$400,000 Earmarked for E. Stadium Bridges Art

At its March 28, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor public art commission recommended allocating $400,000 for artwork at the East Stadium bridges – currently being rebuilt by the city of Ann Arbor. AAPAC had voted to form a task force for the project at its September 2011 meeting, citing its importance as a gateway to the city. The budget would require approval by the city council.

Because the location could be a landmark marking an entrance into the city, the task force had advocated using a relatively large amount from the city’s Percent for Art funds, to be taken from the balance of $529,251 that’s accumulated for public art from streets-related capital projects. The city’s public art ordinance requires that 1% of all capital project budgets (up to a limit of $250,000 per project) be set aside for public art.

Task force members are: AAPAC commissioners Wiltrud Simbuerger and Bob Miller; Nancy Leff of the Lower Burns Park Neighborhood Association; Jim Kosteva, University of Michigan director of dommunity relations; David Huntoon, a principle of Intalytics; and Joss Kiely, a UM graduate student and community member.

A request for proposals (RFP) from artists is under review by the city’s legal staff and is expected to be issued in the coming weeks. Goals for the artwork include: (1) unifying an area that has highly diverse uses, including single-family homes, apartment buildings, student housing, university sports facilities (such as Michigan Stadium), and local retail; (2) creating awareness for art with multiple audiences – drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians, neighbors, residents, out-of-town-visitors; and (3) possibly creating multiple pieces that are tied together by a unifying theme.

Possible locations for the artwork include the Rose White Park fence; the end of White Street; the north side of East Stadium Boulevard; the underpass and staircases at South State Street; and the East Stadium bridge abutments, sidewalk and railings.

This brief was filed from the basement conference room at city hall, 301 E. Huron St., where AAPAC held its meeting. A more detailed report will follow: [link]