Benji Love Project

 Open Call to Professional Artists: Benji Love Project

The McKinney Arts Commission seeks the creation of a sculpture to commemorate the famous canine Benji as presented in the 1974 movie, "Benji" filmed right here in McKinney.

Submissions accepted electronically until March 25, 2022, at 10 p.m., Central.


Sculpture Location: Historic Downtown McKinney
Deadline: Monday, March 25, 2022
Budget: $15,000
Eligibility: U.S.-based professional artists (18+) with previous experience in large scale sculpture artwork. Individuals and teams.

Project Information

The ‘Benji Love Project’ celebrates the canine movie icon, Benji. Between 1973 and 1974, the movie “Benji” was filmed in and around Historic Downtown McKinney. Released in 1974, the movie increased awareness about adopting shelter animals and showcased the abilities of older / senior dogs.

Project Description 

The McKinney Arts Commission (the Commission) and the Daisy Riddle Family, announce a call for professional artists to submit project proposals for a realistic 3D sculpture of the canine character “Benji” for the ‘Benji Love Project’ to be located in Historic Downtown McKinney.

The committee requests the following: 

  •    Submission must capture the essence of the “Benji” character
  •    Work must be mounted on a base to elevate the sculpture by 36” off the ground
  •     Footprint of the base cannot exceed 48” x 48”
  •     Base must allow space for a plaque, approximately 24” x 24”
  •     Sculpture must be created in a medium accessible to the public as it will be outdoors in a high traffic area

Project Budget, $15,000:  This is inclusive of all costs associated with the artworks, including but not limited to:

  • Artist design fee
  • Materials
  • Installation labor
  • Rentals
  • Travel to & from site
  • Shipping
  • Per diem expenses
  • Project documentation
  • Commercial Liability Insurance
  • Contingency to cover unexpected expenses

Anticipated Schedule 

  • Feb. 25 - Announcement for ‘Call for Artists’
  • Mar. 25 - Deadline for Entries
  • Mar. 31 - Finalists Identified
  • Apr. 11 - Submissions by Finalists Due
  • Apr. 20 - Winner Announces
  • Apr. 29 - Finalize Artist Contract
  • Sep. 30 - Statue Installation


This opportunity is available to U.S.-based professional artists (18 years of age and older) with previous experience in large scale sculpture artwork. Artists may apply and be considered independently, as part of a team, or both. RFQs submitted by City of McKinney employees or their relatives, Artist Selection Committee Members or their relatives and McKinney Arts Commission Members or their relatives will not be considered.

Application  & Selection Process

All Applicants are asked to submit a project proposal including

  1. Artist Statement (15) - An artist statement is required by the artist who will be the principal contact and project manager. The statement shall include a brief letter explaining why you want to be a part of this project, what this opportunity means to you, and what you can contribute to Historic Downtown McKinney Cultural District. If a team is applying, explain each of the team members’ roles and why your team’s experience makes your team the best candidate for this project.
  2. Resume (40)– Include a professional resume for yourself and each team member, if applicable.
  3. Supporting Works (15) – Include at least 5 digital images of completed works with an image identification sheet to describe each work. You may also submit renderings and proposals that are pertinent.
  4. Proposed Approach (30) – detailed explanation about the ability to create the proposed work that meets goals and budget with sketch of design.

Submit your Project Proposal Online

Selection Process

  • The selection committee will select three to five artists and/or artist teams to create site specific proposal(s).
  • A site tour is mandatory for all selected artists. Selected artists and/or artist teams will receive an artist fee of $250 for renderings / proposal.
  • Selected artist and/or artist team will enter into an agreement with the McKinney Arts Commission and work with a City of McKinney staff member to complete the sculpture.

Respondent's Commitment

Respondent understands and agrees that the McKinney Arts Commission has the ability to terminate its selection process at any time and to reject any and all responses, or any and all submittals, and that the Commission has made no representation, written or oral, that it will award a contract for this Project. Furthermore, Respondents recognizes and understands that any cost incurred by the Respondent which arises from Respondent’s submittal of a response to this Request For Qualifications shall be the sole responsibility of Respondent. For questions and additional information, please contact the McKinney Arts Commission.

Discover more about the McKinney Arts Commission

Intellectual Property Notice

Mulberry Square Productions Inc. (“Mulberry”) is the sole owner of Benji’s image and likeness for all intents and purposes. The City of McKinney has entered into an agreement with Mulberry that permits the City to commission a statute of Benji the dog to commemorate the City’s association with the filming of the eponymous 1974 film. Said agreement releases and indemnifies the City from any intellectual property claims arising from its commissioning of said statute. For a copy of this agreement, please contact the City offices at