2009 Annual Report

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STAFF REPORT
Town Council, August 27, 2009

Public Art Advisory Board Annual Report (PR10-04)
Summary of recent activity and actions made by the Public Art Advisory Board
Speaker:  Ms. Carol Aupperle, Public Art Advisory Board Chairperson

From:  Mary G. Henderson, Director, PRCR
Prepared by:  Denise Dickens, Public Art Coordinator
Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager
Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager

Executive Summary:  The Public Art Advisory Board provides representation for Cary citizens, advice and recommendations to Town Council and staff on matters relating to the administration, acquisition and inclusion of public artworks in Cary. The Board conducts monthly meetings and may serve on specific project subcommittees.

Background:  The Public Art Advisory Board (PAAB) consists of nine members appointed by Town Council with representation from local visual arts organizations, working artists, architects, private development community and the general public. Council Liaison is Gale Adcock.  The Cary Teen Council actively participates on the Board with representation from two liaisons who volunteer many hours of service and provide youth perspective.

The Board conducted 19 regular meetings and participated in two Council Work Session meetings.  Board members served on and attended artist selection panel meetings and collected citizen input on public art projects’ at festivals and events during 2008 through July 2009.  The Board has reviewed 25 public art projects and donations of artworks.  PAAB members served 378 volunteer hours.

The Board adopted the following goals for 2008:

  • Evaluate potential projects that could address neighborhood identity and transit projects as described in the Public Art Master Plan.
  • Increase public awareness for Cary’s Public Art collection by seeking opportunities for community outreach and education about public art, development of handouts/brochures, and plan dedications of public art projects during the year.
  • Increase the pool of potential public/private partners and continue partnerships with CVA.
  •  Assist staff in finalizing a pool of qualified artists for the Artists Registry.
  •  Enhance the development of the PAAB’s effectiveness through increased knowledge about the Town’s collection.

Report:

GOAL A:  Evaluate potential projects that could address neighborhood identity and transit projects as described in the Public Art Master Plan.

  • US 1/64 Pedestrian Greenway Bridge public art project – This multi-year project was installed in October 2008.  With participation from the artist Michael Stutz, a dedication was held on November 1, 2008.
  • Cary Community Arts Center public art project – Throughout the year, the Board reviewed work by the Design Team (artists Jim Hirschfield, Sonya Ishii, Norie Sato and architects Clearscape) through Conceptual, Schematic, and Design Development Phases.
  • Bartley Park public art project - The Board reviewed artwork designs from artists Vollis Simpson and William Moore for site specific artworks for Phase I of Bartley Park.  Simpson is creating 3 of his signature whirligigs ranging from 12-20 feet high and Moore is creating a flock of sheep based on the Suffolk breed that was once raised on the Bartley working farm.
  • Walnut Street Park public art project - Artist Barbara Grygutis developed a design for an integrated artwork (brick promenade) for Walnut Street Park.  CVA agreed to contribute $20,000 toward this project.  Ground-breaking took place on August 7, 2008 and the park was completed and dedicated on August 8, 2009.
  • Downtown Cary Streetscape design team inclusion of Public Artist – The Design Team (artist Elizabeth Conner and ARCADIS) has continued with presentations this year to the Board seeking their comments and recommendations on Streetscape plans at 30%, 60%, 90-100% complete design phases.
  • Prioritized FY ’09 CIB/CIP projects for public art, established project goals and identified Board leadership and representation on Artist Selection Panels for the following projects:  Bus Shelters, Symphony LakeBridge, Amberly Trail Head, TCAP-Walker Street Extension design and Hemlock Bluffs entry gate.
  • Prioritized Town CIB & CIP capital projects for public art opportunities for FY10 and beyond in preparation of 2010 Public Art Work Plan and budget process.
  • Provided comments and recommendations on private development projects incorporating public art: Alston - Alexan at Panther Creek and Parkside Town Commons developments; Hospice of Wake County, Searstone Retail, and permanent placement of artwork on Ashworth Drugstore building.
  • Provided Board representation on the Downtown Wayfinding Committee administered by the Planning Department.
  • Provided comments and recommendations on the seal/logo (artwork) developed for the Alston Area Plan.
  • Reviewed artwork offers from visiting artists:  Lilly Karmatz (Japan), Susan Buret (Australia) and those new works were accepted into the Town’s Collection.  The Board also reviewed local artist Julie Niskanen’s artwork donation and it was accepted into the Town’s Collection.

GOAL B:  Increase public awareness for Cary’s Public Art collection by seeking opportunities for community outreach and education about public art, development of handouts/brochures, and plan dedications of public art projects during the year.

  • Board and Teen Council liaisons collected citizen comments on current downtown projects, as well as future capital projects, during the Lazy Daze and Spring Daze festivals and Cary at Sunset Event.
  • Provided outreach to community groups and citizens on the Town’s public art projects at Heart of Cary Association meetings, Cary Rotary Club, Teen Council Board & membership meetings, and Cary Visual Art Board meetings.
  • Board participated in 2 dedications - US 1/64 pedestrian bridge “Bowstring Vines” by Michael Stutz andWalnut Street Park brick promenade “Imaginary Garden” by Barbara Grygutis.
  • “What is Public Art?” handout produced for events, festivals, public meetings relating to public art.
  • Board participated in public meetings where public art was the topic and contributed to general public meetings where public art could contribute to the project.

GOAL C:  Increase the pool of potential public/private partners and continue partnerships with CVA.

  • The Board reviewed 6 artworks offered for donation by CVA to the Town’s Art Collection.  The sculpture “Ecclesiastes (War Wagon)” by artist Phil Alan Simpson was reviewed by the Board and offered by CVA in partnership with The Friends of Page-Walker.
  • Partnered with CVA Temporary Sculpture Exhibition at Town Hall – The Board reviewed and staff worked closely with CVA to present Temporary Sculpture Exhibition that was on the grounds at Town Hall Campus through June 2009.  The Board also reviewed CVA’s recommended artworks for the temporary exhibit that will be installed in August 2009.  The Public Art Advisory Board provided Board representation on CVA’s planning committees for both exhibitions.
  • Worked with private developers to develop public art for their projects.

GOAL D:  Assist staff in finalizing a pool of qualified artists for the Artists Registry.

  • The Board reviewed 120 applicants for the Artist Registry and Image Data Bank and established a pool of 74 qualified artists.  The Artist Registry is a resource for the Town and private developers to identify qualified artists for potential public art projects.

GOAL E:  Enhance the development of the PAAB’s effectiveness through increased knowledge about the Town’s collection.

  • Advisory Board members provided leadership by chairing and serving on Artist Selection Panels.
  • Board Member’s completed annual goal setting for the Public Art Advisory Board and reviewed monthly activities in relationship to stated Board goals.

Fiscal Impact:  No fiscal impact.

Staff Recommendation:  Staff recommends that Council accept the report of the Public Art Advisory Board.