Call to Artists: Indigenous Public Art Commission


Taku wanki
unkoniciyakapi uncinpi.
We want to tell
you something.

Are you a knowledge keeper, a contemporary artist, or a traditional artist interested in making public art? The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with an Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee, invites artists’ proposals for a new public artwork for placement in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or a location on the Walker campus. Individual or collaborative original work may be sculptural; incorporate other disciplines, such as audiovisual or installation art; or include traditionally sourced materials. Ahaṡ ake!

Your application will be acknowledged with respect and discretion. Please read on for more information and share this call with other artists you know.

Pidaunyayapi. We accept your offerings with thanks.
-Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee and the Walker Art Center

Accepting Proposals January 16–April 15, 2019

Application Materials:

Download: Application Packet
(includes all of the application information as well as the Cover Sheet/Application Checklist Form)
Download: Cover Sheet/Application Checklist Form
(includes only the needed form to send in with your application)
Download: Flyer
(feel free to print this 11 x 17 in. flyer and post it!)

Important Dates:

January 16, 2019: Call to Artists Opens
April 15, 2019: Application Deadline
June 17, 2019: Semifinalists Notified
September 16, 2019: Selected Artist Announced
Fall 2020: Public Artwork Installed and Unveiled (date to be confirmed)

Free Information Sessions & Workshops:

For artists seeking information or other support assembling their applications, four workshops are offered.

Workshop 1 | Friday, January 18, 3–4:30 pm

Plains Art Museum
704 First Avenue North, Fargo
North Dakota 58102

Workshop 2 | Saturday, January 19, 2–3:30pm

Sisseton Wahpeton College
12572 BIA Highway 700, Sisseton
South Dakota 57262

Workshop 3 | Saturday, January 26, 2–3:30 pm

Mystic Lake Center
2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard
Prior Lake, Minnesota 55372

Workshop 4 | Wednesday, February 20, 6–7:30 pm

Walker Art Center
725 Vineland Place
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403



The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, along with an Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee, invites artists’ proposals for a new public artwork for placement in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or a location on the Walker campus. The committee—a group of Native curators, knowledge keepers, artists, and arts professionals, including individuals of Dakota descent and enrollment—will participate with the Walker in the review and selection of the proposals. When a final proposal is selected, the Walker will work with and support the selected artist or artist collective in the production of the project, from technical development to engagement, per the terms of a written commission agreement. The goal is to install the completed work in the fall of 2020.

About the Walker Art Center/Minneapolis Sculpture Garden:

The Walker Art Center is an interdisciplinary contemporary art center committed to supporting the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences. The museum, located near downtown Minneapolis, is situated on land shaped by glaciers more than 10,000 years ago. The area was once an expanse of marshland used for hundreds of years as a seasonal camp by the Dakota and Ojibwe people. In the late 1800s, the site held an armory and parade grounds. Formal gardens and a series of sports fields were established here in the early 1900s. When the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden opened in 1988 as a collaboration between the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the Walker Art Center, it was one of the first major public/private urban sculpture parks of its kind in the United States. The Wurtele Upper Garden, a landscaped hillside expanse adjacent to the Walker, is the newest outdoor space on the Walker campus and includes pedestrian walkways, sculpture, and sites for public events.


Projects may be proposed by individual artists or artist collectives (in which case a lead artist must be identified with the application). Organizations, architectural and engineering firms, design firms, galleries, and public art consultants are not eligible. Artists must be over age 21. Artists with in-depth knowledge and understanding of Dakota culture and language are encouraged to apply.

Project Location:

There are several possible sites for installation of the commissioned work in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden or on the Walker campus. Once selected, the artist will have the opportunity to discuss possible sites with the Walker Art Center and, if a Minneapolis Sculpture Garden site is identified, with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

Project Budget:

The budget for the project will include several parts: 

  • Proposal Fee for Semifinalists: Three semifinalists for the commission will be identified by the Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee and the Walker Art Center during the review process. Semifinalists will be invited to prepare a more detailed proposal for which they will each receive a fee of $1,500.
  • Artist Fee for Final Project: The artist (or artist collective) selected for the commission will receive a one-time total fee of $35,000, payable in installments as outlined in the written commission agreement for the project. If the selected artist/collective chooses to participate in public engagement efforts, which may include educational activities or community discussions, an additional $5,000 fee may be offered.
  • Production Budget: The production budget (fabrication, logistics) will vary depending on the selected proposal but will not exceed $110,000. The Walker will additionally fund shipping and installation of the completed work and plans to provide interpretation, publicity, and outreach, all per the written commission agreement.

Application Timeline:

  • January 16, 2019 Call to Artists Opens
  • January 18, 2019 Workshop 1: Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND, 3–5 pm
  • January 19, 2019 Workshop 2: Sisseton Wahpeton College, Sisseton, SD, 2–3:30 pm
  • January 26, 2019 Workshop 3: Mystic Lake Center, Prior Lake, MN, 2–4 pm
  • January 28, 2019 Workshop Materials Available on Website
  • February 20, 2019 Workshop 4: Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, 6–7:30 pm
  • April 15, 2019 Application Deadline
  • June 17, 2019 Semifinalists Notified
  • September 16, 2019 Selected Artist Announced
  • Fall 2019–2020 Project Development & Fabrication
  • Fall 2020 (date to be confirmed)

Artist's Responsibilities

The artist or collective selected will collaborate throughout the project with the Walker Art Center. Artists’ responsibilities will be defined in a written commission agreement, which may include, but will not be not limited to:

  • Before commission agreement is signed, working with Walker staff and possible consultants (for example, structural engineers or art conservators) to finalize material specifications and fabrication plans (including technical drawings), to ensure the artwork’s durability for display in an outdoor context. Reasonable travel, per diem, and accommodations for necessary meetings related to finalizing project specifications will be paid by Walker Art Center.
  • Before commission agreement is signed, working with Walker staff to develop final fabrication budget.
  • Following the finalization of fabrication plans and budget, signing a commission agreement with Walker Art Center to initiate project and payments to artist. The commission agreement ensures that, upon completion of project, the work will formally enter the Walker’s permanent collection.
  • Meeting with Walker staff and possibly staff from Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board to site the piece.
  • Adhering to established schedule and deadlines for the project.
  • Participating in periodic presentations with various community constituencies.
  • Participating in documentation of the project’s development with Walker staff.
  • Working with the Walker/contractors and being present during installation of the piece.
  • Communicating regularly with Walker staff throughout the development, fabrication, and installation of the project.

How to Apply:

Individual artists and artist collectives meeting the eligibility requirements are invited to submit proposals to be included in the first round of consideration for this new project. Detailed application guidelines are provided below.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Monday, April 15, 2019.

What to Submit: 

Please send the following materials by email to [email protected]. If your application is more than 10 MB, please use a free document storage website, such as DropBox or WeTransfer, then email your cover letter and the link to your application materials to [email protected].


A completed copy of the one-page Cover Sheet & Application Checklist form, which can be downloaded here.


Include up to 8 images of your previous artwork in JPEG format. It is recommended that your images be roughly 1920 x 1920 pixels and no more than 1.8 MB each in file size.


Proposal packets should be in PDF format (8 ½ x 11 in.). Include all of the following:

  • Artist Statement: A description of why you are interested in the project, and your artistic approach. Limit 1,000 words.
  • Résumé/CV: Your current résumé or that of each artist involved, up to two pages per artist.
  • Image List: A description of each of the attached 8 images, not to exceed 200 words each. Number each JPEG to correspond with the Image List.
  • References: The names, email addresses, and daytime phone numbers of three references who can speak about your ability as an artist and as a collaborator.


  • Proposals should be in PDF format (8 1/2 x 11 in.), general in nature (for example, full technical specifications not required at this time), and not exceed 10 pages. Proposal must include:
  • A written statement describing artwork concept.
  • Illustrations or renderings of overall concept.
  • Description of proposed scale.
  • Description of proposed materials.
  • A general overview of fabrication and production process.

Note: When selected, finalists will have opportunities to discuss all fabrication and installation needs with the Walker as they develop their full proposals.

Send to:

Email your proposal materials to [email protected].

Email your proposal materials to [email protected]. Please include your first and last name/PAC in the subject line. If your application is more than 10 MB, please use a free document storage website, such as DropBox or WeTransfer, then email your cover sheet and the link to your application to [email protected].

All materials submitted will be used by the Walker Art Center and the Indigenous Public Art Selection Committee for purposes of considering the proposal. Materials submitted with the application will not be returned.

For technical or other support in assembling your application, please email [email protected].

Opportunity Opens

Friday, Jan 18th 2019

Opportunity Closes

Monday, Apr 15th 2019, 11:45pm

Application Location

MN Artists