Minneapolis officials have commissioned four artists to integrate new works of art into the redesign of Nicollet Mall.
The artists were among 12 finalists chosen from a national search that drew 217 applicants wanting to create art for the major redo of mall. The $50 million renovation, now underway, is expected to be completed by 2017.
The four artists will submit their draft design concepts by fall. The artists selected are:
• Ned Kahn of California, who has been commissioned for $500,000 to create a large-scale, iconic art piece. Kahn created the wind-powered Wave wall, which serves as the backdrop for the Target Field plaza. For the last 20 years, he’s created interactive sculptures using such simple materials as water, sand and air.
• Blessing Hancock of Arizona, who has been commissioned for $225,000 to design suspended lanterns as part of the mall’s “light walk” between Sixth and Eighth streets. She often uses standard materials in unexpected ways, creating opportunities for the public to connect with the work while introducing an element of surprise. She uses light to express the vast potential of color, pattern and shadow to enliven a space.
• Tristan Al-Haddad of Georgia, who has been commissioned for $200,000 to design a key feature on the mall. “On the one hand, the project will serve as an aesthetic work to be visually consumed and experientially relished; on the other hand it will serve as a complementary extension of the urban fabric itself,” he told the Minneapolis selection committee. Al-Haddad has created works in places as far-flung as Sri Lanka and Chile.
• Regina Flanagan of Minnesota, who has been commissioned for $75,000 to work with the design team on integrating new and old public artwork into the redesigned mall. Flanagan will work with local artists and likely will focus on ensuring public engagement with the works of art on the mall.
Nicollet Mall has the second-largest collection of public art in the city, after the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Only some of the 16 pieces of public art currently on the mall will be included in the redesign.