Photo courtesy Sculpture Milwaukee, by photographer Andrew Feller

CoPA + Sculpture Milwaukee Photography Competition

CoPA (Coalition of Photographic Arts) and Sculpture Milwaukee invite you to participate in this exciting juried event focusing on 21 world-class sculptures assembled along a breakthrough urban open-air “gallery” brought to you by the visionary team at Sculpture Milwaukee.

Stretching more than a mile along Wisconsin Avenue, from O’Donnell Park to 6th and Wisconsin, photographers are tasked with interpreting 21 works of art brought to this world by 22 extraordinary artists who have graciously agreed to share their masterpieces with the people of Milwaukee.

CoPA, a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization, in partnership with Sculpture Milwaukee hosts the photography competition to both inspire people to visit the sculptures and to showcase the talent of some of Milwaukee’s finest photographers. You must be a CoPA member to participate.

NO ENTRY FEE. CoPA members who submit work to this competition will receive a coupon for $10 off their annual CoPA membership renewal. If you are not a CoPA member and wish to join CoPA, use coupon code: sculpturemke – when you enter between August 30 and 11:59P October 4 and you will receive 20% off the cost of a one-year membership. 

CHALLENGE: Make a photograph about something, not of something.

The photographer’s goal is to interpret the sculptures—not make depictions, but to bring something to the sculpture that’s not already there. The objective view is that the sculptures look the way they look and they’ve already been photographed and chronicled that way. That is not the challenge.

The photographer’s challenge is to convey his or her artistic reaction to the sculptures. What feelings do they evoke? How can the photographer use their own strengths and style—be the genre abstract, portraiture, street, landscape, etc. to capture a feeling about the sculpture and not just an image of it?

Performance artist Laurie Anderson once said, “Talking about art is like dancing about architecture.” 

Grab your cameras…and DANCE!


The Marcus Award for Photographic Excellence – One-night stay at a premier downtown Milwaukee Marcus property (The Pfister, Intercontinental or Hilton City Center) plus dinner for two at Pier 106 Seafood Tavern.
Judges – Cassy Scrima, Marcus Corporation, others TBD

The Curator’s Award presented by KEI – an original commissioned painting by Mike Olive of the sculpture that is the subject of the winning photograph and a one-year membership to CoPA.
Judges: Marilu Knode, 208 Sculpture Milwaukee Project Director/ co-curator, Chris and Megan Kujawa, KEI (Kujawa Enterprises Inc.)

Viewer’s Choice Award – fine art photographic printing services by Doug Krimmer and StudioMKE, and framing services provided by Creative Enterprises.
Judges: visitors to the competition webpage

Award-winning work will be featured on the CoPA Milwaukee and Sculpture Milwaukee homepages.
All 21 finalists will receive a pair of limited-edition sunglasses courtesy of Sculpture Milwaukee.

Awards Presentation Saturday, October 20, 2018 “Gallery Day” Time and location TBA.


In 2007, Sculpture Milwaukee was a vision. Steve Marcus, chairman of the Marcus Corporation, wanted to revitalize W. Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Milwaukee and make blue-chip sculpture accessible to visitors and residents of the city. After ten years, more than one hundred volunteers, nearly 20 sponsors, and many cranes, bolts and docent tours later, Sculpture Milwaukee is now an annual beacon that attracts spectators and art lovers to the city center. Sculpture Milwaukee takes a world-class art gallery experience and turns it inside out. Works from master artists are set against an urban, downtown setting. No lines, no admission, and no silence. This sculpture experience is outside, galvanizing the hustle and bustle of downtown Milwaukee.

Sculpture Milwaukee 2018 showcases 21 compelling works created by 22 significant artists from around the world. For the full experience take a walking tour, or a private docent-led tour, starting at Robert Indiana’s LOVE, located on the Northwestern Mutual campus and journey west on Wisconsin Avenue to the Wisconsin Center District at 6th Street. Sculpture Milwaukee is made possible by its presenting sponsor Northwestern Mutual, and many other supporters, sponsors, and partners. Most of the artwork is for sale with proceeds supporting the future of Sculpture Milwaukee.

Sculpture Milwaukee is an initiative managed by Milwaukee Downtown BID 21 and is strongly supported by the City of Milwaukee.


The Coalition of Photographic Arts was founded in 2004 by a group of Milwaukee area photographers passionate about sharing their skills, experience and enthusiasm for the medium. Working with students, beginners, other professional photographers, ardent amateurs and artists, our founders explored fine art photography from an aesthetic, technical and developmental perspective, which remains the foundation of CoPA’s mission.

Today, the fine arts photography organization carries on our founders’ vision of promoting photographic excellence through educational programs, lectures, panel discussions, workshops, field trips and Milwaukee photography exhibitions. CoPA forges relationships within the photographic community and the arts community as a whole through monthly meetings, portfolio reviews, museum and gallery tours, juried member exhibitions, sponsored events and much more.

CoPA is directed by a member-elected board focused on developing member experiences that will give photographers at every level the tools they need to advance to the next level and to remain curious, invested and exhilarated about photography and its possibilities.

Our membership of over 200 includes artists, students, professionals, amateurs, enthusiasts and collectors. CoPA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit fine arts photography organization.

  • Submissions OPENThursday, August 30, 12AM
  • CoPA members may enter up to four pieces.
  • Submissions CLOSE – Thursday, October 4, 11:59PM
  • October 10, 12P / 21 finalists will be announced at designated website TBA. (You must check the website to see whether you are a finalist. There will be no email notification at this phase of the competition. The list of finalists will be published on this website, and linked on CoPA FaceBook.)
  • October 17, 12P Award winners will be notified via email.
  • October 20, Announcements and Awards. Time and location TBD. Award winning photographs will be featured on Sculpture Milwaukee and CoPA homepages.

DISCLOSURE: In blind judging, jurors from the CoPA Board of Directors will select the first round of 50 finalists from all submissions.In blind judging, jurors from CoPA, Sculpture Milwaukee, the Marcus Corporation and Graydient Creative will select 21 finalists from which the individual jurors for each of the three awards above will make their award selections.

Photographers participating in the Juried Events of this competition agree to allow reproduction privileges of their submitted photography for education, fund raising, or publicity purposes only. By submitting this entry the participant acknowledges their responsibilities.

BEFORE YOU SUBMIT! It is imperative you follow this naming convention so that we may properly credit your photo to YOU. Photos are separated from the submission form after upload, so simply filling in the form is NOT ENOUGH. Thank you.

YOU MUST BE A COPA MEMBER TO SUBMIT. Join before 11:50A October 4 and enter COUPON CODE sculpturemke (all lower case) and receive 20% off your membership.

Become a CoPA Member How to Submit to a CoPA Exhibition I’m Ready to Submit!

Can’t see the “Submit” button?  You must be a CoPA Member and be Logged In to view the form.  Contact if you encounter technical difficulties.

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