Dexter revises plan for public art in the village
Dexter’s arts, Culture and Heritage Committee has revised its plans for public art in the village and would like to begin its with temporary pieces rather than permanent ones. That's a change in focus since introducing its first plan to the Dexter Village Council.
After introducing a draft document in June, the Dexter Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee come back to the Village Council on Monday night with a revised proposal with options for how public art could be funded, as well as a maintenance plan.
Proposed were concrete pads for five pieces of art and a selection committee that would solicit artists to submit an application with information on their public art pieces. The artists would then loan the pieces for a temporary display, according to a memo to the Village Council from Courtney Nicholls, assistant village manager.
Monday night, Councilman Paul Cousins, who is a member of the committee, gave a brief overview of the plan that included the village’s DPW department pouring the concrete for the pads.
“I like the new format of the plan,” said Councilman Jim Carson, who added that five initial locations seemed “reasonable.”
He suggested that the committee then gauge citizen’s reactions to the art.
Jon Rush offered the village another perspective on the concrete pad idea. He said the pads should be mobile because all sculptures don’t sit on a pad.
“If you install permanent pads, you’re locked into it.”
Rush offered an example asking, “If you wanted paintings, would you hang the empty frames?”
“Creating attractive public art spaces provides a value added experience for residents, merchants, customers and other visitors to a community,” according to the public art plan. “One way to enhance the look of public spaces is through the display of public art.”
Formed in June 2008 with five members, because of the interest in the community, the committee comprises 10 members.
“Our mission includes increasing awareness of Dexter’s heritage and history; serving the local community by providing networking resources and opportunities; acting as a liaison to existing artistic and cultural organizations; and fostering a wide range of cultural activities that enrich our community,” according to its mission statement.
Among the public art pieces in the village are a statue of a Civil War soldier and a Civil War monument in Monument Park, a mural on the backside of Hackney Hardware, a mural on the Dexter Bakery wall and a sculpture in the Broad Street alley.
The committee hopes to create a temporary art installation in 2012 in five locations “to introduce the idea of public art.”
Potential locations include:
- The Mill Creek Park area
- Jeffords and Main Street
- Peace Park
- downtown along Main Street
- the library/farmers’ market area
The projects could include sculpture, mosaics, decorative paths, historical signage functional art and or furniture art.
The group’s mission includes “increasing awareness of Dexter’s heritage and history, serving the local community by providing networking resources and opportunities; acting as a liaison to existing artistic and cultural organizations; and fostering a wide range of cultural activities that enrich our community.”
The next step is giving the draft plan to the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Planning Commission for input and a discussion of possible locations for the art pieces.
Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more Dexter stories, visit our Dexter page.