Virginia’s River Realm and The Lancaster by the Bay Chamber of Commerce invite experienced artists to apply for participation in Watermen’s Way, a public art project.  This project is designed to honor the men and women who work our waterways, and have helped shape our regional identity through decades of hard work and perseverance.  The Virginia Watermen’s Association, Rappahannock Art League and The Steamboat Era Museum will share in the net proceeds from this project.

Oversized, fiberglass boot sculptures (see attached page for dimensions) have been sold to various businesses throughout the River Realm.  After embellishment by regional artists, the finished boots will be on display from June 2017 through August 2018, at a place designated by the business.  Watermen’s Way maps, which specify boot locations, will be made available to encourage visitors to seek out each pair of boots and “step inside” the watermen’s world for a brief moment.  Photos may be shared on the Watermen’s Way Facebook page.  At the end of the exhibition, any boots that have not been purchased for permanent installation will be sold at auction.

Artists are requested to submit an application, along with a brief (one page) resume’ and a preliminary sketch (see attached) to be considered for the project.  After jurying, selected artists will consult with purchasers to create and produce a design pleasing to both parties.  Selected artists will be required to submit a final sketch of the agreed-on design to the Watermen’s Way Committee.  Upon approval, artists will receive $150 toward the cost of supplies.  In addition, a $150 stipend will be offered to the artist upon completion of his/her boots.


Deadline for application:  February 21
Notification of selected artists:  March 1
Business selects artist:  March 6-10
Artist meets with business to discuss design:  March 13-17
Project sketch due to committee:  April 10
Artists commence work on boots:  Mid-April, when boots arrive
Delivery of completed project:  May 22
Completed boots delivered to business:  May 26-June 3

*Regional Artists are eligible to participate.
*All designs are subject to approval by The Watermen’s Way Committee.

Click to download: 

Boot Measurements
Artist Sketch Page