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Public Arts Commission (View All)

Notes meeting with Springer and CoveyPardee

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meeting with CoveyParee and Sue Springer
September 26, 2012
Discussion of Public Art Piece for the City of Ashland Downtown Plaza with the Landscape Architects
Seltzer provided an overview for Covey/Pardee (CP) and discussion points for the art proposed for the plaza seating walls.  Seltzer described the PAC’ s previous meeting discussion about wanting a contemporary art piece for the plaza that speaks to today.  Sue Springer, ceramic artist, presented her proposal and cost estimate for the ceramic facing on seat wall faces.  This includes shaped ceramics in blue/green/tan with broken brighter colored linear mosaic.  Springer expressed her desire to work with Covee/Pardee and the PAC to coordinate her design with the paving plan and timeline.
CP described and presented samples of possible pavers for the plaza space. They indicated there will be some grade changes needed to be accounted for in the ceramic design, and have a concern towards maintenance and breakage prevention of the art piece.  Springer said ceramics will be custom made to exactly meet the needs and tolerances of the base walls, and when installed properly are very durable.  She asked about the type of corners there will be (1/4 thin set/or bull nose).  This has not been definitively decided, however, CP said the walls are a concrete masonry block w/precast concrete caps with a surface treatment.  Springer requested a flat cement seat wall surface for ease and durability of her installation.  She also needs a minimum of a ¾” reveal for seat cap to accommodate the ceramic tile.  Seltzer requested if it was possible to offset some of the original cost of seat wall surfacing and use this offset towards the installation of the art piece.  CP agreed to carefully watch the cost distribution in this matter. 
Springer asked if the pavers on the indicated performance space is planned to repeat patterns on seat wall.  CP said a design could be made but this would increase labor costs all around.  CP said the permeable pavers under consideration now are bolder and more simplified than shown in some of the conceptual plans.  Seltzer said the form and function of the plaza is many things.  It is used primarily as a wide sidewalk, with imaginary rooms for different activities.  She suggested the plaza would function better without predefined pathways in the paver colors or design, and the pavers be compatible in color range and design so as not to compete with the art.  CP agreed that a fluidity should be maintained in the plan, and described options for patterns in the ground pavers.  A discussion of plaza pavers among the attendees ended in agreement the ground pavers design should be simple and compliment the art rather than compete with it:  The dark gray paver being the most neutral.  CP agreed to connect the color, detailing and other specifics of the planned ceramics with the dark gray permeable ground paving in a running bond pattern being the preferred option to set off the colors of the seat wall art. 
Also discussed, but not now in the art piece plan, is a similar face treatment on the raised area on the south tip of the plaza beyond the drinking fountains.  CP asked the PAC to continue thinking about this and paving for the ad hoc performance space and its relationship to the art.   CP wants to work closely with Springer as construction documents are developed.  Of importance for both, are detailing the transitions between front and back of seat walls, grade change specifics, and corner treatments.
Construction documents for the plaza redevelopment are to be finalized by December 7, 2012.  This requires the documents be finished by November 16, 2012, with 50% completion by October 26, 2012. 
PAC commissioners Davis, Garrington and Bussell sat in on this meeting.

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