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Public Arts Commission (View All)

Notes Public Art Meeting September 7, 2012

Friday, September 07, 2012

Public Art Commission
September 7, 2012
Commissioners:  Garrington, Pugh, Davis, Seltzer (staff liaison)
Friend, Bussell
There was not a quorum at this meeting due to two commissioners being absent.  The three remaining commissioners asked to continue with the meeting because they had invited members of the Historic Commission to attend.  They also understand that they could not take any formal action since they did not have a quorum.
Call to Order
The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m.
Historic Commission member and staff liaison
Historic Commissioner Victoria Law and staff liaison Amy Gunter were in attendance and invited to speak to the group.  Ms. Law explained that the Historic Commission is interested in incorporating historic Plaza photos on the Plaza and possibly etching the photos into the hardscape.
The PAC members expressed appreciation for the historic photos and commented that they are familiar with the photos and have seen them many times over the past years.  The commission discussed their interest in seeking contemporary art for the public art element in the Plaza for a few reasons: one, three of the four vertical elements are on the national historic register and two: they want something that reflects today rather than the past.  
The three commissioners said they were not interested in using the photographs as the public art element and did not want to take on the task of finding a use for the photographs on the Plaza but they did offer other suggestions for the use of the photographs.  They suggested creating a temporary display with the photos and associated text to be installed on the Plaza during National Historic Month in May.  Gunter commented that she has access to funds for the use of educational materials for historic preservation and it would be appropriate to use those funds for this type of display.  They also suggested the Historic Commission look into the possibility of mounting the photographs on the exterior walls of the information booth.  It was also suggested the Historic Commission contact the group of businesses that has formed called “Uptown”.  They are looking for ways to draw people to that end of the downtown (away from the Plaza) and there may be a location where the photographs can be displayed permanently and the “uptown group” might be able to use the historic photo display as a draw.  One commissioner suggested a permanent display on the exterior walkway at the library.  The walkway gets a lot of foot traffic and is in the “uptown” area.
Discussion of possible locations for public art on the Plaza
Garrington identified possible locations for public art: the pavers, the face of the seat walls or the base of the flagpole.  She explained that there were four historical existing vertical elements on the Plaza: the Lithia Fountain, Iron Mike, the information booth and the flagpole.  Therefore she feels that the public art element should not be vertical and should not interfere with sightlines on the Plaza.
Law commented that the flagpole was on the National Registry and therefore could not be used for public art.
Law and Gunter left the meeting at 9:00.
The commission discussed wanting art that is visible but does not dominate the area, something contemporary but not extreme.  They discussed the importance of using natural materials, lighting elements, decorative bike racks and a ceramic frieze on the face of the seat walls.
The three commissioners discussed Garrington’s ideas.  They felt that incorporating public art into the pavers could be slippery and could make the surface look busy and cluttered.  As the discussion continued the idea of placing a design on the face of the seat walls seemed to make the most sense.
Seltzer reminded the group that the PAC needed to move quickly with the item as the landscape architect was working on the construction documents and whatever specifications were required for public art needed to be incorporated.
Davis offered to contact Sue Springer to see if she would consider doing a ceramic frieze on the seat walls with the caveat that the full PAC commission would not be meeting, and therefore could not approve seeking a direct commission with her until the September 21 meeting.  Seltzer noted that if the PAC decided to go with a direct commission with Springer, the PAC should seek approval from Council since this process deviates from the usual process of issuing a Call for Artists as had been done in the past.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30 a.m.

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