Narragansett Bay Commission Seeks Proposals for Fatberg Sculpture

A photograph of a large fatberg, and two people in hazmat suits working on it.

Work Media: Sculpture to imitate a fatberg

What is a fatberg? A fatberg is a congealed mass in a sewer system formed by the combination of flushed non-biodegradable solid matter, such as wet wipes and litter, and congealed grease or cooking fat. Fatbergs became notorious over the past decade in England, because of ageing Victorian sewers and the rise in usage of disposable (so-called “flushable”) cloths. Many older sewer systems in the US also have experienced fatbergs. Sewer obstruction caused by fatbergs can lead to sewage back-ups, environmental damage, and expensive repairs in the sewer system.

Purpose: The sculpture/pipe installation will serve as an educational component to the Narragansett Bay Commission’s (NBC) wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) tours, explaining the importance of a healthy sewer collection system. Over 3000 people tour an NBC WWTF each year.

Work Size: The sculpture will need to be large enough to partially obstruct a 78-inch sewer pipe. Although the sculpture will be inside a pipe, the entire installation (pipe + fatberg) will be outdoors, so weatherproof materials are advised.

Proposal requirements:

  • Cover letter describing proposal, including materials.
  • Five to ten images (sketches, renderings, etc) of the proposed sculpture.
  • Artist Resume Entries

Due: February 14, 2020. Artists are encouraged to see the 78-inch pipe firsthand before submitting. To do so, contact Jamie Samons ( NBC staff will be available for consultation during the proposal process.

Selection Process: All entries will be reviewed by Narragansett Bay Commission staff

Notification to artist: A selection will be made by and artist notified by February 24, 2020 Delivery: Sculpture will be due and installed by June 1, 2020. A press event and reception will follow the installation.

Budget: $4000, including artist’s fee and materials

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