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Artists awarded $1 million to design artwork for the St. Paul Union Depot

Four commissions were awarded Tuesday to artists who will create works for the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.

Four commissions were awarded Tuesday to artists who will create works for the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, which is being renovated as a transportation hub for light rail, trains, taxis and buses.

The commissions total $1.05 million.

Two of the them went to Minnesota artists or groups.

The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, made up of the Ramsey County commissioners, approved the selection for the public art commissions. They say the artists will now begin designing the works specifically for the depot, and they’ll be installed in 2013.

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Here are descriptions of the art commissions:

  • $150,000 to Amy Baur and Brian Boldon of In Plain Sight Art Studio of Minneapolis to produce a work of art in the carriageway of Union Depot, which will serve as a primary drop off site for those arriving at Union Depot by auto, taxi or accessible transportation services. The artists will use multi-layered digital imagery on ceramic tile and glass to create a mural along the blank 170-foot-long wall to welcome the public and engage them in history of the site.
  • $200,000 to Ray King of Philadelphia to create an elegant suspended sculpture in the Great Hall Atrium, which will be visible from the depot’s front plaza and from inside the Great Hall. King uses materials such as glass, metals and laminating films to focus his interests in geometry technology, light and color to create luminous sculptures that animate the architectural environment.
  • $200,000 to  Tim Prentice of West Cornwall, Conn., to create a suspended kinetic sculpture in the newly built Kellogg Entry, where transit riders will ascend from street level to the train deck and historic waiting room. Prentice, whose sculptures can be found across the world, uses lightweight metals to form individual elements that when linked together, glide on gentle air currents and reflect light in unpredictable ways. The constantly changing patterns and movements of the structure, produced by the slightest currents of air, will engage travelers as they pass under it on foot, or move past it via escalators.
  • $500,000 to  Steve Dietz of Northern of Minneapolis, who will direct a team of local, national and international artists in the development of an interactive multimedia artwork platform that will engage visitors of Union Depot with various multimedia projects. Dietz is the founder of acclaimed arts programs such as San Jose’s O1SJ Biennial and Northern Spark and the Walker Art Center’s new media program, here in the Twin Cities. Dietz’s team includes:  light artist Jim Campbell, whose work has helped define the field of interactive, multimedia art since 1985; Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat of Daily tous les jours, Montreal-based artists who specialize in large-scale participatory art projects; Michael Murnane, a Twin Cities-based lighting and projection artist whose work has been featured around the globe; Jeffrey Scherer, an architect and world-renowned library expert; Sarah Peters, a public engagement and community partnership specialist; and Cynthia Hilmoe, an expert in user interface and design.

There still is another $200,000 in the art budget for the depot, and officials say they to plan to “issue a supplemental Call to Artists in the coming months to engage additional artists in projects at Union Depot.”