4 artists in the running for $360K public art project at Ann Arbor's new Stadium bridges
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Members of the public are invited to meet the four finalists during an open house Monday at the Ann Arbor Senior Center, 1320 Baldwin Ave.
The event runs from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
The Stadium bridges art project is one of three projects — including artworks associated with the Argo Cascades and a new rain garden at First and Kingsley — that were not affected by the City Council's partial suspension of the city's Percent For Art Program in December.
The chosen artist's maximum contract budget will be $360,000. So far, the artists have submitted examples of past work and resumes.
Design proposals will be forthcoming from the four finalists, which were chosen from a larger pool of applicants, following their visit to the site. Design submissions are due May 9.
The city has identified a few potential locations for the artwork, including a fence between Stadium Boulevard and Rose White Park, the space where White Street ends just north of Stadium Boulevard, the underpass and staircases at State Street, and on both sides of the bridge itself.
"Abutments, sidewalks, and railings can be engaged while the bridge design and traffic safety is not to be comprised," the city's request for proposals stated of the possibility of art on the bridge itself. "Art would be visible mainly for car and foot traffic along Stadium Boulevard."
Seagraves said the "meet the artists" open house will give the public an opportunity to give some feedback about the proposed site for public art. All feedback collected will be available to the artists before they begin working on an initial design for the artwork.
The artist finalists are:
- Volkan Alkanoglu was nominated in 2006 for the Young Architect of the Year award in the U.K. He was born in Turkey, raised in Germany, and studied architecture in Berlin. He now is a faculty member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles and also is appointed as the TVSDesign Distinguished Critic at Georgia Tech. His Atlanta-based firm's artworks have been built and exhibited in public places worldwide, including New York's Union Square Park, the Los Angeles WUHO Gallery and the London Royal Academy of Arts.
From the artist's statement: "In cooperation with the Public Art Council and city of Ann Arbor, our design strategy for a unique and site-specific artwork at the Stadium Bridge will be an outstanding example of 21st century public art that functions for its occupants, inspires its visitors, and resonates with a global audience. With our commitment to innovation and sustainability, the art project will feature an unparalleled design vision constructed with the most leading-edge technologies and fabrication methods."
- Sheila Klein, an artist from the state of Washington, designed the award-winning "Underground Girl" subway in Hollywood. She also has completed projects under the I-5 freeway in Seattle, on a pedestrian bridge in Pittsburgh, and a freeway underpass between L.A. and Santa Monica.
From the artist's statement: "I grew up in Pittsburgh, Penn., a city of extraordinary bridges. I appreciate the beauty and strength of the lacy structure of bridges, the repetition and rhythm, the sculptural procession, the necklace of lights and refections in the water. Lighting has been an element in my work from the beginning; I have combined light with sculpture in my work since 1990."
- Matt Passmore's San Francisco-based art and design studio, Rebar Group Inc., is known for inventing PARK(ing) Day, an annual global event that temporarily transforms metered parking spaces into mini parks. Rebar's eclectic portfolio explores the social and political dynamics of public space, including works that use transportation infrastructure as both a site and a medium.
From the artist's statement: "Rebar generates artwork, ideas and design solutions that engage public space, ecology, and the social fabric of the commons. Our clients include public agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and community organizations. Our mission is to inspire people to re-imagine the environment and our place in it."
- Catherine Widgery, a Massachusetts-based artist, has created several works with public infrastructure, including bridges, and has been recognized multiple times for creating an outstanding public artwork by the Americans for the Arts. She has created public artworks everywhere from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, Toronto, Denver and New Delhi, India.
From the artist's statement: "This project interests me because of the variety of sites to be treated and the challenge of finding ways for art to animate and integrate these different locations. I enjoy using existing structures and surfaces and weaving the art concept into these so that the viewer discovers something new each time they move through the space."
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.