By Leslie Pugmire Hole
REDMOND — Redmond’s Commission for Art in Public Places met Tuesday to develop strategies aimed at getting the most out of its rotating art gallery, a program begun nearly four years ago.
Art Around the Clock (the gallery was created the year Redmond installed a clock tower art piece in Centennial Park) solicits loans from artists, displaying the pieces for two years. The last time the city put out requests for proposals from artists, in 2012, the response was underwhelming. At first, no proposals were received, and then some of those submitted disappointed the committee when they arrived for installation.
“Can we have the right of refusal once we see the piece?” Commissioner Gillian Burton asked Redmond Community Development Director Heather Richards. Richards said if the commission signs a contract with an artist and costs are incurred transporting the artwork to Redmond, the city cannot refuse to include the piece in the gallery.
The city pays artists a stipend of $750 to cover installation and transport costs.
The commission continued extensive discussion, trying to develop ways to get an increased level of responses from artists and a consistent quality of art that reflects what the commission expects from proposals received.
Richards suggested modifying the artists’ contracts to make it more clear that finished pieces are expected to be as described in the proposals or the contract is void.
Redmond has eight pieces in its permanent collection, including a bronze horse head on Sixth Street, “Sirocco,” which was purchased by the city during the gallery’s last go-around. The rest were donated or purchased through other public and private means.
The commission’s consensus was to revamp the program’s request for proposals to make expectations clear and give artists more time to develop proposals and finish pieces if accepted. The next round of gallery selections will be chosen from proposals next spring and installed next summer.
In other public art-related matters, Redmond Airport employee Donelle Snider reported to the commission on the changes in airport art shows, which are managed by a subcommittee of the commission.
At the request of Airport Director Jeff Tripp, the number of annual shows will increase from four to six, and show themes have been planned through 2015 so artists can plan ahead.
“Lots of our travelers fly frequently so we’re looking for more variety,” Snider said. The airport is also upgrading its system of hanging art to simplify frequent art changes, she added.
In addition, instead of using the same jurors for every show, they will rotate, Snider said and shows will be a mix of mediums instead of restricted to a single medium, such as photography or three-dimensional pieces. Tripp and staff are also discussing the idea of adding artists’ receptions for shows and validating parking for the art shows, she said.
“We want as many people as possible in the airport and at the shows,” Snider said. The newest airport show, “Through the Garden Gate,” will begin Aug. 29 and run through early October.
— Reporter: 541-548-2186,