The Art in Public Places Committee meets monthly, more or less. The committee decides what Public Arts will be funded by the public fund. These are the meetings of the committee from January of 2012. During the meeting, several new members are joining the board, and a ponderous project combining parking signs and public art.
The Art in Public Places Committee administers a fund set aside for creating and providing Public Art.
The funds come from a percentage set aside from each public building constructed in Jacksonville.
Millions of dollars have been collected and disbursed by the committee, of varying effectiveness and importance.
There have been a few real successes under the cap of the group, which had previously been an independent commission. This year it begins the transition into a committee under the auspices of the Cultural Council, and along with it, is subject to a different ethos and set of procedures, as well as becoming less of an autonomous body.
But hitherto, the Arts In Public Places fund has been very successful and at time very very lucky in its choices.
For example, one of the worlds most exciting sculptors is a Spanish artist by the name of Jaume Plensa. Most Americans would recognize Plensa's work in Chicago's Millennium Park. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_Fountain
His first installment in the US however, was here in Jacksonville. His glowing figures of kneeling men surrounding the Veteran's Memorial Colliseum entitled 'Talking Continents' is one of the more important public art works in the southeast. It was chosen and commissioned by our Arts in Public Places Committee.
Wesley Grissom is the refreshingly young strawberry blonde assistant director of J. Johnson, where she works for a living legend, Bruce Dempsey, under the auspices of Jennifer Johnson. (The eponymous owner of the gallery and a recognized power in the gallery business.) Of all the people present, Wesley probably has the most access to what is currently happening in the Art World. The importance of her connection to Bruce Dempsey simply cannot be overstated.
John Bunker was one of the longtime stewards of the Jacksonville Art Museum, during its sunshine years as well as the darkness that characterized it before its rebirth in downtown.
Holly Keris is the owlish, stylish young woman who has led the restoration of the Olmsted Gardens at the Cummer.
Sandra Hull Richardson is the amazingly connected woman whose nephew, Shelton Hull is familiar to many Folio readers.
Ben Thompson is the elliptical curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville.
Bob White, naturally, is the executive director of the Cultural Council itself.
The minutes are shockingly incomplete. There is no record or example of the posters mentioned in the Kiosks. Also no copy of the referenced "Five Year Plan".
It is the highly jaundiced opinion of the writer that a public art project for the purposes of creating parking signage is a bit embarrassing. But we shall see in the coming months how this project progressed.
However this is the first time that the committee is referenced to the term "Spark", which will assume a greater importance later, as we shall see.
The following are the attachments mentioned in the meeting. They are basically one pagers of the two grants that are available to the community.
To read other meeting minutes from 2012, click the links here:
Article by Stephen Dare