RFQ: Public Art at Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park
The City of St. Louis Park has partnered with St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts to commission an original artwork for installation in the new Interpretive Center at the Westwood Hills Nature Center, a 160-acre natural area featuring marsh, woods and restored prairie in the northwest corner of St. Louis Park.
Friends of the Arts has posted a Request for Qualifications from visual artists in the Twin Cities metro area, with a submission deadline of August 12, 2019. Full application information and instructions at www.slpfota.org/whnc-public-art
Maximum project budget: $35,000
August 12 - RFQ Responses Due
August 31 - Finalists Selected
October 21 - Final Proposals Due
November 4 - Artist Selected
March, 2020 - Artwork Installation
In the late 1950s, the City of St. Louis Park had the foresight to acquire 160 acres of open space that is now the much-treasured Westwood Hills Nature Center, located south of I-394 and east of Highway 169 just minutes from downtown Minneapolis. The center allows visitors of all ages and backgrounds to learn about and connect with nature through a variety of programming, and includes marsh, woods and restored prairie. The preserve is beautiful throughout the seasons and provides homes for many animals, including deer, turtles, fox, mink and owls.
Prior to the land being purchased by the City of St. Louis Park, the area was used for farming, and later as a golf course. The first building at WHNC opened in 1981, and it has provided visitors of all ages the chance to explore the natural world right in St. Louis Park ever since. However, the aging interpretive center no longer meets the needs of visitors. Programming, staff operations and public needs have outgrown its small spaces, and the remote location of the building – removed from the parking lot and at the top of an uphill walk – presents challenges to visitors with disabilities, parents with small children and others. The St. Louis Park City Council has voted to construct a new interpretive center that will serve the needs of the community for decades to come.
Friends of the Arts and the City of St. Louis Park are seeking a Twin Cities artist or artist team to design and install permanent artwork in the new building relating to themes of nature, sustainability, recreation, and inclusiveness.