Catherine Widgery of Cambridge, Mass. has been recommended as the artist for a major public art project on the East Stadium bridges in Ann Arbor. She was picked by a selection panel from four finalists who had submitted proposals for the project, which has a $400,000 total budget. [.pdf of Widgery's proposal]
Over the past few weeks, John Kotarski and Bob Miller of the Ann Arbor public art commission have been making presentations to local groups, getting feedback about the four final proposals. The four artists had been brought to town in early April to look at the site and attend an open house for the public at the Ann Arbor Senior Center. The finalists then developed formal proposals for the site. They subsequently returned to town in June to make public presentations of their proposals. Input on the proposals was also collected via an online survey.
According to a press release issued by the city on Aug. 5, the public art commission and selection panel will work with Widgery to refine her concept to a final design. It must then be recommended for approval by the commission and secure final approval from the city council. The art commission’s next meeting is Wednesday, Aug. 28. However, according to Aaron Seagraves, the city’s public art administrator, it’s unlikely they’ll be considering the project for approval until later this year.
Of the $400,000 budget originally approved by the council for this project, a $360,000 limit has been set for the design, fabrication and installation of the artwork. The funds remain from the city’s former Percent for Art program, which the city council eliminated at its June 3, 2013 meeting. The project’s budget had been approved prior to the council’s decision to suspend funding for new projects. That decision occurred on Dec. 3, 2012.