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Eagan Uses Grant Funding to Commission Public Art Piece

Eagan is about to get a little more artsy. City officials are searching for an artist to design and build a public art installation.

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The hunt for Eagan's next public art piece is on.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department put out a call last week for artists interested in creating a sculpture, mural, garden or other public art project that will be installed this summer on city property in Eagan. The only requirement? The piece must reflect Eagan's community identity.

Proposals for a temporary or permanent art piece must be submitted by March 15. The artist behind the winning idea will receive $5,000 to create the piece, courtesy of a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

The public art installation is the culmination of a two-year process that began when the city's Parks and Recreation Department received funding from the regional arts council to conduct a community art survey, according to Eagan Art House Director Julie Andersen.

More than 500 peope participated in the survey process through discussion groups, survey boards, one-on-one interviews and online surveys. And if Andersen and other city officials learned one thing from their answers, it's that Eagan residents are hungry for art in their everyday life.

"They didn’t want to drive somewhere to see art, they wanted to happen on it [in the community],” Andersen said.

City officials will likely install the finished art in a public park or another city-owned property in Eagan, Andersen said, although a final location has not yet been selected. Once the applications have been collected, a panel of city officials will select several finalists, who will present their ideas to the public at a reception in May, Anderson said.

Andersen hopes the public art project, once it's complete, will improve quality of life in the community and have an economic impact by building Eagan's image as a cultural destination. Projects

"Public art really can draw a community together, especially if a piece of public work is in a walkable area," Andersen said. "We as humans really do crave beauty, we like to be around beautiful things."

Click here for more information about the project, or to learn more about the application process.

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