Mother Cabrini Memorial Competition

TOP Mother Cabrini Memorial Competition
About the Memorial

The State of New York is dedicated to recognizing the important contributions of women throughout its history. In October 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the appointment of the Mother Cabrini Memorial Commission (the “Commission”) to oversee the creation of a statue honoring Mother Cabrini.

The Commission will provide recommendations to the Governor pertaining to the design, location, and installation of a new statue memorializing Mother Cabrini, who dedicated her life to serving her community, and those less fortunate. 

The Commission has issued a “Call for Artists” inviting artists, architects, or teams to submit plans for the design of this statue/memorial.  To participate in the competition, artists must meet all the requirements and submit the requested information set forth below in “SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS.”

Commission Members:

  • Frank Bisignano, CEO and Chairman, First Data
  • RoAnn Destito, Commissioner, Office of General Services
  • Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, Diocese of Brooklyn
  • Bishop Orlando Findlayter
  • Philip Foglia, Italian American Legal Defense and Higher Education Fund
  • Mario Gabelli, CEO, Gabelli Asset Management and Member of the Board of Directors, American-Italian Cancer Foundation and the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture
  • John Leo Heyer II, Diocese of Brooklyn Italian Apostolate
  • Maureen Sherry Klinsky, Author
  • Gary LaBarbera, President, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York
  • Joe Plumeri, Former Chairman, CEO of Willis Group Holdings
  • Erminia Rivera, Member, Maimonides Medical Center Board of Trustees
  • Joseph Sciame, Past Chair, Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations; Vice President for Community Relations, St. John's University
  • Carlo Scissura, Chairman of the Federation of Italian-American Organizations and President & CEO of the New York Building Congress
  • Linda Stasi, Columnist, New York Daily News
  • Mary Ann Tighe, Chief Executive Officer of the New York Tri-State Region of CBRE
  • Veronica Tsang, Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Administrator, Cathay Bank
  • George Tsunis, Chair, Battery Park City Authority
  • John Viola, former President, National Italian American Foundation
  • Angelo Vivolo, President, Columbus Heritage Coalition


Mother Cabrini was an Italian-American who founded many organizations to help the needy. She was the youngest of 13 children, born in Lombardy in 1850, and before migrating to the United States, she took vows and founded the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, an order that served and schooled orphans.

Mother Cabrini arrived to the United States in 1889 on a mission to help Italian migrants. While in New York, she taught at St. Joachim's parish, the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii, and the Transfiguration Catholic Church - all in Manhattan - as well as St. Rita of Cascia in The Bronx and the Church of St. Stephen in Brooklyn. Over the course of 35 years, Mother Cabrini founded dozens of institutions that would serve the less fortunate, including educational organizations and programs to support other fellow Italian-Americans who arrived as immigrants. Among those were the Columbus Hospital, which was eventually renamed the Cabrini Medical Center and was housed in Manhattan for many years before closing in 2008.

Mother Cabrini was originally buried in West Park and is now interred at the St. Frances X. Cabrini Shrine in Manhattan, which she founded. In 1946, nearly 30 years after her death, Mother Cabrini became the first naturalized U.S. citizen to be canonized. She is recognized as the patron saint of immigrants. Several academic institutions, religious buildings and hospitals across New York are named after her.

Objectives of the Artwork
Objectives of the Artwork

New York State is interested in creating a figurative statue of Mother Cabrini that captures her likeness and shows her strength, compassion, and service. 

The proposed statue will convey her commitment to serving the less fortunate and include her work in education, orphanages, and with immigrants, and the importance of immigration to New York State’s history. The statue should be a heroic depiction of Mother Cabrini’s likeness and be surrounded by figures of two children Mother Cabrini served.

Artists are encouraged to develop an understanding of Mother Cabrini’s historical significance and achievements and incorporate this interpretation into the work.  The artwork should honor the character of the chosen site and utilize materials that are durable and require minimal maintenance and care. 

Most importantly, the artwork should engage the public and communicate the significance of Mother Cabrini’s life through its materiality, form, and setting.  Mother Cabrini dedicated her life to serving immigrants, her community, and those less fortunate. The proposed statue should celebrate her life and provide viewers with context for the setting.


  • Show a life-sized figure (or slightly larger) of Mother Cabrini with two children
  • The height of the figure should be between 5 and 6 feet.
  • The statue should include a pedestal base (sealed stone) between 3 and 4 feet high.
  • The preferred material for the statue, (for longevity and maintenance) is silicon bronze
Mother Cabrini Memorial Site
Mother Cabrini Memorial Site

The Commission has identified an area south of South Cove in Battery Park City in New York City as the Site for the Mother Cabrini Statue. Applicants may submit one design for the selected site.

Cabrini Memorial Site

  • The site is within view of Statue of Liberty & Ellis Island
  • The site is on a relieving platform (piles over the water) with a weight restriction of 750 lbs./sf. The relieving platform is comprised of two slabs separated by fill. It is not possible to bolt to or cut holes into the lower of the slabs.
  • The site is subject to flooding in heavy storm events
  • The site is expected to experience some direct and indirect construction impacts from BPCA’s South Resiliency Project (scheduled for 2020-2022) and West Resiliency Project (scheduled for 2021-2024). Once installed, the statue would be taken into consideration during the West Resiliency Project design process to determine ways in which to minimize possible negative impacts. Potential construction impacts to any statue at the Site may include:
    • Temporary inaccessibility, visual obstruction, and/or sound disturbance due to construction;
    • The need for temporary relocation of the statue during construction;
    • Permanent modification or elevation of the Site and/or its surroundings, and/or changes to its contextual features; and/or
    • The need to adjust, shift, elevate, reorient or permanently relocate the statue

Find complete site details, including maps, photos and sightlines.

Site Specs

Submission Requirements
Submission Requirements

1.    Contact Information (1 page maximum): Please provide up-to-date contact information for all team members including:

  • Full Name (First and Last)
  • Organization (If applicable)
  • Phone Number
  • Mailing Address (Address, apartment, city, state, country, zip code)
  • Email Address
  • For team submissions indicate a lead point of contact

2. Statement of Qualifications (2 pages maximum):

Artists must provide a bio/CV demonstrating an evidence of previous experience in public art or privately commissioned work on a monumental scale, with site-responsive design, project management, fabrication, and construction administration. The artists must have examples of previous experience with large-scale outdoor original sculpture or sculptural installation projects with fabrication budgets over $400,000 each. Artists, architects, and designers are strongly encouraged to apply as part of a team that includes a fabrication firm or foundry, due to the schedule. Bidders must be 18 years of age or older.

The statement of qualifications should also address the following:

  • Demonstrated capacity and availability to undertake the project’s scope and schedule.
  • Ability to attend meetings with stakeholders to discuss the project.
  • Confirmation of availability to work in New York during the design and construction period (2020).
  • References: A minimum of one reference for the artist and each member of the team that speaks to the artist’s/artist team’s experience in the design of public art, preparation of construction and fabrication documentation, and its ability to manage the fabrication and installation of the artwork. References should be for relevant experience in the past five years. Artist references should be related to public art experience or art of a monumental nature.


3. Statement of Intent (1 page maximum):

Artists must provide a summary statement of their proposal’s artistic intent, addressing:

  • How the work conveys artistic innovation and excellence and is non-commercial in nature.
  • Mother Cabrini’s commitment to serving her community, including her work with educational organizations and programs to support other fellow Italian-Americans who arrived as immigrants.
  • Mother Cabrini’s work specifically with the education and care of orphans and the less fortunate.
  • Mother Cabrini’s connection to New York State’s history of welcoming immigrants and the importance of immigration to the New York story.
  • How the statue complements the selected site.


4. Presentation of Proposed Concept (3 pages maximum):

The artist must provide the following in scaled drawings and/or images that convey the proposal in the context of the selected site:

  • Site Plan
  • Elevations

Proposed Concept should address:

  • Representation of the statement of intent.
  • Overall impact of proposed art: The proposed concept should resonate with the site and evoke a powerful “sense of place” that honors Mother Cabrini and all immigrants who have found a home in New York State.
  • Interpretation: The proposed concept should indicate how visitors will engage with the statue and learn about Mother Cabrini; how the work will be contemplative and further an understanding about her role, life, and impact.
  • Compliance with specific requirements as outlined in the “Objectives of the Artwork” section of this document.

  • Site Compatibility: The proposed concept should be compatible with the existing site conditions and location. The artist should consider the scale of the proposed work in the context of the site’s topography and solar orientation. The proposal should be feasible within the existing conditions and not present a safety hazard or other problems.

5. Material Selection and Estimated Budget (1 page maximum):

The budget for design and fabrication of the Memorial artwork is up to approximately $750,000, which includes an artist fee of up to, but not greater than, 20% of the total project budget cost. The total project cost must include delivery to the site and installation.

As part of this fee, the selected artist will be required to submit a final budget, produce completed designs, select a fabricator (if not already part of the team), and oversee the fabrication and installation of the artwork as well as guide any necessary landscape restoration or other treatments required at the site, two weeks after the Award Notification.  The staff from the Battery Park City Authority and Office of General Services will be available to provide their technical expertise and site-specific knowledge in support of the implementation of this project.

Budgets must address the following:

  • Artwork and Design (All materials, labor, fabrication, transportation, and art handling related to the artwork, as well as consultant fees associated with artwork design, fabrication and installation; insurances and storage, if necessary. Consultant fees for site design must also be included).
  • Site Design including landscaping, lighting, interpretive elements such as plaques, etc., and, if applicable, construction of foundation(s).
  • Artist Fees (may not exceed 20% of the total project budget).
  • Fabrication.
  • Installation.


Consider all potential costs in the draft estimate of probable cost, including:

  • Constructability: The artist should consider the issues of fabrication and installation of their proposed art piece.
  • Sustainability, Maintenance, and Operations: Artist consideration should be given to the long-term maintenance of the proposed piece of art. The memorial should not present a safety hazard or other problems. It should not increase park operating or maintenance costs.

6. Submission Format:

Submissions are to be formatted to fit 8 ½ x 11 and in PDF format.  Materials will be printed for review on 8 ½ x 11 paper so they must be legible at that size.



  • Due to maintenance and operations concerns, water features will not be considered.
  • Due to the proximity of residential buildings, features that create noise will not be considered.
  • Light emitting features must be designed to minimize light spillover.
  • The design must withstand an outdoor, unmonitored, high traffic and saline environment, and must require only minimal maintenance throughout its minimum 75-year lifespan.
  • All proposed work must be designed to meet ADA accessibility, ASTM International/International Organization for Standardization, and meet structural code requirements.
  • Weight restrictions and foundation limitations are limited to 750 lbs. per square foot.


Please be advised that the selected Artist will be required to complete a NYS Standard Vendor Responsibility Questionnaire and will need to meet all State contracting and insurance requirements.

Selection Criteria
Selection Criteria

A selection panel comprised of the Commission with advisory design professionals and location site staff will review and select finalists from the submitted artist proposals.

The selection panel will carefully review proposals and make selections based on the following criteria:

  • Interpretation/Clarity of Theme
  • Recognizable likeness of the subject depicted
  • Architect and/or Artist Qualifications
  • Creativity & Originality of Depicted Theme
  • Quality of Artistic Composition
  • Site Compatibility
  • Constructability
  • Sustainability/Maintenance & Operations
  • Budgetary Compliance
  • Overall Impression of Art

Selected artist may be asked to refine or alter their original proposal to produce a final design.


Prospective artists may submit written questions and requests for clarifications by Monday, December 27, 2019 to [email protected]. Responses will be posted on this website by January 8, 2020.  

How To Submit
How To Submit

Ready to submit your application? Please email the below documents and any questions you may have to [email protected]. You must submit questions by Friday, December 27, 2019 at 11:59 PM.

  • Contact Information (1 page maximum)
  • Statement of Qualifications (2 pages maximum)
  • Statement of Intent (1 page maximum)
  • Presentation of Proposed Concept (3 pages maximum)
  • Material Selection and Estimated Budget (1 page maximum)

Maximum file size: 10MB

Maximum pages: 8

Applications for the Mother Cabrini Memorial Competition must be submitted by Friday, January 31, 2020 before 11:59 pm EST. Any application that does not comply with the guidelines, file size restrictions, and maximum number of pages will not be considered.



Q. If the artist or team can not attend every project meeting, will video conferencing be acceptable in order to be eligible?
A.  The artist or team will still be eligible. There is an expectation for the artist to attend all meetings. In limited circumstances we are willing to accommodate reasonable situations when the artist cannot attend via telephone or video conferencing.

Q. Please clarify the statement, “Confirmation of availability to work in New York during the design and construction period.” Would we be able to qualify for the competition if we did design work, models, molds and bronze casting in our studios and foundry out of state?
A. The artist does not have to fabricate the statue in New York but is required to make themselves available for design meetings, site visits and the installation.  

Q. On the site map area for memorial, there is a large black dot to show where statue will go. Can the statue be placed anywhere in the site area? I would like to put the statue closer to the edge of water in that area, at the narrowest part. Please see photo attached showing where I want to place it. The red dot. Can it be placed there?

Mother Cabrini Memorial Site

A.  The dot on the current map of the project site does not limit the location or siting of the statue it is simply meant to denote the project site. However, there are some limitations on location due to the presence of mature weeping willow tree on the eastern end of the parcel. No mature trees will be removed as part of this project.

Q. Can my proposal have more than 2 children? I think depicting Mother Cabrini with only 2 children could be confusing to viewers and look like her offspring. To reference the multitude of orphans that Mother Cabrini helped can I show more children at her knee?
A.  The complexity of the statue is at the discretion of the artist as long as the memorial can be completed on schedule, and within the budget, site and size parameters as outlined in the criteria.  The Commission has designated that Mother Cabrini will be shown with children, so a minimum of 2 is required.

Q. Under the estimated budget, it states the artist will oversee the fabrication and installation of the artwork and "guide any necessary landscape restoration and other treatments." If there are necessary landscape restorations or "other treatments" needed would their costs come out of the total $750,000.00 budget or other outside sources?
A. The design submission should include any and all landscape enhancements or other additions deemed accessory or necessary for the installation of the statue. The $750,000 budget should be inclusive of all these elements.

Q. I would like some clarification for the budget being approximately $750,000.  As for the specific artist fee is of up to, but not greater than, 20% of the total project budget cost = $150,000.  Is this $150,000 for the artist’s creation of modeling the clay work and fabrication of casting the bronze sculpture with a marble pedestal?
A. The fee to the artist, (up to 20% of the total project budget) is dedicated to compensating the artist’s time spent designing, sculpting and executing the memorial.  When creating the project budget, the artist fee should not include materials needed for fabrication, nor reimbursable expenses (ie. travel for meetings) during the fabrication and installation phases.

Q. For the Statement of Qualifications, can I refer you to my website where many of works can be seen, or do you prefer me to put a page of collage of photos of my monuments? 
A. The requirements for the submission must be followed.  The Commission will only see visual material submitted in the correct format.

Q I read the RFP, and as I understand it, you are only asking for illustrations at this time. Am I correct in assuming that when the artist is selected for the commission, the creation of the maquette will become part of the final design phase?
A.  All submissions must be submitted digitally.  Materials will be printed for review on 8 ½ x 11 paper so they must be legible at that size.  The artist must provide both a site plan and elevations in scaled drawings and/or images.  Artists may include an image of a maquette, but it is not required for the submission.  

Q. If I have not personally created figural sculptures, and am realizing the project with fabricators known for their bronze sculptures, can I still participate in the competition? Do the artists have to be the ones that fabricate the bronze themselves, not just design them?
A. Artists are encouraged to submit proposals as a team.  Teams must designate a main point of contact and provide a bio/CV demonstrating an evidence of previous experience in public art or privately commissioned work on a monumental scale, with site-responsive design, project management, fabrication, and construction administration.  Artist fees, up to 20% will be designated to compensate all artists’ time (but not materials) during fabrication- which includes design, modeling, sculpting, mold making and casting.


The following is an estimated project schedule:

12/27/2019:  Deadline for questions

1/8/2020:  Responses to questions posted

1/31/2020: Artist submissions due

The scope of work for the selected artist/project includes:

1. Design, fabricate, and install artwork.

2. Prepare and submit detailed design and construction documents for the proposed

artwork and associated plans (such as landscape design with licensed professional

stamp), lighting design and fabrication with installation designs.

3. Prepare and present materials for design review with stakeholders at schematic and final design phases.

4. Coordinate with the project team and collaborate with stakeholders on presentations of proposed work as needed throughout the design review process.

5. Oversee fabrication and installation processes.

6. Prepare an estimate for schematic and final phases of design that includes design fees, fabrication, installation, and site work.

7. Prepare project schedule based on project timeline for review and approval.