RFP: Public Art at Commerce Drive Development Project


City of North Mankato




The City of North Mankato has been working with stakeholders and the general public to achieve a shared vision for the future of Commerce Drive. A mix of industrial, commercial, and residential uses combine to provide a major employment center and a key retail and service district for area residents. Surface transportation dollars will facilitate needed upgrades to the roadway and other improvements such as streetscaping and reduced vehicular access points. This core business district will become a community destination through an enhanced business presence, improved transportation and cohesive area design.

The complete Commerce Drive Area Development Plan can be found at: www.northmankato.com/commerce-drive


Improvements along the business corridor include pedestrian friendly streetscaping including new light poles, wider sidewalks and mid-way crosswalk, designation of a trail along the south side of Commerce Drive connecting to Bluff Trail which runs along Hwy 14, improved transportation experience with the closure of several vehicle access points, and pedestrian gathering nodes.

Opportunities for public art are located within four pedestrian gathering locations complete with benches, pedestrian level lights, plantings, drinking fountains, waste receptacles, and wayfinding signage. Generally the artwork(s) should be visually engaging and compliment the aesthetic of the new streetscaping, while being sensitive to the nature of activities that occur within the immediate area (i.e. vehicle traffic, walking, biking, and shopping). Artworks cannot include digital components. Artists must anticipate that the artwork has the potential to be in place for several decades and will be exposed to Minnesota climate especially snow (salt) and wind. Audience for the artwork includes, residents, visitors, and employees of major businesses in upper North Mankato.

Location 1: Gateway Node – Located on the north side of the corner of Lor Ray and Commerce Drive, the node will include decorative concrete, seating, plantings, wayfinding kiosk, and gateway signage into the corridor. The City of North Mankato is requesting an Abstract Metal Sculpture that represents the business and professional use of the corridor.

• Abstract Metal Sculpture - Dimensions – Not to exceed 12’ in height. Maximum diameter at grade is 6’-0”; maximum diameter is 8’-0”. The artwork will be installed on a concrete pad.

  • Budget–upto$10,000

Location 2: Mid-Block Node – Located on the north side of Commerce Drive, this node is replacing a former vehicle access point to Kwik Trip. The node will include seating, plantings and an opportunity for an Artist Designed Bike Rack and sculpture to be installed on a 3’ H x 3’ W Kasota Stone pedestal.

Bike Rack - Dimensions – Not to exceed 5’ in height and not to exceed 12’ in length.

  • Budget–up to $10,000

Sculpture – Dimensions – Not to exceed 4’ in height by 3’ in length.

  • Budget–up to $10,000

Location 3: Roe Crest Node SW – Located on the SW corner of Commerce and Roe Crest, this corner is a pedestrian heavy area with resident and corporate business walkers, school children and the location of Golden Heart Daycare Center on the corner. The City is requesting proposals for an Interactive Artwork that will engage with pedestrians using the trail system, residents, employees and school children walking along Commerce and Roe Crest. The use of color is highly encouraged. Items to note around node will include an ornamental and an overstory tree in proximity and wood mulch will surround the base.

• Interactive Artwork - Dimensions – Not to exceed 12’ in height; Maximum diameter at grade 8’- 0”.

  • Budget–up to $18,000

Location 4: Roe Crest Node SE – Located on the SE corner of Commerce and Roe Crest, this node will include seating, plantings, interpretive panel, wayfinding kiosk, drinking foundation and electric car charging station. The trail connecting pedestrians to Bluff Trail will be designated on this side of Commerce. The City is requesting a Bronze sculpture to be installed on a 3’ H x 3’ W Kasota Stone pedestal.

• Bronze Sculpture - Dimensions – Not to exceed 5’ in height by 3’ in length.

  • Budget–up to $15,000



Proposals may be submitted by individual artists or artist teams (in which case a lead artist must be identified in the application). This call is open to all artists in the United States who are at least 18 years of age.

Artists can submit a proposal for all four node locations or may choose to apply for the node which best fits within the scope of the artwork they produce.

Artists can submit a proposal that generally describes the concepts they would design if they are creating new, original artworks for this project. In this case, if selected, the artist would be asked to submit a full proposal and be awarded a small stipend for this design proposal. However, an artist can also submit a proposal for artwork(s) they already have in their inventory for consideration. See the “What to Submit” section of this RFP for details.


Semifinalists asked to submit full proposals for new, original artwork(s) they are proposing will receive a fee of $500.

The budget allotted for each node location must cover all associated costs of the project including but not limited to design, fabrication, materials, labor, transportation, lodging, insurance, and installation of the work(s). The selected artist(s) will receive a contract for design, fabrication and installation. The resulting artwork(s) will be owned by the City of North Mankato. The artist will retain copyright and must allow the City of North Mankato permission to use images of the artwork(s) for promotional use.


The selected artist or artist team will work with the City of North Mankato and Twin Rivers Council for the Arts throughout the project. Artist’s responsibilities will be defined in a written contract agreement, which may include, but is not limited to:

  • If the artist is creating a new, original artwork (not already in inventory), before the contract is signed the artist will work with the City of North Mankato and Twin Rivers Council for the Arts to finalize material specifications and fabrication plans to ensure the artwork’s durability for permanent outdoor display.
  • Following the finalization of fabrication plans and budget, signing the contract agreement with North Mankato to initiate project and payments to artist. The contract agreement ensures that upon completion of project the work will formally be entered in the North Mankato Public Art Collection.
  • Adhering to the established schedule and deadlines.
  • Working with City of North Mankato staff and TRCA staff during installation of the artwork(s).
  • Communicating regularly and promptly with City of North Mankato staff and TRCA staff throughout the development, fabrication and installation of the project.


June 21, 2019: Call to Artists Opens
July 31, 2019: Application Deadline
August 15, 2019: Semifinalists Notified
September 3: Semifinalist Submission Deadline
September 13: Selected Artist(s) Announced
September – November: Project Development/Fabrication/Installation


Individual artists and artist teams meeting the eligibility requirements are invited to submit proposals for artwork(s) already created and in the artist’s inventory or to submit proposals for new, original artwork(s) to be included in the first round of consideration in this project. Artists can submit a proposal for all four node locations or may choose to apply for the node opportunity which best fits within the scope of the artwork they produce.


Please send the following materials by email to Noelle Lawton, executive director of Twin Rivers Council for the Arts, [email protected]. If your file size is more than 10 MB, use a free document storage website such as DropBox or Google Drive and send the link to the email.

1. Coversheet/Application Checklist (found at the end of this document)
2. Sample Images: Include up to 6-10 images of your previous artwork in JPEG format.
3. Written Materials: Proposal packets should be in PDF format (8.5 x 11 in.). Please include the following:

  • Artist Statement – A description of why you are interested in the project.
  • Resume/CV – Your current resume/CV (or that of each artist involved).
  • Work Samples – 5-10 samples of past work relevant to this project.
  • References – The names, email and daytime phone of three references who can speak to your ability as an artist and collaborator.

4. Project Proposal:

If you are fabricating new, original work(s) for this project, proposals should include description of proposed artwork for each node, general overview of fabrication and production process, and written statement describing artwork concept illustrations or renderings of overall concept and budget for each artwork/node location.

If you are submitting an artwork you have already created to be considered, please submit at least two high quality images of the artwork to be considered in full color. Include dimensions, material, footprint, price of the artwork and year it was created.

Clearly mark in your proposal which Node Location(s) you are suggesting for each artwork you are proposing.


A selection committee will review and select the artist(s) for this project. The committee will be comprised of staff from the City of North Mankato and representatives from Twin Rivers Council for the Arts.

Questions regarding this Request for Proposal process should be directed to Noelle Lawton, executive director of Twin Rivers Council for the Arts at 507-387-2387 / [email protected].

Opportunity Opens

Friday, Jun 21st 2019

Opportunity Closes

Wednesday, Jul 31st 2019, 11:45pm

Application Location

MN Artists