Ralph Rapson Hall at the University of Minnesota

Five finalists will show their ideas for an art project to be installed this summer on the plaza of the Minneapolis Convention Center. The winner will be picked Wednesday, Feb. 27 by a professional jury during a public presentation at the University of MInnesota's Rapson Hall.

The winner must demonstrate artistic excellence and be temporary, interactive, site-specific and eco-focused. It will also have to be some sort of "portal," and evidence "creative-placemaking." The Art-in-the-Plaza project is sponsored by the Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association in partnership with the Mayor's office, Minneapolis City Council and the city coordinaro's office.

The five finalists are:

"LakeForms" by Futures North. Described as a "digitally fabricated pavillion that emerges from the Convention Center plaza," LakeForms is a multi-sensory environment that will provide info about the city's lakes using audio and visual information gathered from "smart buoys" in the city's lakes.

"Mimmi," by INVIVIA in collaboration with Urbain_d/rc. Described as a "visiting organism," Mimmi sounds like a city-wide mood ring. According to its prospectus, the "organism" will "collect and reflect the aggregate mood of Minneapolis, changing in color, shape, and climatic behavior depending on residents' emotions."

"MPLS rope densCITY," by JeFe Design Collective. This one is a big swing made of discarded rock climbing rope from which visitors can, well, swing.

"You Are Here," by Krause + Sowinski. Dubbed a "meta-map," this project will "strengthen the downtown pedestrian experience," by using a "giant red arrow," to connect the Convention Center to downtown.

"RIPPLE" by Locus Architecture. Framed by 20 ft. tall steel "fronds" capped by LED lights, this outdoor "room," will somehow be activated by weather. It will be a "venue for serendipitous meetings betweeen residents and artists, vistors and aspiring gymnasts." 

Check out the finalists and watch the judging:

Wednesday, February 27, 5:30 p.m. with reception to follow, free. Ralph Rapson Hall, University of Minnesota, 89 Church St. S.E., Minneapolis. Map: http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/maps/RapsonH/

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