(BLOOMINGTON) – Five artists/artist teams chosen as finalists for the downtown Trades District public art commission will be showcased at the Bloomington Street Fair on Kirkwood Avenue Sunday, April 28 from noon to 4 p.m.
During the event, community members will have the opportunity to learn more about and provide feedback about the artists’ work at a booth in Peoples Park staffed by members of the Bloomington Arts Commission and the City’s Economic and Sustainable Development Department.
This opportunity for public engagement is the first of several the City is hosting over the next several weeks to encourage community members to participate in and help inform the public art selection process. Comments and suggestions will also be accepted and archived at the City’s website.
“We were delighted by the quality and quantity of submissions we received from artists and artist teams,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “The response speaks to Bloomington’s renown as art and culture leader — not just in the state, but around the country and the world.”
A selection review panel consisting of members of the community and of the Bloomington Arts Commission selected the five finalists to submit design concepts for a signature work of art for the Trades District. Selected from over 70 applicants who responded to an international request for qualifications (RFQ) from within the state and as far away as Australia, the finalists include three regionally based artists/artist teams — Andrea Stanislav; the team of Jiangmei Wu, Brian McCutcheon, and Lucas Brown; and Team Grand Barbican, consisting of Jennifer Riley, Dorian Bybee, and Jeeyea Kim — American artist Ben Zamora, and Berlin-based artist Stefan Reiss. The artists work in a variety of media and represent diverse artistic traditions. Their proposals for the Trades District commission will soon be available for review on the City’s website.
The artist or artist team selected from among the five finalists will create a new, site-specific artwork to reflect Bloomington’s innovative, thriving economic culture. The proposed site for the artwork is the 10th Street Gateway at the intersection of 10th and Madison Streets in the heart of the Trades District, the city’s new innovation and employment hub. Funding for the project comes from Bloomington’s Percent for the Arts Ordinance (Chapter 2.12.021 of Bloomington’s Municipal Code), which stipulates that at least one percent of the cost of construction for capital projects eligible for public art be used for public art at that or another site.
“The selected finalists for this project will ultimately create Bloomington’s most significant work of public art to date,” said Andy Findley, chair of the Bloomington Arts Commission. “Significantly, the final work of art will serve as a marker of Bloomington’s growth and as a meaningful reminder of our community history and legacy supporting public art.”
“I’m thrilled by the compelling concepts and ideas explored in these submissions,” said Sean Starowitz, Assistant Director of Economic and Sustainable Development for the Arts. “Public art helps us define who we are as a community, so it’s vital that community members participate in this phase of the selection process.”
The selection committee plans to select the finalist for the Trades District commission by mid-June.