Target Field operators are looking for artists to offer ideas for new works to display in a prominent spot outside the Twins' ballpark.
The Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) on Thursday agreed to spend up to $200,000 to solicit and hire artists to create one, two or possibly three pieces.
They're still working on the process, but the expectation is that the MBA will solicit proposals this summer for placement of the new art in time for the 2022 season.
"It's going to be fun. It's going to be nice to build something positive," MBA executive director Dan Kenney said.
In addition to approving the art funding at its quarterly meeting, the authority also agreed to reimburse the Twins for half the $50,000 cost of enhancing security around the stadium during the downtown Minneapolis trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd.
Three other former officers await trial on charges they aided the murder.
The vote on the art project was unanimous, as was the vote to reimburse the Twins for the extra security.
Regarding the art, MBA Chairwoman Margaret Anderson Kelliher said the goal is to find works that "are reflective of our broader community" and show that Target Field is "welcoming to everyone."
Kelliher mentioned that the Twins removed a statue last year, without reiterating who it was: former team owner Calvin Griffith, whose figure was taken down because of a racist remark he made decades ago.
The new art will replace glass images along one of the main entryways to the ballpark and plaza along N. 7th Street. Kenney said discussions are ongoing, but the MBA is hoping to receive proposals from emerging artists and may consider up to three works — most likely murals — for the space.
Kelliher said the glass images have presented "maintenance challenges."
After the meeting, Kenney said the images, which depict historic Minnesota ballparks, have been vandalized multiple times in the past year.
Kenney said the team hopes to take down next week concrete barriers topped with fencing that were placed around Target Field to protect it from potential unrest following the Chauvin verdict.
The Twins also installed plywood over the windows of the ticketing areas.
Matt Hoy, Twins vice president for operations, provided updates on pandemic restrictions, saying fan attendance is capped for now at 10,500 but the team hopes to be able to have a full house by midsummer or fall.
He also said that two concerts planned this summer with Green Day and Guns N' Roses would "roll" to next year, but he expects the NHL Winter Classic hockey game to be played over the New Year's weekend.
The meeting was the first attended by new member Tony Sanneh, a former professional soccer player who runs the youth-oriented, St. Paul-based Sanneh Foundation.
Gov. Tim Walz appointed Sanneh to the board position, replacing Paul Williams.
The MBA is the public entity that oversees Target Field on behalf on taxpayers. The Twins, Target Field's main tenant, run daily operations at the ballpark.
Rochelle Olson • 612-673-1747