Professional Development Workshop
Artists Creating Place - Public Art Commissions
On Saturday March 1, the public art programs of the State of Utah, Salt Lake County, and Salt Lake City hosted a full day workshop at the Finch Lane Galleries for artists interested in learning about and applying for public art projects. Forty-five Utah artists attended the workshop and heard presentations from Chicago artist Lynn Basa, and Utah artists, Day Christensen and Paul Heath. The three experienced, successful artists discussed making the leap from studio work into public art practice, writing a winning letter of interest, the challenges and skills involved in public art, and the benefits of collaboration and working on a team to bring your artistic vision to reality. Each also talked about and presented images of and information about some of their past public art projects. After a networking lunch, Jim Glenn from the State, Valerie Price from the County, and Roni Thomas from the City public art programs spoke about their individual programs, including their review and selection processes. They, along with the artists, answered questions from an engaged audience about topics such as correctly reading, understanding, and preparing an application, the importance of doing project research, preparing budgets, and submitting high quality images. This workshop was part of the Professional Development Workshop Series for Artists presented by the Salt Lake City Arts Council and Artists of Utah.
Pre-Qualified Public Artist Pool (POOL)
Forty-three artists/teams submitted applications for consideration for the Request for Qualifications for the Pre-Qualified Public Artist Pool. The purpose of POOL is to commission more Utah artists for local projects and to integrate more artwork and artistic elements into citywide infrastructure while successfully meeting shortened project schedules. Citywide projects are developed throughout the year and sometimes unfortunately, do not work on a timeline that allows for a standard Call for Artists process. Consequently, public artwork or artistic elements may be excluded from the project all together. POOL allows the public art program an opportunity to select pre-qualified Utah artists from its pool through a fair, expedited process. This will enable more local artists to participate in a public art project and build a stronger portfolio to, hopefully, compete more successfully for other projects advertised statewide and nationally.
For the 2014/2016 POOL, the Salt Lake Art Design Board selected twenty-three Utah artists whose mediums range from metal work, painting, mosaic, glass, to stone work and water projects. Their artwork represents an impressive mix of the abstract and realistic. The selected artists will remain in the POOL for a period of two years. All Utah artists will be eligible to apply or reapply for the subsequent POOL RFQ in 2016. The public art program will continue to issue individual Calls for Artists for other site-specific public art opportunities in Salt Lake City for which all Utah artists may apply and are eligible.
Flying Objects 4.0
The Salt Lake Art Design Board recently commissioned twelve new sculptures by Utah artists for Flying Objects 4.0, the fourth series of the temporary public art project in downtown Salt Lake City.
For this selection process, artists were asked to build scale models of the sculptures they proposed. Twenty models and written proposals were submitted to and reviewed by the Design Board for consideration. The Design Board recommended and the Mayor approved, the following artists for participation in Flying Objects 4.0:
Ethan Barley, Emergence
Michael Bingham, The Curious Voyager
Steve Dayton, Another peace of the pie please
Jerry Fuhriman & Arthur Taylor, The Messenger
Nathan Johansen, Box Elder Seed
Soonju Kwon, Anti-Gravity
Nathan Lane, Flight Suit
William Littig, Time Flies
Ivana Oblonsky Thomas, City Birds
Brook Robertson, Zion/Alien Rocky Mountain Alliance 4.4
Darl Thomas, Sky Sled
Nick Vienneau, Dreams Taking Flight
The materials and visuals are quite diverse in this series and range from a variety of patinaed and painted metals, wood and fiberglass depicting abstract imagery as well as that of nature, planes, a business man, and voyagers from space. All of the artists live and work in Utah and six are first-time participants in the City’s public art program. Each selected artist/team will be paid a $5,000 honorarium and their work will be returned to them at the end of the 2-year project period. The new sculptures will be installed downtown this August.
The project is funded by the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City and managed by the Salt Lake City Arts Council.
Sugar House Monument Plaza
The completion of the new S-Line Streetcar and redevelopment of the Sugar House Business District brings new opportunities for the inclusion of public art. To that end, the Salt Lake Art Design Board commissioned Dan Gerhart to create another series of Bonneville Cutthroat Trout into the new, redesigned Sugar House Monument Plaza. The new plaza will include an interactive water feature, native/urban landscaping, a bioswale, historic features, seating, and civic space for events and festivals.
In 2005, the Salt Lake City Arts Council, with funding from the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake City (RDA), commissioned Gerhart to create an artwork of a “school” of Bonneville Cutthroat Trout to be installed at 2100 South 1050 East. In 2009, again with RDA funding, Gerhart was commissioned to create another similar sculpture which was installed on the median at 2100 South 1300 East, linking the two artworks together. Gerhart’s integration of the third sculpture series of trout into the Sugar House Monument Plaza, which is the middle of the other two series’, completes the vision and the project.
Marmalade Brance Library
Thirteen artists/teams responded to the Request for Proposals for the new Marmalade Branch Library which is currently under construction on 300 West 500 North in Salt Lake City. From the applications, the Salt Lake Art Design Board recommended, and the Mayor approved, Day Christensen for the commission. Christensen proposed, Apricot, a monumental bronze sculpture standing slightly on edge with a stem and leaf extending skyward. The piece will be 16 feet tall and have a finish of rich patina colors of orange, reds, greens, and browns. The emphasis will be on creating an interesting, organic sculptural form to complement the architecture and surrounding public spaces. The sculpture will not only reflect the unique name of the neighborhood, but will make a strong visual statement for library visitors and passers-by. The scale and playful nature of the piece will appeal to the neighborhood youth, and will be inviting and engaging for visitors of all ages. The library project will be complete in spring 2015.
For more information about Salt Lake City’s Public Art Program call 801-596-5000 or visit the website www.slcdocs.com/arts/SLC_publicart. To receive future public art opportunities please send your email address to email@example.com.