A dedication for a temporary memorial marker to honor Native ancestors buried on what is now UW-Stevens Point was held in December 2020, with representatives of several area Native American tribes in attendance. Photo courtesy UWSP.

STEVENS POINT – The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point seeks proposals from artists for a project that will use original outdoor public art or an artistic memorial marker to recognize and honor Native American tribes.

The permanent marker will honor the members of the Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Potawatomi and Ojibwe tribes buried on campus grounds before UW-Stevens Point was established. It also seeks to educate the university community about the tragedy that led to the burial of these Native ancestors and engage the Native community through solicitation of art.

Submissions by Native artists will be given preference, as supported by the Federal Indian Art and Craft Act. The call for artists is open to people who demonstrate a deep understanding of Native American history, voice and experience in Wisconsin. Submissions by collaborating artists or groups are eligible. The initial deadline for submissions is Feb. 14.

A selection committee of up to four Natives representing the Ho-Chunk, Menominee and Potawatomi tribes will forward their choice to UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Thomas Gibson. The selected artist will receive a $5,000 honorarium for artwork designs, and fabrication and installation of the work can total up to $25,000. A grant from the UW System will pay for the project. Installation is expected to begin in June.

Accepted artwork may include a large-scale mural, sculpture, memorial monument or multiple media piece that could include wood, stone, metal and paint for outdoor display.

A temporary marker now recognizes Native ancestors who died during a scarlet fever epidemic in the 1860s and were buried in what is now a site south of the Dreyfus University Center.

For submission details, go to www.uwsp.edu/chancellor/Documents/CallforArt.pdf.