Design for Allmendinger Park Mural OK’d

The design for a mixed-media mural on pillars at the Allmendinger Park building was approved by members of the Ann Arbor public art commission at their June 27, 2012 meeting. [.pdf of mural design]

AAPAC selected Ann Arbor muralist Mary Thiefels of TreeTown Murals for the project at its Jan. 25, 2012 meeting. The final design has been changed from her original proposal, based on feedback from a mural task force, and is more abstract than the original. An initial $10,000 budget later had been increased to $12,000, with $7,200 of that amount to be paid for with a grant from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation.

Thiefel’s project includes working with local schools and incorporating ideas from students into her design – creating  mosaics on the pillars of the building at Allmendinger Park. This is the first mural in a pilot program that AAPAC hopes will eventually create several murals in city neighborhoods. The commission’s annual art plan for fiscal year 2013 – which begins July 1, 2012 – allocates an additional $40,000 to fund two more murals. No locations or artists have been selected for those projects.

In a separate vote, commissioners approved a statement of qualifications (SOQ) that will be issued by the city. [.pdf of mural SOQ] The objective, as stated in the SOQ, is to “find professional muralists and other artists whose work meets a set of standards and to pre-qualify them for City of Ann Arbor mural projects to be contracted in 2012 to 2014.” General expectations cited in the SOQ include: (1) work experience in mural artwork, or other media of a similar type; (2) proficiency in 2-D or surface mounted media and art fabrication; (3) the ability to work together with oversight bodies, project managers and city staff; and (4) the ability to work on location and complete an artwork installation in a timely manner.

Some commissioners advocated soliciting artists more frequently than a two-year period. Ultimately, commissioners voted to approve the initial SOQ, and directed Aaron Seagraves – the city’s public art administrator – to investigate the possibility of refreshing the pool of artists annually, using the same SOQ.

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