When Fargo City Hall was constructed, the organization’s commitment to public art was evident and intentional through the incorporation of permanent and temporary art exhibitions throughout the interior and exterior of the structure. Every three years, The City of Fargo will feature new art on the prominent illuminated panels on both the exterior and the interior of the Commission Chambers within City Hall.
Art proposals were solicited from artists, culture bearers and other creatives through a Request for Proposals (RFP) released by The City in May. The RFP was widely disseminated to artists in the region and resulted in 29 eligible proposals, reflecting not only a range of styles but also from emerging artists to very established talents. A five-person panel composed of artists and arts advocates reviewed the proposals. The panelists were as follows:
o Brad Bachmeier, artist, arts educator and representative of the Arts & Culture Commission
o Richard Kendra O’Brien, arts advocate
o Richard Moorhead, architect
o Arlette Preston, City Commissioner
o Franklin Ugochukwu, artist
The panel ranked the proposals on artistic quality, design, adherence to the theme, the story and originality. The panelists winnowed the list down to two proposals, which were presented to the ACC for final section.
The City awarded a contract for the exterior art to Brett Lysne for his work representing the theme of Fargo: Past, Present and Future. The City awarded a contract to Troy Becker for his work representing the themes of Recreation, Arts & Entertainment, Agriculture and the City of Parks for incorporation into the interior of the City Commission Chambers.
Both artists earned praise for their bold, colorful and graphic approaches and for the fully conceived and cohesive designs for all three facades. It was felt that both sets of designs would read well from afar and also close-up given the simple lines/design proposed.
The exterior and interior panels were installed within the last week by Office Sign Company and Custom Graphics.
Both Lysne and Becker are mid-career artists and share a similar background as illustrators and graphic designers. Lysne creates custom work through his illustration and graphic design studio, Sandwich Club Design. Becker has been an illustrator, cartoonist and graphic artist for Forum Communications for nearly 15 years.
The Fargo Arts and Culture Commission (ACC) was established in 2015 and is committed to highlight and expand culture and arts in collaboration with citizens, artists, culture-bearers, organizers, business partners and City leaders. The ACC has embraced the goal of positioning Fargo to become an art and culture hub through the execution of the ACC Public Art Master Plan to transform neighborhoods, parks and business areas into meaningful spaces for citizens.