The Walker Art Center announces the launch of an Indigenous Public Art Commission, a project inviting artists’ proposals for a new public artwork for placement in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or a location on the Walker campus planned for the fall of 2020. This initiative evolved from a series of commitments the Walker Art Center made with Dakota elders in a mediation process in 2017 connected to the removal of artist Sam Durant’s work Scaffold from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
Proposals are being accepted by the Walker through a Call to Artists, released today. Proposals for public art projects will be reviewed by the Walker along with an Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee, a group of Native curators, knowledge keepers, artists, and arts professionals—including individuals of Dakota descent and enrollment—based in Minnesota and nationally. The group is working collaboratively with the Walker Art Center to shape the commission process, review applications, and select the final proposal.
“I look forward to working with the Walker staff and Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee to bring a new public artwork to the Walker campus or Minneapolis Sculpture Garden,” said incoming Walker Executive Director Mary Ceruti. “This project builds on the commitments the Walker has made to the Native community and I am excited to see the proposals and further the conversation.”
Artists interested in submitting original proposals for this public art project are encouraged to consider working in a range of materials. Projects may be proposed by individual artists or collectives. Artists with in-depth knowledge and understanding of Dakota culture and language are encouraged to apply. Full eligibility information and other details are listed on the Walker’s website at walkerart.org/public-art-commission.
The deadline for artists to submit applications is April 15, 2019. Once applications have been received, the Selection Committee and the Walker will identify three semifinalist artists. Semifinalists will be offered a fee to prepare more detailed proposals, from which one project will be chosen for the commission.
When a final proposal is selected in the fall of 2019, the Walker will support the selected artist or collective in the production of the work, from technical development to engagement. The Walker will work with the selected artist to facilitate the fabrication of the commissioned artwork in the chosen medium, which must be durable and suitable for display outdoors.
The selected artist will have a year to complete the project, and the goal is to install the completed work in the fall of 2020. Upon completion and installation of the commission, the artwork will formally enter the Walker Art Center’s permanent collection.
Below are important dates related to this Call to Artists and Selection Process:
January 16, 2019: Call to Artists Opens
April 15, 2019: Application Deadline
June 17, 2019: Semifinalists Notified
September 16, 2019: Selected Artist Announced
Fall 2020: Public Artwork Installed and Unveiled (date to be confirmed)
Free Information Sessions & Workshops
For artists seeking information or other support assembling their applications, four information sessions are offered. These materials will also be available online at walkerart.org/public-art-commission.
Friday, January 18, 3–4:30 pm
Plains Art Museum
704 First Avenue North, Fargo, North Dakota 58102
Saturday, January 19, 2–3:30 pm
Sisseton Wahpeton College
12572 BIA Highway 700, Sisseton, South Dakota 57262
Saturday, January 26, 2–3:30 pm
Mystic Lake Center
2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard, Prior Lake, Minnesota 55372
Wednesday, February 20, 6–7:30 pm
Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403
About the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden
The Walker Art Center is an interdisciplinary contemporary art center committed to supporting the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences. The museum, located near downtown Minneapolis, is situated on land shaped by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. The area was once an expanse of marshland used for hundreds of years as a seasonal camp by the Dakota and Ojibwe people. In the late 1800s, the site held an armory and parade grounds. Formal gardens and a series of sports fields were established here in the early 1900s. When the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opened in 1988 as a collaboration between the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the Walker Art Center, it was one of the first major public/private urban sculpture parks of its kind in the United States. The Wurtele Upper Garden, a landscaped hillside expanse adjacent to the Walker, is the newest outdoor space on the Walker campus and includes pedestrian walkways, sculpture, and sites for public events.