Art Project at Argo Cascades Tabled

At its March 28, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor public art commission tabled action on a public art project at Argo Cascades, the new Huron River bypass near the Argo Pond canoe livery. Neither of the two commissioners who are on a task force for the project – Malverne Winborne and John Kotarski – attended the meeting, and other commissioners felt they needed more information before voting on a budget.

No specific location has been identified for the work. The task force recommended instead to issue a request for proposals (RFP) and get input on the location from the artist who’s eventually selected for this project. About $175,000 is available for the project from money that has accumulated in the city’s Percent for Art fund. That money includes $155,561 from water-related capital projects and $19,655 from capital projects in the parks system. 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.

A mission statement developed by the project’s task force states: ”The Argo Cascades public art project will be informed by the historical connection of the urban city and the natural river at this location. The public art here will be a marker of the community’s interest in ‘facing the river,’ as it celebrates the river’s water quality, environmental assets, and recreational uses.”

Task force members are: AAPAC commissioners John Kotarski and Malverne Winborne; Cheryl Saam, the city’s recreation facilities supervisor for the Argo and Gallup liveries; artist and former AAPAC chair  Margaret Parker; Cathy Fleisher, a local resident; Bonnie Greenspoon of the Ann Arbor Rowing Club; Julie Grand, chair of the city’s park advisory commission; and Colin Smith, parks and recreation manager.

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]