This past June, the city of Madison welcomed artist team David Dahlquist [BS-Art ’80] and Matt Niebuhr and their newest piece of public artwork, the “Both/And – Tolerance/Innovation” sculpture in the 700/800 block of State Street with a dedication ceremony. The installation is located at the intersection of State Street, East Campus Mall and Library Mall, which is essentially where the city of Madison meets the University of Wisconsin campus.
But the sculpture’s story does not begin in June with the installation and physical representation of the artists’ work, it begins nearly three years ago.
Where the new sculpture now stands is once where another artist had his project footing planted. After years of nothing erected in that space, Madison Arts Program Administrator Karin Wolf and the Madison Arts Commission offered up the space through an application and competitive selection process. The biggest requirement was that the piece and its concept would need to be site specific.
“We did not want the piece to detract from the surrounding area but rather add to the beauty of the site,” Wolf said.
Nearly three years ago Niebuhr and Dahlquist, of RDG Dahlquist Art Studio (located in Des Moines, Iowa), applied for their space. According to Wolf, approximately 70 artists applied to create a piece for the space.