Public Art

12 Nov Public Art

Though they were not necessarily “legal,” I loved the homemade benches that were installed at the corner of Port Republic and West Streets.  Because the artist did not get permission and they encroached on the state right-of-way, they were removed.

I also liked the sewer covers painted as sunflowers.  The state did not remove them and I hope they brought a little joy and happiness to those who saw them.

Public Art is a good thing and, when managed properly, can add the character of a small city or a large one for that matter.  A previous city administration passed a public art ordinance and appointed a committee to promote public art. Because the program was not managed as it should have the Committee got ahead of the city and selected a sculpture that was not acceptable to the sitting city council.  Unfortunately, the committee became frustrated and essentially died.

Is it time to resurrect the Public Art Commission to work with The Arts Council of Beaufort County and USCB Center for the Arts who are contemplating National Endowment for the Arts grants for public art called “place making”?  I think so, but to engage in this initiative we will need volunteers to work on the commission. There will have to be consensus building and at this point in time, I do not think that there should be an expectation that the city would invest financially. There are too many capital projects in the queue that are at this time a higher priority.

I would love your thoughts.  BK

extracted from GoUpstate

Spartanburg City Council

Five ‘New Light’ neighborhoods to be announced Monday

Council will consider demolition request, police records system upgrade

Published: Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 2:41 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 8, 2015 at 2:41 p.m.

The five neighborhoods selected for the “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” public art project will be announced during Spartanburg City Council’s meeting Monday evening.

Spartanburg and three other cities were selected out of 230 applicants nationwide to receive up to $1 million as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge, a program supporting temporary public art projects. “Seeing Spartanburg in a New Light” will bring special lighting installations to city-owned public spaces in five neighborhoods.

Jennifer Evins, CEO and director of development at Chapman Cultural Center, told the council in late October that 10 of the city’s neighborhood associations submitted letters of interest for the project — Converse Heights, Hampton Heights, Maxwell Hills, Forest Park, Andrews Farm, South Converse, Beaumont Village, Highland, Downtown and Northside.

“These residents are so proud of their neighborhoods, and they’re excited about being a part of the light project,” Evins told the council.

In mid-October, a selection committee formed by artist Erwin Redl, project curator Mark Sloan, Spartanburg Art Museum’s Executive Director Ann Elizabeth Goddard and city police officers Chris Banks, Kimberly Ritter, Regina Nowak and Daniel Gordon toured the 10 neighborhoods. Residents shared their respective neighborhood’s history and reasons for wanting to participate in the art project.

“We looked at all of the sites that the residents had proposed. We went to 50 different sites, and we have some amazing opportunities in our community,” Evins said.