Proposals sought for public art
Waupaca Common Council approves sidewalk poetry project
By Angie Landsverk
“Gateway to Waupaca’s Waters” is the theme of a public art project being commissioned for Waupaca’s downtown.
When the common council met on April 20, it approved a Request for Qualifications to seek proposals from professional artists.
The opportunity is open to artists over age 18 who live in the state.
Greg Grohman told the council this is just the process for selecting the artist.
He is the grant writer for the city, Waupaca School District and Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.
Next year, the council will approve the art piece itself, as well as where it will be placed.
The plan is to install the art at the intersection of West Session and Main streets next summer.
The area being proposed is by the entrance to the ramp that leads to Rotary Riverview Park.
City Administrator Aaron Jenson said the location is not yet confirmed.
An anonymous community member has donated $25,000 to commission the public art piece.
Submissions are due at 4:30 p.m. Monday, July 12.
Artists may submit designs to Grohman at [email protected]
Grohman said the first wave of applications will be whittled down to three finalists.
The finalists will be notified in early August.
Final design submissions will be due Sept. 30, with the artist selection set for Oct. 23.
Artists who have experience creating site specific art installations and whose work reflects and engages the community are encouraged to apply.
The project’s budget is up to $25,000.
The installation will take place sometime between July and August of 2022.
The artist must be available for a ceremony and reception on Aug. 20, 2022, as part of Arts on the Square.
The common council also approved the sidewalk poetry project for Main Street when it met last week.
There is no cost to the city.
Donations to Build a Better Main Street are covering the cost of this project and other amenities.
Sixteen poems were chosen from among the approximately 200 that were submitted.
More than 100 poets participated in the contest.
Four poems are planned for each downtown block of Main Street.
Justin Berrens, the city’s director of public works, said the plan is to place the poems at the intersections, targeting the bumpouts.
They will be stamped into the colored sidewalk and face storefronts to encourage people to read them while standing in the safe pedestrian zones.
Earlier this month, Berrens said he would be open to having sidewalk poetry in other places in the city if the project gets a lot of positive feedback like the painted crosswalks and murals did.
He said parks and City Hall’s front lawn area could be possibilities.
“It seems like in other communities, it is a draw,” Berrens said.