Mayor Coleman Announces Public Art program

Mayor Micheal B. Coleman - ColumbusRealizing the need for a formal public art program in the city of Columbus, Mayor Michael B. Coleman signed an Executive Order (February 4th, 2014) to establish the Columbus Public Art Program, with a minimum annual budget of $250,000. City Council members as well as members of the Columbus Art Commission were on hand for the signing.

“Public art is an essential component of a community’s cultural identity and vibrancy,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “By signing this executive order I am ensuring that public art remains a priority for future design in the City of Columbus, and that our residents and visitors have unique monuments to enjoy for your years to come.”

The program will be administered by the Department of Development. Development will work with the Department of Public Utilities, Public Service, Recreation and Parks, the Department of Finance and Management, and the Columbus Art Commission to identify art opportunities and manage the city’s public art collection.

“Public art enhances the quality of life in a community,” said Councilmember Michelle M. Mills, chair of the Development Committee. “It can inspire and challenge us as a City to achieve greater heights and adds value to our public spaces.”

Public art could be singular installations like the Flowing Kiss public art installation last year at North Bank Park or incorporated into major city building, park and infrastructure projects. The city will work with the Columbus Art Commission to develop an annual Columbus Public Art Report that will outline the progress of existing public art projects and establish working budgets and schedules for newly identified projects. The Art Commission will also work with the city to develop a city-wide public art master plan that will be funded and initiated in 2015.

“With this Executive Order, Columbus joins over 400 cities nationwide that enliven their communities with public art through a funded program approach,” said Diane Nance, Chair of the Columbus Art Commission. “The Commission is thrilled that Columbus will have a structure for integrating art into public space design and looks forward to working with the Mayor, Council and staff on establishing a municipal public art program.”

The announcement of the new program has already garnered excitement and support in the Columbus arts community.

“The Mayor’s Executive Order is an important step in making public art a permanent and visible part of the fabric of the Columbus community,” said Tom Katzenmeyer, President of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. “The Arts Council looks forward to working with the City and the Columbus Art Commission to ensure broad artist engagement in the program and to foster opportunities for the larger community to engage in the dialogue about public art.”

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