Call to artists underway for public safety facility

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Construction workers in the joint Marshalltown Police Department/Fire Department building are shown recently. A Call to Artists Request for Qualifications was released last week by the Marshalltown Public Art Committee. There is available space in the interior lobby or on grounds.

Enthusiasm and support for public art has paved the way for another initiative — public art at the new joint Marshalltown Police Department/Fire Department facility.

Long-time public art advocate Heidi Dalal of Marshalltown cited public art’s growing endorsements and momentum gained from four years of work culminating with the installation of “Echo” on North 13th Street and “Drills” at the renovated Marshalltown High School Roundhouse.

The Marshalltown Public Art Committee (MPAC) — a program of the local Arts & Cultural Alliance — made their case to the city council to place public art in the mammoth MPD/FD headquarters under construction in the 900 block of South Second Street.

They were successful. Earlier this year council unanimously allocated $55,000 for art in the building and MPAC acted quickly.

Last week a Request for Qualification was released by MPAC — for artists throughout the U.S. to respond with qualifications. The RFQ deadline is June 14.

“We are excited to partner with the city of Marshalltown, the police and fire departments to include public art,” Dalal said.

Dalal is also a RFQ selection committee member.

MPAC gained early support from Fire Chief David Rierson and Police Chief Mike Tupper, among others.

“Much like “Drills” — the MHS Roundhouse project — placing art in the new facility will enhance the overall beauty of the site and state-of-the art facility,” Rierson said.

“Public art is a community asset which plays an important role in the history and culture of any community,” Tupper said. “This project provides public safety with an opportunity to engage the community in a meaningful way, which I hope will allow us to turn this public safety space into something exciting and approachable.”

The expected timeline for installation includes notifying the finalists on July 1, selecting the artist/artist team on Oct. 1, and completing the art work by June 1, 2019, approximately one year after the building’s completion.

“We are excited to continue our partnership with local governments and community stakeholders by being a resource for public art projects,” Executive Director of the Arts & Cultural Alliance Amber Danielson said. “To see the support of the city council, police and fire departments to include public art is fantastic and we are thrilled to help lead the process.”

The Call to Artists RFQ can be found at: https://www.marshalltown-ia.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3257/M-PAC-2019-Call-to-Artists-Public-Safety-Building-Final?bidId=32

For more information, contact Danielson at 641-752-2787 or director@artsandculturalalliance.org.

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Contact Mike Donahey at

641-753-6611 or

mdonahey@timesrepublican.com