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Single Roadway Seeks Sensitive Artist

There’s still time to throw your name in the hat for the Nicollet Avenue reconstruction public art project.

Do you have what it takes to add that special layer of beauty to the reconstruction of Nicollet Avenue? City of Minneapolis officials say there is still time to submit a proposal to adorn the rebuilt road with public art.

Naturally, the City of Minneapolis is handling much of the redesign, but officials are reaching out to any artist with the vision and drive to bring public art to the revived right-of-way. The City of Minneapolis Art in Public Places Program and Department of Public Works put out a call for individual artists or artist teams to apply for the opportunity to design public artworks to be incorporated into Nicollet Avenue’s upcoming reconstruction, which will begin in the winter of 2012. 

The approximately mile-long stretch of Nicollet lies in both the Lyndale and Kingfield neighborhoods, and Public Arts administrator Mary Altman said the City hopes to put art in place that will have an impact on both areas. The City’s description of the project states an interest in gaining artworks that will be developed throughout the avenue rather than at a couple of specific locations, and it lists seating, railings, drinking fountains and bike racks as previously used public art bases. 

This naturally calls to mind the recent , though Altman said it is unlikely the ultimate project will involve covering utility boxes, as the hope is to create public art with a longer lifespan.

An interesting challenge with this public art venture, as part of a road reconstruction project, is that the art is confined to a long but narrow space.

“Road projects are very particular,” Altman said. “It’s not like saying this is public art for a park or a library. There’s not a big expansive space to put the art.” 

Altman anticipates that the public art project will end up incorporating the existing street-scape as previous similar projects have done. 

“It’s not mandatory but likely that at least some if not all [of the art] will be functional,” she said. 

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday. That’s less than two days from now, but perhaps less daunting than it sounds. The City put out an RFQ (request for qualifications) as opposed to an RFP (request for proposal). Therefore, it’s not necessary to put together a proposal or even to describe your artistic vision for that stretch of Nicollet–not just yet anyway; it is only necessary to show the selection panel what you are capable of doing by showing them what you have done. 

Detailed instructions on applying and other information can be found in the PDF with this article. 

Finalists will be selected the week of September 19, with the final decision being made the week of October 3. 

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