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825 Arts

RFQ: Native-led Interior Public art project at 825 University Avenue in Saint Paul

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

Deadline: 07/09/2024

Other Criteria:
No entry fee required
Open to artists statewide
Paid opportunity (28500)


The Project
825 Arts (825) has initiated a public art project to create a new and welcoming piece of public art that celebrates the vision and values of our organization through a Native lens. The artwork will be located on a large interior wall of our historic building on University Avenue in Saint Paul. Frogtown and Rondo community members will be invited and encouraged to participate in the process of designing and installing the artwork. We are open to many forms of artistic expression for this piece (painting, textiles, projection, etc.).

The art created in this project will be featured in the space for no less than 5 years.

About 825 Arts
825 Arts (formerly the Victoria Theater Arts Center) is a brand-new center for the arts located on University Avenue in Saint Paul. We are a community-centered and led organization with a mission to build community power by providing a creative home that incubates the arts and amplifies the voices of all people in the neighborhood. We have worked for 15 years to turn a historic building into a vibrant new center for community and arts in our neighborhood, and our new building is opening this August.

Create a piece of public art for an indoor environment that centers Native voice, and celebrates the values of 825 arts.
Involve the community, with a special focus on
the residents of Model Cities buildings at 833 and 839 University
The residents on the south side of the 800 block of University Avenue
Create a public art with assistance from the community, which demonstrates artistic excellence while completing this project on time and within budget.

2024 Schedule
June 5: RFQ released
June 25: Deadline for Questions
July 9: RFQ closes
July 23: 3 Finalists selected
July 23-August 5: Artists create plan and concepts for community design process, production of the piece and Vision board. This process will include meeting with 825’s Community Engagement Director and Operations & Facilities Director for one hour.
August 5- Final Proposals due
August 20: Final artist/team announced
August 25: Community engagement activities commence (starting at the building grand opening on 8/25)
October 15: Final Piece installed, public event
November 1: Final evaluation with 825 due.

The Site
The art being created will be featured on a large ( 14’9-1/4”W by 16’4-1/2”T) wall in the “Flex Space” of the newly renovated 825 Arts Building. The surface is painted drywall, and will be a major focal point for anyone walking into the building. The art created for this space will be temporarily installed on this wall. (see site details below).

The maximum budget available for the final project is $28,500. This budget will be all-inclusive to include artist fees, artist assistant costs, equipment, materials and supplies, travel-related expenses, preparation and installation of the artwork, and other associated costs.

At the time a contract is awarded, the ownership of the design and the artwork produced, in this case the public art, will become the property of 825 Arts.
Financial compensation for completion of the project will be made in accordance with the agreed upon contract between the artist and the 825 Arts.
825 will be solely responsible for long term maintenance of the piece.

Artist Selection Process

Minnesota-based artists and artist teams are invited to submit qualifications. Only teams with clear evidence of Native American leadership will be considered. Artists/teams featuring residents of Frogtown & Rondo neighborhood and members of the Prairie Island Community will receive special consideration. Please note that we cannot offer additional budgetary resources to individual members. Artists must be citizens of the U.S. or authorized to work in the U.S.

A selection committee comprised of 825 staff, board, and committee members will review applications.
Three finalists will be selected from the pool of applicants. Each finalist team will be given $500 to create a project plan for for the final piece. This plan will include clear timelines and budgets for community engagement, creation, installation, and maintenance of the piece. Plans will also include a digital vision board that gives a vibe for the realized vision of the project (aka “pinterest board”).

Artist Selection:
825 will award the final commission, in consultation with our community. The decision will be based on a review of artist/team qualifications and concepts using the criteria that are listed below. 825 is not required to make a selection from the submissions received if, in 825’s judgment, the relevance, quality, or the qualifications of the artists are not appropriate.

Qualifications and Review Criteria
The evaluation of artist/team qualifications will be based on a review of completed artworks, artworks in progress, or as otherwise described in curatorial writings, critiques, articles, or other publications. The artists’ qualifications shall demonstrate:
– Clear evidence of Native American leadership
– Experience in creating permanent, durable, outdoor public art works
– Appreciation of design in a public space.
– Ability to accomplish projects of similar complexity within the budget, timeline, and constraints presented based on examples of prior artwork
– Experience in community-engaged art processes and research
– Ability to create site-specific art work that is responsive to the opportunities and constraints of the site
– Ability to create art work that inspires and engages a wide audience

Submittal of Questions

Any questions should be submitted via this form before June 25, 2024.

All questions and answers will be compiled in this document.

To Apply:
Please submit a Letter of Interest in PDF format at this form,
including the following information:

A short artist bio and if a team, a short statement about your history working together
A brief description of the media you intend to use for the project (painting, projection, textiles, etc.)
Relevant work experience
Connection to the communities VTAC serves
3-5 Work Samples. Please share relevant work samples including murals, large-scale works, and/or digital renderings. Samples should include evidence of community collaboration on the projects.

The deadline to apply to this RFQ is July 9, 2024 at 11:59PM CST. No applications will be accepted after this time. Please do not submit a proposal or design at this time.