraits - Iowa
(12" x 16" monochromatic oil painting)

Gable Stone (Inspired by the Address / Family Markers in Amsterdam Homes)

[gable stone sculpture commission]
2009: daughter of the house with family pet, limestone
[limestone carving portrait commission]
2009: 3 balloons represent Dad, Mom, Child, Texas Cordova Limestone
[sculpture portrait commission]
2009: Kalli and Satchel, Houston, Texas
[Gable Stone commission]
2009: Installed Bas-Relief Sculpture in Limestone

Wedding Portrait Commmission

[wedding painting portrait commission]
2009: Babcock Wedding - Florida
[wedding painting portrait commission]
2009: couple's wedding portrait, done is a style similar to Alphonse Mucha (the bride's favorite artist)

Portrait Commmissions

[painting portrait commission]
2008: John Henderson
Commissioned Portrait, Indianapolis
[painting portrait commission]
2007: gallery owner Don Elliott with Kelly & the husband who
commissioned his wife's portrait - Indianapolis

Eighth Wedding Anniversary Bronze Commmission

[8th wedding anniversary bronze commission]
2008: Kelly with Commissioning
Collector Jim Walker
Austin, Texas
[8th wedding anniversary bronze commission]
2008: Infinite Love The traditional gift for an eighth wedding anniversary is bronze. Jim Walker commissioned this bronze relief as an anniversary gift for his wife. The wax sculpture was personalized from the edition with the addition of a leaf design similar to the design on the couple's wedding rings. The mathematical symbol for 'infinity' looks like a sideways number eight.

Portrait Commmissions

[child's painting portrait commission]
2004: Child Portrait, California
[painting portrait commission]
2006-2007: pencil drawing commission for flower vendor, Florence, Italy

[Borsheim Arts Studio]

Kelly Borsheim
Borsheim Arts Studio
Contact Artist

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