Percent for Art program seeking local artists for Short Street garage project

Wednesday, January 4, 2012 | 4:00 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Short Street parking garage will be the third garage since 1999 to feature public art, and the city is asking artists to apply for a chance to work on the project.

This project, part of the Percent for Art program, will have a $47,000 budget funded by city's Parking Utility and is limited to Missouri artists.

How to submit

Artists can submit their applications in several ways. These applications should include a basic statement of interest and examples of their previous work. More information can be found online at

By mail: City of Columbia, Office of Cultural Affairs, P.O. Box 6015, Columbia, MO 65205

By express mail: City of Columbia, Office of Cultural Affairs, 1 S. Seventh St., Columbia, MO 65201

By hand: City of Columbia, Office of Cultural Affairs, 1 S. Seventh St., Columbia, MO 65201

Deadline: All mailed applications must be postmarked by Feb. 17. Hand-delivered submissions are due by 5 p.m. on that date.

For more information, call the Office of Cultural Affairs at 874-6386 or send an email to

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The Percent for Art program started in 1997. It allots 1 percent of any above-ground capital improvement projects with a budget of $1 million or more to site-specific public art.

The two earlier parking garage projects include:

Unlike previous Percent for Art projects, the Short Street project will select three finalists and offer each of them $2,000 to develop preliminary design proposals.

The garage project will use precast facade panels and will be coordinated with the design of a neighboring DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, which will be built at the same time.

Chris Stevens, manager of the Office of Cultural Affairs, said finalists will be invited to generate ideas specifically for the garage, which will speed up the project.

"We need it to go a little bit faster than normal since the garage will be constructed soon,"Stevens said. This is also one of the reasons that the project is only open to Missouri artists, he said.

When "Sky Algorithm" was approved by the City Council, some members expressed concerns about the design, according to a previous Missourian article, and Mayor Bob McDavid said, in a July Columbia Daily Tribune article, that the project "embarrassed" him for several reasons.

Other Percent for Art projects have also had mixed reactions, including the "Key to the City" sculpture in front of the Daniel Boone City Building, according to a previous Missourian article.

The city's Standing Committee on Public Art is responsible for the selection process, which includes reviewing applications and choosing finalists. The committee is made up of artists, community representatives and project staff. Evaluations will be based on applicants' artistic and technical merit and strength of earlier work.

The committee members will recommend who they think is the most qualified finalist to the city's Commission on Cultural Affairs, then the Columbia City Council will finalize the decision.

Applicants are required to include a basic statement of interest and examples of past work but not a design proposal at this time. Application guidelines can be found on the city of Columbia's website.

The new garage will be constructed on the corner of Short and Walnut streets. The adjacent Hilton hotel will be built on the current site of The Regency Hotel, which closed at the beginning of December.

Short Street has been closed for the demolition of the Regency and development of the garage and the hotel. It will remain closed until summer 2013, when construction of both projects are expected to be completed.

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