Doxa Rebar on winning team for Central Corridor Public Art Plan
Public art and public participation have been evolving a lot in the last forty years. But how do you create an art plan that can respond to changing ground conditions? Because plans are implemented over a scale of decades they need to be both specific and adaptable–and stay relevant even as the neighborhoods they envision change unexpectedly. We got the chance to team up with Cliff Garten Studio, Todd Bressi and Via Partnership to test out a new approach to creating a public art plan for the cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, which will soon be connected by a new light rail line. The art plan will reach out beyond the Central Corridor light rail, to shape the surrounding neighborhoods which will be influenced by the new infrastructure. According to the project client, Public Art Saint Paul:
The Metropolitan Council’s Central Corridor LRT project has engaged visual artists to create public art at the Project’s 18 new stations and platforms. This Art Plan seeks to go beyond the LRT public art program in scope, range of artistic media, and time frame. The Art Plan will articulate a vision for art in multiple media and move beyond the stations and platforms to consider the entire public realm: public buildings, the streetscape, landmarks, pathways, parks and open spaces, and water quality infrastructure. It will engage neighborhoods, educational institutions, and economic and cultural centers and envision opportunities for public art in future private sector transit oriented developments.
The project represents an opportunity for a new approach: using artwork itself as a means to engage the public and give shape to the plan. As a part of the process, Rebar envisions public events in the spirit of Park(ing) Day that engage community members around the physical territory of the new Central Corridor to test ideas, learn about the site, and prototype new ways of inhabiting space as a means of gathering first-hand data that can inform the art plan.
After the field was whittled down to three contenders last month, we got word that our team was selected to create the plan. We’re excited to bring to bear several emerging themes of our practice to bear on this new project.