Advisory Board Makes Art Recommendations
Downtown could be getting a "Public Art Walk" this year and Clayton High School could be getting its own "Artist-in-Residence" if the Clayton Town Council follows through on recommendations this week from the Public Art Advisory Board.
Each recommendation comes with a $15,000 price tag.
The Public Art Walk downtown was one of the top recommendations of Artist-In-Residence Jody Servon, who ended her four-month stint in Clayton earlier this month with a long list of recommendations that would boost the town's reputation as an arts community.
"This would be a year-long exhibit of eight original sculptures that would be displayed in publicly-accessible outdoor space belonging to the Town of Clayton and other participating sponsors," said Advisory Board Chair Suzette Rodriguez. "We think the exhibit will add zest, pop to the downtown. It's an interesting activity that visitors and residents can do any day of the week--a Sunday morning before going to church or a Thursday evening after having dinner downtown."
Getting the necessary art pieces would be a good promotion of the arts here as well, she said. The Advisory Board proposes a juried contest open to all area and state artists offering a $1,500 prize to the winning artists, with a $3,000 top prize.
"Once the exhibit is installed, we'll be able to get a feel for what our residents like: the sorts of materials, an artist's approach, a certain color or characteristic," Rodriguez said. "The feedback will be helpful when it's time to start thinking of artists and possibilities for a permanent piece on a downtown site."
Adding an Artist-in-Residents at the High School to work with teachers and students could help them "create something wonderful," Rodriguez told the Town Council. She said the Advisory Board envisions "a site-specific public art project that could be permanent or temporary."
"As you know, parents are interested in what their teens are doing," she said. "So, we think the residency will build awareness, enthusiasm and support as we move our program forward."
She said the Advisory Board will be seeking grant opportunities in the coming year for public art at both the Clayton Community Center and the new East Clayton Community Park, which is scheduled to open later this year.
"We also like the idea of having a public artist collaborate with a specific neighborhood or community to produce an art piece," she said. "We'll start exploring that idea, look for grant opportunities, and then begin laying the groundwork when the time is right."
Rodriguez said the Advisory Board has two main goals for the upcoming year: raise public awareness of public art and "quickly put works of art in publicly-accessible outdoor spaces."
The recommendations are on the heels of Servon's lengthy report that presented a list of potential ways, forms, sites and situations for public art, including the use of billboards, architecture and a dedicated public art website. Her report was warmly received by the Town Council earlier this month. Councilman Michael Grannis said she has "created a path that we can go down."