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Como Campus Visitor Center Seeks Public Art

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Como Campus Visitor Center Seeks Public Art



The City of St. Paul, Parks and Recreation is seeking an artist(s) to create site-specific original artwork as part of Phase II of the Como Campus Transportation Improvement project. The vision for this project is to create an iconic art feature at the Como Visitor Center Forecourt.

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory is operated by the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department. The Como Visitor Center Forecourt is located at the heart of the park and it is adjacent to the Como Zoo, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, and Cafesjians Carousel. The 1996 Como Park Master Plan, as well as the 2003 Como Campus Master Plan, envisioned the Como Park Visitor Center Forecourt as the primary entrance, and front door to the Como Campus. The Visitor Center Forecourt links to the Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, serving as the primary entrance to both. The main goal of the forecourt design is to develop the “front door” to the Como Campus while respecting its historical roots as a gathering place and formal public garden adjacent to the Conservatory.

An iconic feature, acting as a destination or attraction, was identified during the master plan process. This RFQ requests design of a single feature located at the center of the Como Park Visitor Center forecourt. The site specific art work should demonstrate artistic excellence by:

  • Enhancing the pedestrian entry and central gathering space by providing a recognizable identity or icon for the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
  • The art piece should relate to the surrounding buildings, and not compromise the historic integrity of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (listed on national Register of Historic Sites).
  • The art piece should be appropriate for outdoor installation, able to withstand severe weather, vandalism, graffiti, etc. and be adequately and safely displayed and secured.
  • Materials palette and design suggestions could include steel, aluminum, recycled materials, concrete, glass, or a combination thereof.
  • The artwork can be a stationary art piece or kinetic art piece.
  • The artwork should fit within a 15’-0” diameter space surrounded by a concrete plaza and seating. 

Eligibility:  All professional artists are eligible to apply.  Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Professional Qualifications
  • Proven artistic merit of prior relevant work
  • Placemaking experience with original artistic vision
  • Experience fabricating and installing permanent artwork suitable for the outdoor environment
  • Experience working within the collaborative processes in public setting
  • Project management experience
  • Statement of conceptual approach to this project 

Project budget:  Up to $1,500 each for up to 3 finalist artists to develop a concept proposal for a site-specific artwork. Artists will be required to enter into a City Contract for this work. Up to $99,000 will be awarded to the selected artist or artist team. This budget includes artwork design, fabrication, delivery and installation of the art work, as well as the artist fees, travel and any related expenses.

Project timeline:

  • Design Approval Anticipated June 2016
  • Fabrication and Installation Completed no later than June 1, 2017 

To apply, you must register as a bidder with the City of Saint Paul procurement system, here.  Applications will only be taken through the procurement portal.

Please review the full Request for Qualifications before beginning the registration process.



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