GDMPAF Announces Finalists for 6th Avenue Bridge Project

April 16, 2012  |   Feature,   Initiatives,   News
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The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation has announced three finalists for the 6th Avenue Bridge public art project. City officials were part of the local, nine member jury who reviewed and evaluated applications from 123 local, national and international artists. The finalists were selected based on portfolio submissions, previous experience and written statements. The winning artist will be announced the week of May 14, 2012.

The three finalists for the 6th Avenue Bridge public art project received a $2,000 honorarium from the Public Art Foundation to present their concepts of integrating artwork into this bridge facility. The three finalists are:

Alice Aycock – Aycock of New York, NY has contributed public art projects all across the U.S. She has completed major public art works for the San Francisco Public Library, Sacramento Convention Center and JFK International Airport. Additionally, her sculptures are in many museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum and numerous other cultural institutions throughout Europe.

Ed Carpenter – Carpenter of Portland, OR specializes in large-scale public installations ranging from architectural sculptures to infrastructure designs. Since 1973, he has completed scores of projects for public, corporate and ecclesiastical clients.

Rosario Marquardt & Roberto Behar – This design team, based in Miami Beach, FL, creates works incorporating paintings, public art, architecture and urbanism. Samples of public works in Miami include the giant red M at the Riverwalk Metromover stop, murals on the facades of the Buick Building and The Living Room at the corner of North Miami Avenue and 40th Street.

The selection committee was delighted with the number of exceptional artists submitting proposals for this important project, said Paul Mankins, Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation Board President. Selecting three finalists from all the submissions was difficult due to the high quality. We’re eager to interview the finalists, discuss their work, and assess the design approach of these fine artists for this site.

The jury reviewed applications based on the following criteria.
Artistic merit as evidenced by images of past projects.
Professional qualifications.
Demonstrated ability to successfully completed public art projects of similar scale, scope, and budget.

The Public Art Foundation has allocated $250,000 for the 6th Avenue Bridge public art project. The City of Des Moines will provide funds to restore and rehabilitate the structure which is located in north Des Moines between two historic neighborhoods and is the northern gateway to the City’s central business district.

Our partnership with the 6th Avenue Corridor, Inc. and the City champions the community’s desire for this bridge to become an icon and aesthetically indicate the positive developments along 6th Avenue, said Jessica Rowe, director of the Public Art Foundation. I am most excited that this public art project nurtures the city’s wider strategies for economic, social, and cultural development.

The Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation, established in 2004, recognizes that art belongs not just in galleries and museums, but in streetscapes, parks, buildings and infrastructures of a thriving community. Dedicated to envisioning, developing, advancing and promoting public art projects, the Public Art Foundation collaborates with local entities and artists to engage inspire and enrich the lives of residents and visitors to the community. The goal is to increase awareness of our community as a world-class destination for public art. For more information about the Public Art Foundation, visit

The 6th Avenue Corridor, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to coordinate the commercial revitalization of 6th Avenue through the historic River Bend and Cheatom Park neighborhoods. Running from Interstate 235 north to the Des Moines River, the 6th Avenue Corridor is the Northern Gateway to Downtown Des Moines. The corridor was designated one of the first Urban Neighborhood Main Street Districts by the Iowa Department of Economic Development in May 2009.