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November 4, 2009 > Commission recommends benches to council

Commission recommends benches to council

By Dustin Findley

The Senior Center Art Installation Project will place "artistic yet functional" benches that represent seniors and their families in front of the new senior center.

Parameters of the Request for Proposals (RFP) allowed artists to interpret the theme. Three finalists were chosen to propose bench designs and create three dimensional models which were displayed at the current senior center. Staff collected input from 99 senior center members and 18 comments from the general public.

Of the 99 senior center members, 60 chose "Generations" by artist Mary Ann Baker as their favorite design, 28 favored "Precious Life" by artist Eldon P. Slick, and 11 gave their vote to "Seasons" by artist Vera Lowdermilk.

The general public (16) voted for "Generations;" other designs each received one vote.

The majority of senior center members and the general public chose Generations.

"Having worked on public art projects in the past, it's rare both groups agree" said Renee Lorentzen, Senior Center Supervisor. The Senior Advisory Commission voted to recommend "Generations" to City Council for approval. It is anticipated that four benches will be built.

Models will appear before the Public Art Committee on November 2 for their review and recommendation to City Council who will make its choice on November 17.

As with every art project, all artists are added to a City database. Each time the City wishes to commission a piece of public art, cataloged artists will receive notification.

On average a public art piece, such as a bench, can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000. The total budget for the Senior Center Art Installation Project is $100,000. "Generations" and "Seasons" are budgeted at around $80,000 and "Precious Life" at $100,000.

Much of the project budget goes toward materials. Artists' commission usually accounts for around 20% of the budget.

The artist responsible for "Cartwheel Kids," the bronze statue in front of City Hall, was also a contender for the Senior Center Art Installation Project.

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