Fifteen artists have been short listed to design major landmarks at Welsh gateways at the Second Severn Crossing, Flintshire, and Holyhead.
Iconic symbols help identify places
It is the first stage of the Landmark Wales project which aims to create a series of public art at various locations.
So far £250,000 has been awarded to the project from the Big Lottery Fund.
The designers will now be given £5,000 each to develop their design proposal to create iconic landmarks.
The whole project could see artworks at locations including Wrexham, Flintshire, Holyhead, the Second Severn Crossing, Monmouth, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Newport.
'Angel of the north'
However, the funding of the project rests with the successful bidding of a slice of £140m Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks programme.
Peter Cole, chair of the steering group behind the project said: "If the lottery bid is successful the project could have a budget of £18.5m, making Landmark Wales a public arts programme of unprecedented scale and ambition in the UK with the potential to transform the image of the country and celebrate what Wales has to offer.
"The Landmark Projects have the potential to intensify the experience of crossing the border and entering or leaving Wales.
"They will be places to visit on foot as well as pass by car and they can capture the imagination of the public and boost the image of Wales and its regions in the same way that the Angel of the North sculpture at Gateshead has done."
As part of the first phase, a shortlist of 15 artists has been drawn up who will now develop their ideas for the first three locations in north and south Wales.
The project manager of Landmark Wales, Geoff Wood, said: "We have been very impressed with both the number and quality of entries.
"We have received 102 expressions of interest in designing the new landmarks from artists and architects from 16 countries including USA, Spain, Germany, India and Poland.
"After a thorough but extremely tough decision-making process, 15 artists and design teams have now been chosen. Four of the teams are led by architects or artists from Wales."
The deadline for design proposals for landmarks in Chick, Monmouth, Tiffs Well, Newport and Merthyr Tydfil is 21 March.