Gordon Heuther, internationally known public artist, has been awarded the Theatre Corridor public art project by the City of Ashland Public Art Commission. Mr. Huether has spent his entire career in the field of public art designing site-specific art installations around the world. His work has been characterized as “colorful, textural, playful…and endlessly engaging”. Much of Mr. Heuther’s work is fabricated at his studio in Napa, California by his team of craftsmen recognized for “their innovative, creative and highly professional artistry”.
“A goal of public art is to enhance an individual’s experience of a space and its surrounding environment. Gordon believes that public art can shape a space in a very positive way, bestowing a new level of engagement to an otherwise everyday experience,” said Sandy Friend, chair of the Public Art Commission. “His references commented that he is good at community engagement, very collaborative, and works well with stakeholders. We are very pleased he has accepted the Theater Corridor commission.”
The walkway between East Main Street and the city parking garage and OSF Theaters, dubbed the Theater Corridor, was identified and recommended by the ad hoc Downtown Beautification Committee as a space that needed improvements. The Council approved the recommendation of the committee and requested the Public Art Commission oversee the project. In June 2016, the PAC published a Call for Artist/RFQ (Request for Qualifications) inviting artist to submit their qualifications for consideration. The RFQ was distributed to arts organizations and artists throughout the western United States. Twenty eight artists/artist teams responded to the RFQ. The PAC held five public meetings evaluating the submissions and narrowed the field to four artists. Phone interviews were conducted with each of the remaining four artists and in the end Gordon Huether was selected.
Huether will visit Ashland sometime in February to meet with the PAC and the community and to view the site. Over the next several months he will develop two concepts for the site and present them to the community in September. A selection panel, independent from the Public Art Commission will choose the concept they feel best meets the project objectives and provide their recommendation to the Public Art Commission and the City Council for final approval.
The Public Art Commission invites community members complete a questionnaire online at www.ashland.or.us/theatercorridor
. The answers will help inform the artist to develop public art concepts for the walkway.
Installation is anticipated in the spring of 2018.