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Office of Cultural Work

RFQ for Permanent Public Artwork Commission on the West Side

Location: MN — Twin Cities Metro
Type: RFP / RFQs
Public Art
Visual Arts

Deadline: 08/20/2023


RFQ Deadline: August 20, 2023
Finalist Selection: September 2023
Finalist Proposals Due: October 15, 2023
Contract Awarded: November 2023
Information session: Wednesday, July 19, 5 to 7 pm, WSCO – 209 Page Street W, Saint Paul, MN 55107 or by appointment, see contact information below.

Overview: Seeking an artist or artist team to create and install a permanent public artwork at the corner of Robert Street and Plato Boulevard in West Saint Paul. This Request for Qualifications will consist of a three-part process:
1. Applicants submit their materials as detailed below. The application materials should specify the artist’s connection to Saint Paul’s West Side and qualifications related to the ability to manufacture and install artwork within the public realm.
2. Finalists will be chosen in partnership with stakeholders of the project including representation from West Side Community Organization (WSCO). Each finalist will receive a stipend to propose up to 3 conceptual designs. Concept proposals should include technical drawings, budget alignment, material, and fabrication details.
3. The committee representing key project and community partners will make the final selection.

Soul Apartments is a multi-use building at the intersection of Robert Street and Plato Boulevard developed by Schafer Richardson. In partnership with the City of Saint Paul, Soul Apartments is envisioned to be a gateway development that reflects the uniqueness and cultural richness of Saint Paul’s West Side. Built to accommodate deep affordability, Soul Apartments is designed to embody the vision of the West Side community to create a just and joyful neighborhood where new development and wealth creation benefits all West Siders. Specifically, this project includes:

● 178 total housing units.
● 23 three-bedroom units and 12 four-bedroom units (for a total of 35 units) affordable to families with income at 30% AMI.
● 143 one-, two- and three-bedroom units restricted to households with income at 60% AMI or lower.
● Long-term commitment to maintain affordability: 35 units will remain affordable to families at 30% AMI for 30 years, all 178 units will be restricted to households at 60% AMI for 40 years.
● Approximately 10,000 square feet of commercial space intended to activate the corner of Plato Boulevard and Robert Street.
● Solar array on the roof to reduce environmental impact.

In alignment with the West Side Flats Master Plan and Development Guidelines, which were adopted as an addendum to the Saint Paul Comprehensive Plan in 2015, Soul Apartments is seeking artworks that build on the city’s legacy of culturally respectful and responsive public art; to celebrate the river; to tell the community’s stories and to preserve memories of the West Side’s rich history; and to inspire pedestrian movement and exploration. We will be
commissioning the conceptualization, production, and installation of the following art components by Artist(s) from the community. West Side residents, residents of greater Saint Paul, and artists who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color are encouraged to apply. Artists or Artist Teams may apply.

Art Opportunity Building Location Anticipated Budget
Free standing sculpture work with option for bench extension and integrated design for screen
fence detail near parking area

Sculpture work and benches are at corner of Robert Street and Plato Blvd / Decorative screen fencing is at the parking lot along Plato Blvd $30,000

Project Parameters:
• Art must be permanent (should last for minimum 25 years) and artist must be able to explain the durability of the artwork for Minnesota weather conditions.
• Maximum project budget of $30,000 is all inclusive to cover artist time, fabrication, engineering consultations, installation, and any other additional expenses. Up to three agreed upon pay requests may be scheduled by the artist during project development, with proof of milestone completions.
• Selected artist/artist team will include community engagement during the production phase of creating the artwork, including, but not limited to, offering sessions for community members to see the production of the artwork, allow community members to interact with the artwork. The delivery method of that engagement is up to the artist and should be presented during the review of the finalists.
• Artist can work in any medium appropriate for installing art on available locations, including enameled metal, metal relief, mosaic, or combination of mediums. Art must work within confinements of public easements and cement footings.
• During the performance of the Services under the Artist Agreement, artist will need to share a Certificate of Insurance for the period of install in Spring of 2024.
• Contract agreements for all commissioned artworks will be established. Contracts will include language detailing: commission value, ownership, copyright, and liability.


July 2023: RFQ Announced (Phase 1)

July 19, 2023: In-person Info Session (Phase 1) 5-7pm, 209 Page St W, St Paul

August 20, 2023: RFQ Deadline (Phase 1)

August 2023: Submissions Review (Phase 1)

September 2023: Finalists Selected for Design Proposals with On-site Tours (Phase 2)

October 15, 2023: Finalists Concept Proposals Due (Phase 2)

October 2023: Finalists Proposal Review (Phase 2)

November 1, 2023: Artist(s) Commissioned Contract Awarded

November 2023 – April 2024: Artist(s) Commission Activation, Design & Fabrication, Installation Planning

May 2024: Completion of fabrication and final installation of art elements, maintenance planning and final touches. This date is subject to change based on the construction completion date.

A group of stakeholders of Soul Apartments and representatives of West Side Community Organization (WSCO) will review submissions, select the artists or artist teams. Artists living or working on the West Side of Saint Paul will be prioritized.

PHASE 1: Request for Qualifications. Artists and/or artist teams are invited to submit their qualifications for consideration by 11:59PM on Sunday, August 20, 2023, please see below for application details. No more than 4 artists or artist teams will be invited to submit proposals as part of Phase 2.

PHASE 2: Request for Proposals. Selected artists and/or artist teams will receive a stipend to prepare and submit a site-specific proposal for consideration by October 15, 2023. Application details will be shared upon notification to finalists.

• Artists/artist teams of any discipline
• Artists are not required to have previously completed a public art project, but successful candidates will need to demonstrate their ability to lead and complete a large-scale, permanent public art project.
• Artists must be at least 18 years of age.

Selection Criteria:
• Quality of artist’s past work as demonstrated in the submitted materials.
• Indication that artist or artist team has expertise to undertake project solely or can demonstrate a plan for accessing outside expertise to successfully complete the proposed project.
• West Side or Saint Paul based artist/artists team will be prioritized.

Application Requirements:
Please submit the following items as a single pdf to for a complete application. You may submit proposals as an individual artist or artist team.

• Letter of Interest: Brief description of your interest in Soul Apartments Art Commission on the West Side of Saint Paul.
• Artist Statement: A brief artist statement about your experience creating permanent, free-standing or siteintegrated artwork in any three-dimensional or two-dimensional materials.
• Resume or CV: Provide an artist Resume/CV (complete with name, contact information, website, and any relevant social media) that describes your art background and experience.
• Images and list of Work Samples: 6- 8 images of previously completed projects showing your experience with public art projects. Applicants should select images that express their artistic vision and technical ability. A corresponding image list with the title, medium, dimensions, brief description, location, date of work. Please be sure the title of the description matches the title of each work sample.
• Professional References: Two professional references including email, phone number, and the nature of your professional relationship.

Please submit all materials by 11:59PM Sunday, August 20, 2023, as a single pdf to
Email to: with “Soul Apartments Art” in the subject line for questions or to make an appointment.