RFQ: Hutchinson Pillars / Oak Tree Sculptures


Call For Artists –Hutchinson Pillars / Oak Tree Sculptures

Request for Qualifications (RFQ)



The Hutchinson Public Arts Commission (PAC) is seeking experienced bronze sculpture artists to create four (4) bronze oak tree sculptures for the Main Street 2020 “Hutchinson Pillars” project. This is a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and is open to artists living in Minnesota.  RFQ submittals are due by 5:00 PM (CST), May 6, 2019, and the final artist selection process is expected to be completed by June 21, 2019. Finished art work will be due by September 18, 2020.



The budget for the four oak trees is a combined not to exceed $35,000. This includes design, travel, model development, materials, casting, installation and all other expenses for the four sculptures. Project funding will include PAC funds, City of Hutchinson funding, and a Southwest MN Arts Council Legacy Project Grant (tentative).    



As part of the planned 2020 MN State Highway 15/Main Street reconstruction in downtown Hutchinson, the city looked at different streetscaping options, including public art.  The PAC suggested incorporating art and history into the project, but doing it in a way that complements the historic nature of downtown and other streetscaping efforts.  The PAC also suggested that the art be visible and accessible.

Through a number of discussions, the PAC settled on the idea of four permanent pillars placed at strategic locations on the sidewalks along Main Street.  Each of the pillars will represent one of four core values that have been important to Hutchinson since its founding.   The four values are Service, Humanity, Stewardship (Environmental) and Education. 

Each pillar will be approximately 4’ (four feet) tall and 2’ (two feet) square.  The pillars will be cast concrete with yellow brick facing similar to the library and band shell in Hutchinson’s downtown Library Square.  On top of each pillar will be one of the bronze oak trees created by the selected artist.  Each oak tree will be at least 1-1/2’ (one and one half feet) tall and 1-1/2’ (one and one half feet) wide and no more than 2’ (two feet) tall and 2’ (two feet) wide. 

Raised metal side panels will be placed on the two non-traffic sides of each pillar and will incorporate art and text to tell the meaning of the pillar’s value and its relationship to Hutchinson.  The panels will be arched to compliment the windows of the library, downtown power plant and other streetscaping. The side panels will be a separate RFQ, but the artists applying for the tree sculptures are eligible to apply. Teams are also eligible.   




Project Goal:

The oak tree was chosen for the art on top of the pillars because the oak tree is symbolic of strength, protection, longevity, wisdom, nobility, safety, dignity and steadiness.  Their extensive root system is also part of their strength and foundation, just like the values of Service, Humanity, Stewardship and Education are part of Hutchinson’s roots and foundation. 

In addition, oak trees have always been a part of Hutchinson and local stands are remnants of the Big Woods that started to transition into the western prairies nearby.  The tree art also recognizes Hutchinson’s status as Minnesota’s second oldest “Tree City USA” (40th year in 2018).



With MnDOT’s help, several possible locations were identified.  Three of the locations will be in new Main Street bump-outs; including at the Southwest corner of 1st Ave North (by Dairy Queen) and at the Northeast and Southwest corners of 1st Ave S (by Library Square and Citizen’s Bank).  The fourth location is just off Main Street along the north side of 3rd Ave South (by the post office). 

The 1st Ave North and 3rd Ave South locations book-end downtown, while the 1st Ave South locations provide balance in the center.


Selection Process:

Selection of the artists and the artwork will be done by a Selection Committee consisting of PAC members, city council members and community members.  Note:  The Committee reserves the right to not select artists from any part of this submission/selection process, if, in its collective opinion, no applications meet its expectations, there is a lack of funding, or for any other reason. 


RFQ Finalists:

The Selection Committee will review portfolios and materials of all RFQ applicants and select three artists or artist teams as finalists for interviews before making a final selection. The review criteria used by the Selection Committee will include:

Artistic Excellence: Evidence of some or all of the following: mastery of skills and techniques, professional approaches to process and presentation, and/or communication of unique vision or perspective; and

Appropriate Materials: Evidence of the artist’s ability to execute artwork utilizing durable materials that are appropriate for a year round exterior public space and which are robust enough to withstand touching and handling by viewers; and

Site Responsiveness: Evidence of the artist’s ability to create artwork that addresses the physical and/or community context of its placement, including the stated goal of the project.


RFQ Submission Requirements:

Artists interested in this project must prepare and submit the following set of documents (DOC or PDF; images in JPG format):

A letter of Interest outlining your artistic vision and your approach to public art, as well as detailing how your experience has prepared you for a project like this. Not to exceed 600 words.

A professional resume/CV (limit 3 pages).  Artists submitting as part of a collaborative team should include a resume/CV for each member of the team.

Images of 3 pieces of relevant past work, preferably created within the past 5 years. Up to 3 images of each piece may be included to show different views, 1000 pixels on the long side, 72 pixels/inch minimum, file size less than 1 MB, each named uniquely.

An annotated image list in one document with a limit of 10 past works in jpg format.  Please indicate the title, dimensions, materials, date of work, and locations, as well as project budget and commissioning entity, if applicable.

References: A list of at least three professional references from past projects. The list must include complete addresses and telephone numbers.

Self-addressed stamped envelope: For the return of hardcopy materials. If an envelope is not included it is assumed that no materials are needed to be returned.


Final Artist Selection:

Finalists will be invited to make a presentation in person before the Selection Committee.  Presentations may not exceed 45 minutes.  Each finalist/team will be paid $500 to cover expenses. Selection will be based on the following:

Artwork: Sketches and/or maquette that show your vision of the oak tree art and how it will be incorporated into the pillars, meet the project goals and fit with the community values.  Each tree should be the same. The four values may be incorporated into the sculpture, but don’t need to be.

Past Experience: Includes history of successful project delivery and staying within budget.

Price Quote & Budget Detail: Not to exceed $35,000 (all inclusive).

Foundry: Proof of availability

Commission and Agreement:  The artwork will be commissioned through the City of Hutchinson. Artists will coordinate work with the City of Hutchinson and the Hutchinson Public Arts Commission.  An agreement between the City of Hutchinson and the Selection Committee and the artist or artist team will formalize budget, schedule and artwork design.

The selected artist will be expected to:

Design and propose artwork for review and approval by City of Hutchinson and the Selection Committee representatives; and

Travel to the project site up to three times during the proposal/design process to meet with the Selection Committee and City of Hutchinson project manager; and

    Work within the fixed budget; and

Enter into contracts with the City of Hutchinson and fulfill those requirements, including paying applicable taxes.


Anticipated Project Timeline:

  • May 6, 2019: RFQ’s due
  • May 13, 2019: Finalists notified
  • Week of June 10, 2019: Finalist interviews 
  • June 21, 2019: Artist selected
  • July, 2019: City’s grant application due (awards announced in early September)
  • September, 2019: City of Hutchinson Final Project Approval
  • October, 2019 – February, 2020: Design development
  • February – August, 2020: Fabrication
  • September, 2020: Delivery & Installation

Contact Info:

Hutchinson Public Arts Commission
111 Hassan St. SE
Hutchinson, MN 55350

Email: [email protected]

Opportunity Opens

Wednesday, Apr 10th 2019

Opportunity Closes

Monday, May 6th 2019, 5:00pm

Application Location

External Site
MN Artists