Public Art Commission
April 27, 2011
Commissioners: Davis, Bussell, Edson, Friend, Garrington, Pugh, Seltzer (staff)
Presentation of group findings
Site Visit: Garrington showed a number of photos taken from various location around the Gateway Island and on the island to illustrate the numerous site lines towards the space. She commented there was a lot of pedestrian traffic passing through the space. Trees partially obscure the site lines from the library but it is visible from the bus stop and the library steps.
General discussion on whether the piece should be tall and therefore visible from a distance on Siskiyou Boulevard or if it should be scaled for pedestrians.
Vales about Art: Davis presented a photo show of public art in other communities and recent acquisitions of public art. She also provided a list of values to be considered including artist qualifications, artist vision, community response, and PAC Vision.
General discussion of the importance of being able to “defend” the selection based on context and merit.
Council/Community Values: Friend presented a list of Council Values as they relate to government, citizens and sense of place.
The group agreed the presentations were very beneficial. There was general discussion on the material presented. Bussell commented the major works of Public Art are in major metropolitan cities and that Ashland is a small community and the PAC should consider that as they move forward. Others commented that Ashland may be small geographically and in population but that it has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and people visit from all over the country, AHS has a extensive Chinese exchange program, SOU also has ties to Korea and Mexico. Ashland is not a “typical” small town and that it is important the quality of the piece reflect the quality of the community. “We need to keep the bar high.”
Comments were made that it should not be purely representational. No statues of historic figures, it should put Ashland in the context of the world today. Art of this time in history.
It was suggested that since the Gateway is the anchor to the downtown it is also the anchor to Siskiyou Boulevard. Should the art “extend” down Siskiyou towards SOU? Maybe, ne large piece on the island and two smaller, similar pieces along Siskiyou? How important is it the piece is visible from the Boulevard?
It was decided that each commissioner would review the presentations and come up with a list of individual preferences for discussion at the May meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30