Public art displays update

By Dagney C. Ernest | Apr 15, 2014

Rockland — At the April 14 Rockland City Council meeting, several votes were taken in regards to the issue of public art displays.

An ordinance amendment and an order, both dating back to October, were voted down, while an order to give the acting city manager authority to seek requests for proposals of art displays was passed.

Votes on Order 39, “Adopting Criteria for the Review And Placement of Public Art” and Ordinance Amendment 26, “Curating Public Art by Park Commission,” had been postponed three times since being proposed Oct. 16, 2013. Both would have placed responsibility for approving art works on the Parks Commission, something Commission members made clear during the March 19 special meeting to explore the establishment of a municipal arts and culture commission that they were unwilling to do.

That session revealed there is a lot of work to be done to develop an ongoing public art policy for the city. Order #26 “Authorizing RFPs for Public Art Displays,” introduced by Acting City Manager Thomas J. Luttrell, was aimed at more immediate action. It passed by a vote of 3-1, Councilor Elizabeth Dickerson voting against it and Louise MacLellan-Ruf not present, having had to leave earlier in the meeting to catch a plane.

Luttrell said April 15 he would be putting out a request for proposals of art to be displayed on the concrete pads in Ferry Terminal and Winslow-Holbrook Memorial parks, both to the public via local media and within the city’s art community.

“I feel pretty confident we can get something on the pads for this season,” he said.

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