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Kahuna monument maquette sketch in the works!

Renowned Wildlife Sculptor Chosen to Create Kahuna Memorial Monument

Colorado native, Jocelyn Russell Accepts Offer

"Creating wildlife sculptures is more than just a job for me, it's a passion," Jocelyn Russell said. "I believe that public art installations have the power to inspire and educate people in a way that nothing else can. That's why I'm thrilled to be a part of the Kahuna Memorial project and honored to be chosen as the sculptor to portray the extraordinary and iconic bull elk, Kahuna."

The sculpture will serve as the centerpiece of the Kahuna Memorial to draw attention and spark interest in exploring and learning more about elk behavior and safe wildlife viewing practices.  Follow the progress from conceptual design to bronzing and installation through the Kahuna Memorial social media channels. 

About the Artist

Jocelyn's realistic animal sculptures have captivated people’s attention worldwide and have earned her a place as one of the most sought-after animal and wildlife artists in the industry. Her portfolio includes larger than life animals to small, intricate figurines, jewelry and paintings.  Her ability to create realistic and accurate depictions of animals stems from her love of wildlife and her extensive knowledge of their behavior and anatomy.  She often speaks of her early years as a budding artist and the memorable times observing and photographing elk in Moraine Park for reference material.  Notable works of art include Audubon Zoo life-sized elephants and lions, Sergeant Reckless (mare) Korean War Hero, and the Secretariat and Ron Turcotte monuments celebrating the greatest racehorse team of all time.


Photo by Creekbed Photography

Request for Artist

Deadline:  Monday, November 7, 2022 by 4:00 p.m. MT

A Public Art Opportunity in Estes Park, Colorado

The Kahuna Memorial Steering Committee is inviting artists to submit their qualifications to be considered for a permanent public art commission of a bronzed sculpture to be prominently located in Estes Park, Colorado, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The purpose of the RFQ is not to receive artwork proposals, but to ensure the selection of an experienced and highly qualified animal/wildlife sculptor.

The mission of the Kahuna Memorial Project is to establish a significant piece of public art as the centerpiece of a memorial pocket park that intrigues, informs and instills memorable moments of the iconic Kahuna elk while increasing the much-needed public awareness related to safe wildlife viewing practices.

Overview of Opportunity

Artwork Expectations

Just as Kahuna the elk stood out among the herds in Rocky Mountain National Park, the bronzed sculpture and memorial setting should also stand apart from others to spark interest to explore and learn more about elk behavior and safe viewing practices.

Capturing the likeness of the majestic elk, Kahuna, is essential. Recorded as the fifth largest elk in North America, his body mass and unique antlers will call for exceptional attention to detail and artistic ability to replicate his anatomy.


The Kahuna Memorial will include a life-sized bronzed sculpture of Kahuna the elk to be placed in a new pocket park setting where safe wildlife viewing education will be integrated through wayfinding kiosk and innovative digital learning to enable exploration and interaction on site and beyond.  

The prime location under evaluation provides high profile opportunity, as it is centrally located next to a larger park used for festivals and is visible from the main traffic artery into town. The location receives high pedestrian traffic throughout the year, with restaurants, shopping and galleries nested around the existing green space.

Artist Eligiblity

The Kahuna Memorial Call for Qualifications is open to professional sculptors who are at least 21 years of age and reside in the United States. The selected and commissioned artist will need to be available to present their concept to the community, appropriate Town representatives or top-level sponsors as deemed necessary.

Artist Selection

Each artist/artist team will be evaluated on their expertise, experience and service delivery capabilities using the following criteria:

  • We are looking for sculpture artist/artist teams that have evidence of working in the field of public art and experience creating for community settings.

  • Artistic excellence in creating animal/wildlife public art of significant scale.

  • Background work reflects innovative approaches to materials, methodologies and public engagement.

  • Demonstrated professional and technical capacity to plan, coordinate and execute public artwork in collaboration with a committee-based project structure.

  • Proven knowledge of and familiarity with this type of project, by the artist, associated assistants and foundry resources, in relation to common city codes dealing with safety, accessibility and dark sky guidelines.

  • References from projects of similar size and scope.

An artist will be selected and then commissioned after the Steering Committee’s overall evaluation of the artist’s statement of qualifications, including specialized experience, technical competence, accomplishments and reference satisfaction.

Submission Requirements

Statement of Qualifications should include:

  1. Contact Information – Include full name, business name (if applicable), mailing address, studio address (if different from mailing address), telephone, cell phone, email address and website URL.

  2. Letter of Interest – Explain why you are interested in creating an original public art sculpture for the Kahuna Memorial. Elaborate why you would be a good candidate and how your experience informs how you approach creating public art.

  3. Artist Resume – Highlight professional experience, awards and certifications, association memberships, and curriculum studies. A brief bio suitable for presentation introductions may also be included.

  4. Work Samples – Artwork or past project examples reflecting authenticity, originality and structural soundness.

    • Visual support may include more than one photo of an individual artwork to show different angles, details or stages of process. 

    • Provide annotated support materials for each work sample that include description, size, fabricator, location, commissioning organization or client, and any other relevant project information. 

  5. References – Provide three references who have worked with you and have detailed knowledge of your work and qualifications.  Include contact name, project name, phone and email information.

How to Apply

Where to submit

All submissions must be emailed to


Total file size for email must not exceed 25 megabytes. Zip files, pdf, jpg and Mp4 formats

will be accepted. Otherwise, place Statement of Qualifications materials in a designated

Google Drive folder and email the link to


Working with the chosen artist to determine milestones for each phase of the sculpture creation, the goal will be to have the art installed and overall memorial in place between Fall 2023 and Spring 2024.


Have questions? Get in touch to learn more.

Thanks for submitting!

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