Gateway Island Public Art Project

View of Gateway Island from roof of Fire Station
June 21, 2016
The City Council approved "Threshold" for installation on the Gateway Island.  

June 6, 2016
On June 21, 2016, the City Council will make a final selection between two concepts for public art for the Gateway Island by artist Susan Zoccola.
At their January 5, 2016 meeting, the Council voted to request Ms. Zoccola provide a second concept in addition to her first concept titled “Gather”.  You can read the minutes of that meeting here. The reviewed the Public Art process at their meeting on November 30, 2015. This meeting clarified questions about the use of a local artist, where the funds for the project come from, how the funds are used etc.  You can read those minutes here and listen to the meeting here.

Ms. Zoccola will present her two concepts to the public on Tuesday, June 21 at 11:30 pm at the Ashland Art Center located at 375 East Main Street in Ashland and again to the City Council that same evening.

A display of both concepts will be at the Ashland Library beginning June 9.
Click on the links to view both concepts. 



January 28, 2016
To read the latest update click here.

January 21, 2016
On January 5, 2016, the City Council voted to request a second concept from the artist Susan Zoccola.  The council agreed that the RFQ process succeeded in finding an artist and that Ms. Zoccola is the most qualified public artist for this project with impeccable credentials.  The council has requested a second concept from the artist for the Gateway Island and will make a final selection on either Gather or the second concept.  To read the staff report click here and to read the minutes from the January 5, 2016 City Council meeting click here.

History of the Gateway Island Public Art
The Gateway Island public art project was conceived ten years ago.  In 2004, the City Council designated the center of the island located between the Library and Fire Station No. 1, also known as the Gateway Island, as a placeholder for public art.

In 2007, at the request of the City Council the Public Art Commission initiated a public process to solicit community input for the purpose of developing a Public Art Master Plan.  Participants identified “gateway” art projects as one of the goals.  The Plan was adopted by the City Council can be viewed here.

In 2007 the City Council passed a resolution allocating 3% of transient occupancy tax designated for tourism for public art.  Click here to read the current resolution. The Public Art Commission has been saving those funds, approximately $15,000 per year, to fund a significant piece of public art for the Gateway Island.  The goal was to accumulate $100,000 for the project.  The amount covers the artist fees (usually about 15% of the total cost), fabrication of the art work, the mounting pedestal, delivery and installation.  The commission calculated that by 2016 there would be sufficient funds to commission and installs the art.

Click here to read the Public Art Ordinance that codifies the process the Public Art Commission must follow to solicit and acquire public art.

In 2011, the Commission began discussing and developing a description of the project, the intent of the project and a project timeline in order to develop a request for qualifications (RFQ) of professional artists with experience working the public process.

In 2013, the RFQ was fine tuned and finally published in January of 2014.  Click here to read the RFQ.  It included four different phases of the process and several steps of the selection process.  More than 60 responses were received and the Commission selected four artists to move forward in the process.

In August of 2014, the selected artists came to Ashland to view the site and get a feel for the community.

In August and September of 2014, the Commission asked questions of the community about Ashland and the Gateway site.  Public outreach included an article in the August City Source, as a topic on Open City Hall, a Commission booth on the Plaza for first Fridays, and a display at the Library.  The input received from the community was sent to the artists to inform them about Ashland and the Gateway Island as they moved forward in their design concepts.  To read the public input click here.

In March of 2015, the four finalists submitted their concepts.  Three of the four artists were invited to continue in the process.
On September 10, 2015, the three artists presented their concepts to the community at two separate meetings at the Ashland Public Library.  Approximately 60 people combined attended one of the two presentations.  Notifications about the presentations included three articles in the Ashland Daily Tidings, notification on the City’s website, an email invitation to the City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission and the various City Commissions, a public announcement by the Mayor at the beginning of a City Council meeting and the calendar of events published in the Tidings.

On September 11, the selection panel met.  Members of the panel included two local artists, a member of the Historic Commission and art historian, an SOU art professor and former director of the Schneider Museum, a former Ashland art gallery owner, the head librarian of the Ashland Public Library and the Engineering Services Manager for the City of Ashland.  The panel selected ‘Gather’ by Susan Zoccola as the piece they recommend be sited at the Gateway Island. To view Zoccola's concept click here.  To view her presentation to the community click here.

Next Steps
The Public Art Commission will meet with the City Council in a study session in November.  Once the date of that study session is determined, it will be posted on the City’s website. 
Final approval of the recommendation of the Selection Panel is at the discretion of the City Council.

If approved by the Council, the artist will begin fabricating her work and install ‘Gather’ in the fall of 2016.

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