Art Commission Moves Ahead on Projects

At its Jan. 25, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor public art commission recommended approving the artist Ed Carpenter of Portland, Oregon for a $150,000 art project in the lobby of the city’s Justice Center, located at the corner of East Huron and Fifth Avenue. A task force had recommended the selection of Carpenter’s proposal – a sculpture called “Radius” – from three finalists. Members of the task force who recommended Carpenter are Elaine Sims, Margaret Parker, Spring Tremaine, Karl Daubmann, Maureen Devine, Laura Rubin, Ray Detter, Margie Teal, Homayoon Pirooz, and Aaron Seagraves.

Carpenter’s proposal calls for creating a hanging sculpture of dichroic glass, aluminum, stainless steel and lighting, including LED spot and flood lighting. The intent of the artwork is to reflect how the work of the courts and police radiate out into the community. The Justice Center houses the 15th District Court and the Ann Arbor police department. The recommendation will be forwarded to city council for approval.

Also at the Jan. 25 meeting, the art commission voted to recommend the selection of Ann Arbor muralist Mary Thiefels for a mural project to be located on pillars at a building in Allmendinger Park. A task force had recommended her selection from among four finalists. Her proposal entails asking neighborhood residents for artifacts to create mosaics at the top and bottom of the pillars. The task force recommended that they continue to work with Thiefels on designing the remainder of the mural on the middle sections of the pillars.

Commissioners liked the concept of “found object” mosaics, but questioned whether the $10,000 budget was sufficient. They ultimately voted to approve recommending Thiefels for the project, contingent on asking her to submit a revised proposal and budget, with additional input from the task force.

This report was filed from the second floor city council workroom at city hall, at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]