The Destination Downtown Coalition, in partnership with the city of Brainerd and The Crossing Arts Alliance, are bringing Babe the Blue Ox to downtown Brainerd.

Nor-Son Construction donated a Babe the Blue Ox statue that was at the Baxter office since 2008. After a successful fundraiser of donations from the area community to secure that statue and address some much needed repairs, the organization is ready for the next step to find artists to design and paint the ox sculpture.

The Destination Downtown Coalition wants this to be a community project that adds to downtown Brainerd's uniqueness. The Crossing Arts Alliance will put together a panel to determine location/placement, find local artists, and jury the submissions to determine who will create downtown Brainerd's latest attraction.

This is open to all artists living in Minnesota. Artists may submit up to three designs for consideration. Submitted designs should be family-friendly and aesthetically appropriate for display in public places. Some examples of the family-friendly criterion include absence of violence, nudity, bias and hate.

The artist chosen for this project will receive a $700 honorarium to help defray material costs and other expenses. Priming and sealing of the sculpture will be provided by the coordinators of this call for art. The artist will furnish all of the paint materials and be responsible for painting the artwork.

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Work will be juried by a committee consisting of the executive/artistic director of The Crossing Arts Alliance, members of the Destination Downtown Business Coalition, employees of the city of Brainerd and community members.

The deadline for submissions is April 15. The selected artist will have the month of May to work on and complete the design on the ox, and the finished piece will be installed in downtown Brainerd in early June.

Visit the Crossing Arts Alliance website for the full submission information and rules, as well as an easy online submission form.

For more information, contact Crossing Arts at 218-833-0416 or Crossing Arts is a 501c3 nonprofit located in downtown Brainerd.