A Twin Cities team will design art for the future Lowertown ballpark, based in part upon input from the public.
The Lowertown Ballpark Public Art Selection Committee selected Futures North as the art team that will oversee public art at the 7,000-seat ballpark. A request for proposals for the $ 170,000 contract drew 133 submissions from artists in 30 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Italy.
According to a statement posted at Lowertownballpark.com, the team “plans to draw upon the ballpark’s architectural elements as well as the Lowertown neighborhood itself … to create an experiential artwork that embraces the experience of attending a baseball game while adding an inspiring presence to the surrounding area.”
Futures North will collaborate with the ballpark design team to develop design schemes for the public art installation and will solicit general public input through the Lowertown Ballpark Design and Construction Committee and online polling.
The Futures North team, composed of Daniel Dean, John Kim, Molly Reichert and Adam Marcus, previously completed “LakeForms,” an interactive pavilion in the Minneapolis Convention Center, and “The Sonic Articulation of Sunbeams,” an interactive sculpture commissioned by the Bakken Museum in South Minneapolis and inspired by the museum’s collection of vintage medical equipment.
Another commission, “Centennial Chromagraph,” featured 8,080 colored No. 2 pencils and 100 robotically fabricated plywood ribs. The piece was commissioned for the University of Minnesota School of Architecture’s centennial celebration.
In addition to Futures North, the finalists included Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock of Tucson, Ariz., who use technology to create interactive art, and Kipp Kobayahsi of Claremont, Calif., who described himself as a sports fan in his application materials.
St. Paul Parks and Recreation spokesman Brad Meyer said the request for proposals had to be issued statewide because much of the funding for ballpark construction is coming from the state. Over the objection of some local artists, the competition was opened up nationally and even internationally. In the end, a Twin Cities partnership won out.
Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172. Follow him at twitter.com/FrederickMelo.