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. Following is a history of that project that began in September, 2014.
This page will be updated as new information is available.
November 7, 2018 - Public Dedication
The Ashland Public Arts Commission invites the community to a Celebration on Wednesday, November 7 at 4 p.m. to welcome Velocity, by Artist Gordon Huether, into the city’s public art collection. The gathering will take place at the top of the walkway [Theater Corridor] between East Main Street and the city parking garage and the Thomas Theater.
Velocity is a 126-foot long and 10-foot high single sculpture of a bouncing ball ending in a 4-foot diameter acrylic ball containing a programmable color shifting LED light. The location for this public art piece was originally identified by the ad hoc Downtown Beautiful Committee with the intent to visually and spatially enhance the experience of pedestrians on the corridor and adjacent sidewalk, activating the use of the walkway both during the day and at night.
Gordon Huether, internationally known public artist, was awarded the Theatre Corridor public art project in August 2017. 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. Huether’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. Huether believes that public art can shape a space in a very positive way, bestowing a new level of engagement to an otherwise everyday experience, and that “truly successful and exceptional public art should make the viewer’s experience of the installation an adventure, a visually and emotionally engaging experience…”. Mr. Huether will talk about his piece at the Celebration.
July 31 and August 1, 2018
The Public Art Commission is looking forward to hosting two public presentations by Theater Corridor public art project artist, Gordon Huether. The first presentation will be an open community meeting scheduled for July 31 at 6:00 in the Council Chambers. Gordon will talk about the two concepts that he has developed to meet the Project Intent as outlined in the project RFQ. The second presentation by Gordon will be to the City Council at your Business Meeting on August 1.
Questions to solicit public input to inform the artist about the project were included in the January City Source, Open City Hall, at the Library and in the letter to the editor noted above. 102 responses were received and provided to the artist.
Posters inviting the community to “Meet the Artist” at a presentation by Gordon Huether held on February 24 were displayed throughout the city including at the Library, at both ends of the Theater Corridor, at City Hall, at The Grove and at the Nature Center.
A special Public Art Commission meeting was scheduled and publicly noticed for April 19 at which the artist presented his two draft concepts to the Commission, a requirement in the RFQ as noted above.
During June and continuing into July, the PAC has been publicizing the community presentation scheduled for July 31 via the media, the City website, the City Source, in emails to City Commissions, display posters and more.
Next steps: The artist will visit Ashland in February to meet with the Public Art Commission, view the space and participate in a meeting with citizens. The PAC invites community members to complete a short questionnaire to help inform the artist about downtown Ashland and the walkway. Click here to complete the questionnaire.
In September, 2017, the artist will present two concepts to the community and to the selection panel. The selection panel is independent from the Public Art Commission. Their recommendation will be provided to the City Council as well as the second concept. The City Council will make the final decision on which concept the artist will fabricate and install.
October – November 2016
The Public Art Commission received 28 responses to the Call for Artist/Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and devoted five public meetings and countless hours evaluating each submissions and narrowing the list to four artists with strong public art experience.
The four remaining artists were interviewed via phone during two public meetings and PAC members contacted the references provided by the artists. Based on the artists’ experience, aesthetics, phone interview and references, Gordon Huether was selected to design the project.
The Public Art Commission published the Call for Artist/RFQ inviting artists to submit their qualifications for consideration for the Theater Corridor Public Art Project. The RFQ was posted on the City of Ashland website and sent to art organizations and artists throughout the western United States. Click here to read the Call for Artist/RFQ.
The budget for this project is $110,000 using funds generated by the transient occupancy tax (hotel/motel tax).
The City Council approved the recommendations of ad hoc Downtown Beautification Committee. The walkway leading from East Main Street to the city parking garage and OSF theaters was one of a number of beautification recommendations. The intent of the project is to enhance the barren pedestrian corridor and transform it into a lighted artful walking experience.