Forecast Public Art is excited to award its 2015 Making It Public grants to Mayumi Amada, Carolina Borja, Heather M. Cole, and Jess Bergman Tank and Klara Wagnild.

Making It Public grants, designated for new temporary public art projects, are awarded at the culmination of a five-part series of workshops for artists new to the field of public art. Grant submissions from workshop participants are reviewed and selected by a panel of public art professionals.

The 2015 Making It Public review panel included Jessica Fiala, Forecast Public Art Program Associate; Weiming Lu of the Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation and author of The Tao of Urban Rejuvenation; and Seitu Jones, professional artist and community builder. The panel awarded a pool of nearly $9,000 to grant recipients, based on project budgets submitted by the artists.

The Making It Public workshops series, designed to help artists explore the process of bringing their work into the public art sphere, provides an in-depth introduction to public art project design and proposal development. Presented at no cost to the artists, the series focuses on the fundamentals of creating public art and covers topics like site analysis, community engagement, permitting, conservation, proposal preparation, project management, and project ideation. Participants also receive follow-up artist consulting, as well as coaching for project proposal development, free of charge from Forecast Public Art.

The second annual Making It Public series, made possible through support from the Lowertown Future Fund, was facilitated by Kirstin Wiegmann and Carrie Christensen of Forecast Public Art. Hosted this spring in venues across Lowertown, St. Paul, the workshops featured discussions with guest speakers including Sarah Peters (Northern Lights), Jack Becker (Forecast Public Art), Kristin Cheronis (Kristin Cheronis Sculpture Conservation), artist Seitu Jones, artist Diane Willow, and St. Paul City Artist in Residence Amanda Lovelee.

Awarded projects will be implemented throughout Lowertown during summer and fall 2015.


2015 Making It Public Grant Recipients

Mayumi Amada, Decorate Lowertown with Doilies: Mayumi Amada will be transitioning her delicate doily work from indoor installations to public outdoor spaces. The technique of handcrafting doilies has been handed down from grandmothers to granddaughters in Mayumi’s family for generations in Japan; the patterning within each doily exemplifies repetition in their lives. For this project, Mayumi will create stencils of doilies with patterns derived from Lowertown’s people, places, and patterns. Mayumi will use these doilies to experiment with chalk spray paint and outdoor installation throughout Lowertown this fall, easily beautifying shared spaces with her intricate patterns and thoughtful designs.

Carolina Borja, CROSS – POLL – IGNITING: Carolina Borja‘s CROSS – POLL – IGNITING is a happening transformed into sculpture. In collaboration with Bedlam Lowertown and their new work development program, Short Town, Carolina will conspire with Bedlam artists to script a creative performance and active installation around the idea of cross-pollination. Together, they will develop a relationship with Lowertown businesses to host the spontaneous happening, performed by Short Town, and the simultaneous construction of Borja’s installation in a public space. The installation will remain on view at the site temporarily, with location and dates to be later announced.

Heather M. Cole, Bright Idea: Throughout this summer’s Music in Mears concert series, Heather M. Cole will host Bright Idea, a community art collaboration that will result in the temporary installation of beautiful lanterns throughout Mears Park. In previous projects, Cole has crafted lanterns from reused materials for gallery installations and indoor experiences; through Bright Idea, she will transfer the construction process into a community setting and the installation into public space, inviting visitors of all ages to spontaneously participate. At community workshops during select Music in Mears events, Cole will lead concertgoers in fabricating lighted lanterns from milk jugs, enhancing the experience with ongoing conversations about the concepts of reuse and repurposing materials. More about Heather’s project.

Jess Bergman Tank and Klara Wagnild, Lowertown Bronze Pour: Directing a guided bronze pour in Mears Park, Jess Bergman Tank and Klara Wagnild will invite participants to explore connections between Lowertown history, places, and people through the inclusion of historical imagery and dialogue. The pour will yield small tokens bearing that imagery on one side, with directions to an educational, digital mapping website on the other. The tokens will be scattered throughout Lowertown to be discovered, researched, mapped, and re-hidden by others. The project, carefully designed to reflect the cultivated relationship between past, present, and future that makes Lowertown a hub of dynamic, creative energy, will commence with a public pour tentatively scheduled for August 20, 2015, during a Music in Mears concert series event; token discovery, and the historical education it inspires, will take place for months to follow.

Forecast awards grants to both emerging and mid-career artists in Minnesota to support independent projects, leadership development, professional development, risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches, and collaborative problem-solving in the field of public art.