Public Art Commission
April 15, 2016
Commissioners: Garrington, Merchant, Bussell, Newman, Friend, Reinhardt, Block-Brown, Seltzer (staff liaison)
Lemhouse (Council liaison)
Jim Lewis (Parks and Recreation Commission) Sue Springer, Pam Marsh, Stef Seffinger, Katherine and Barry Thalden, Denise Baxter
Minutes of the March 18 meeting were approved
Watershed Art Group (WAG)
Sue Springer, Pam Marsh and Stef Seffinger presented the responses to the RFP for public art on the Bandersnatch Trail. Marsh explained that the WAG was formed about three years ago as a way to use art to educate people who use the watershed trails. The Pacific Fisher, funded by a grant from Haines and Friends Foundation was installed at the base of the Bandersnatch Trail in October. The second piece will be installed further up the trail.
PAC member Dana Bussell worked with the WAG to develop the RFQ for the second piece of public art also funded by the Haines and Friends Foundation. Springer reported they received four proposals, one was not well fleshed out, one was suitable for that location and two have potential to be located alongside other trails but were not appropriate for the current location. The WAG recommends the concept submitted by Karen Rycheck.
PAC discussion: Garrington commented that the location requires something tall and appropriate in scale and that can be viewed from a distance. Others agreed that the Rycheck submission is best for that location and the submission from VanderZwan and Garcia would be very appropriate for a different location. The Roslaya concept was interesting but did not translate well for that location or other locations. The PAC voted to approve and recommend to the City Council approval of the Rycheck submission. This item will be on the May 3 City Council agenda.
Bussell, Reinhardt and Merchant will draft a letter to Roslaya explaining how future submissions could be improved and forward the letter to the WAG. The WAG will notify all the artists of the results of the process.
Proposed Calle Guanajuato Mural
Katherine Thalden addressed the PAC and referred to the completed mural application submitted by the Thaldens to the Public Art Commission for review in December 2015. She noted that the intent was to select an artist from Guanajuato Mexico to execute the mural. She and Barry met with six artists in Guanjuato early this year and in the end selected mural artist Laura Rangel Vellasenor, known professionally as Loreta. When asked by the PAC why this artist was the best choice, Thalden replied that her work is colorful and playful, she has much more experience designing and executing murals than the other artists interviewed. She has been in Ashland and her enthusiasm about the project was keen.
Barry Thalden showed the design of the proposed mural and explained that he has met with the Planning Department to begin the site design and review process as is required for any alteration to a building that is identified as a contributing property to a historic district. He noted that he has met with Parks Department staff, the Artisan Market coordinator, and will present the concept to the Parks Commission at their upcoming meeting. A packet of the artist proposal, qualifications and previous work was distributed to the PAC.
Denise Baxter presented the color palette for the design and explained that she will serve as the technical oversight liaison to the project including wall preparation, oversight of the SOU students who will assists as was done of the Food Bank mural) and the color palette.
Mr. Thalden explained the time constraints of the project. The intent is to complete the mural by the July 4 weekend in order to have a ribbon cutting ceremony while officials from Guanajuato are in Ashland for the weekend. He noted that there are several moving parts to the project but that approval by the PAC was the first step. Once approved he can move forward with the site review with the Planning Department and the Historic Commission and the Parks Department and Commission.
The PAC thanked the Thaldens and Ms. Baxter.
Garrington noted that the proposed design meets the criteria stated in the ordinance and other members of the PAC agreed. It was noted that the design “invites viewers into the streets of Guanajuato”, creates dimension to the Calle and that it represents the colors of Guanajuato. It was noted the artist has a very distinct style with thin elongated buildings and dark skies. There was some discussion about the color of the sky, the presence of clouds and the white window frames. The PAC agreed that it did not want to change the design but will suggest to the artist to seek approval from the property owner to paint the existing window frames the same color as the sky so the windows blend in. In addition, the PAC noted that the sun shade that connects to the mural wall will obscure the mural as will anything hung on the wall during the artisan market. They also noted that the Fire Lane Sign needs to be moved. Eventually a plaque will be installed and the mural will be added to the Public Art electronic tour and inventory.
Garrington motioned to approved the proposed design and send a recommendation to the City Council for final approval of the project. Merchant seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.
Seltzer and Garrington will draft a letter to Parks stating their concerns. This item will be added to the City Council agenda on May 17.
Theater Corridor RFQ
The PAC reviewed and approved the final draft of the Theater Corridor RFQ with minor edits. Seltzer will forward the RFQ to the Historic Commission staff liaison inviting comments and informing this item will be on the June 7 council agenda.
Working Calendar for the theater Corridor Project
The PAC reviewed the working calendar and briefly discussed the display options for September. Reinhardt, Merchant and Bussell will work together on developing options and present them to the full PAC in June.
May 20 regular monthly meeting
Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.