Public Art Commission
Friday, May 15, 2015
Public Art Commission
May 15, 2015
Commissioners: Garrington, Bussell, Friend, Clark, Newman, Merchant, Lemhouse (council liaison), Seltzer (staff),
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.
Approval of DiSalvo concept for North Mountain Park Utility Boxes
Garrington commented the design and concept is colorful and will attract people to the location.
M/S Garrington/Friend approve the design and recommend that it move forward for final Council approval. Motion passes.
Review of Gateway Design Concepts
Garrington explained the Gateway project is the most visible and important public art project to date and that it is important to “get it right”. The purpose of today’s review is to determine which of the concepts to move forward for presentation to the public in September.
The group discussed the criteria list and decided to go around the room and have each PAC member comment on each submission.
Merchant: this project is too small for the Gateway and is representative of Oregon but not Ashland.
Bussell: this concept is too literal and is all about Oregon
Friend: it is not monumental in scale
Clark: agrees with previous comments
Newman: not appropriate scale
Garrington: not indicative of Ashland and is culturally and politically insensitive
Lemhouse: agrees with PAC assessment
Motion by Garrington and seconded by Friend. Move not to move the concept forward to the September public presentations. Motion passes unanimously.
Merchant: nice scale, sophisticated, open to interpretation, like the hand crank and that it is interactive
Bussell: the column is all a pedestrian will see, not much of a visual at pedestrian level, concerned about engineering design
Friend: initially excited about this artist based on his RFQ but disappointed with his submission. The column is massive, out of scale for the site. Artists’ explanation of the relationship to Ashland is a stretch. The wings are beautiful but the column is too large.
Clark: likes the interactive component, glad that it is tall to discourage climbers
Newman: could be more arm movement
Lemhouse: concerned with moving parts and future repairs. The piece doesn’t “wow”
Garrington: there is a disconnect between the upper and lower portions, the lower portion is clumsy and not visually interesting
Motion by Newman seconded by Clark. “Move forward to September presentations” Motion passes 4 to 2.
Roger White Stoller
Merchant: gives a feeling of ancient and mystical but doesn’t identify with contemporary Ashland, not excited about the “feeling”
Bussell: very shiny metal, he has done this design before and it is not unique to Ashland
Friend: beautiful and interesting at eye level, very generic and doesn’t speak to Ashland not sure about the scale of the piece for the Gateway
Clark: scale it not appropriate
Newman: too small, maybe he could mount in on a base to raise it
Garrington: interesting at different levels, helix form is iconic but it doesn’t’ have the iconic need for Ashland, texture and layering is interesting
Lemhouse: wish it was bigger, like the interesting design but Gateway is not the best place for it, too small
Motion by Bussell seconded by Newman. “Move forward to September presentations:. Motion passes 5 to 1.
Susan Zoccola #1 (Zoccola provided two concepts)
Merchant: from the photoshop picture it appears to be too large for the space, looked alien to the location
Bussell: seems too large for the space, maybe the scale is off in the photos
Friend: scale is good, love that it is see through and not solid
Clark : no reason not to move it forward, well executed, likes the color scheme, worried about people climbing
Newman: maybe the scale relates to the budget? Will vote to move it forward
Lemhouse: this makes me say “wow”. It is appropriate for that space and some people will like it and others may not but it does say “wow” and it is unique
Garrington: very innovative, will create conversation with the community, great surprise factor, has a magnitude of volume, very original, huge iconic factor, engaging from various perspectives, pedestrian, library, distance, etc. Love the color, it will make me stop and wonder, we should ask her to give a better sense of the proportions to the space
Motion by Garrington and seconded by Friend. “Move to September presentation”. Motion passes 5 to 1.
Susan Zoccola #2
Merchant: interesting design but don’t like the pavement below
Bussell: pattern of cut metal is similar to the Calle sculpture, would not move this forward
Friend: feels very Asian, not the best for the gateway but would look cool on the theater walkway
Clark: like the idea of tweaking it to the theater walkway
Newman: wouldn’t vote to move it forward but does like the idea of seeing in on the walkway
Garrington: it is monumental and feels as though the pieces are floating in air but would have to pave the space to see the light pattern at night, think it would be great on the walkway
Lemhouse: would look so cool on the Plaza or walkway, an incredible piece to light the walkway
Motion by Friend and seconded by Bussell “Move not to move it forward to September”. Motion passes 6 to 0.
The group agrees that the “wow” factor and iconic are key factors but how does one measure those things? Garrington doesn’t feel that Beeman’s has the wow factor but that Zoccola’s does. Bussell commented the Zocolla’s is attractive and pretty to look at and a form that she has seen before . Garrington will write letters to each artist advising them of the decisions and incorporate PAC comments. Bussell wants to be sure that Buck is paid the $2500 honorarium even though his piece is not moving forward.
Garrington reported the Council voted to restore Pioneer Mike and to re-cast it in bronze. The cost is $57,000. Lemhouse encouraged the PAC and the Historic Commission to find an “indoor home” for both the existing Pioneer Mike and Lincoln both of which are currently in storage.
Council Liaison Report
Lemhouse reported the Budget committee (six councilors, Mayor and six member of the general public) have heard all the department presentation. At the upcoming meeting they will hear and discuss the “add-ons” requests from departments for additional funding including positions and programs.
Lemhouse provided an overview of an “add on” he has requested of the budget committee which includes $50,000 to provide for scholarship money to Ashland High School graduates to attend SOU.
Meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m.