Portland Public Art Committee Votes to Continue to Work With Three Artists for Bayside Trail Seats; Choices to be Presented to Public Soon for Comments

Anne Pringle and Alice Spencer to Set up Public Meeting on Bayside Trail Seating project

By Carol McCracken (Post # 858)

Yesterday afternoon the Portland Public Art Committee voted to continue working with the three artists it has selected to create benches for the Bayside Trail Seating project. It also decided that the next step in the process was to seek public comment on the three selections before making its recommendation to the city council for its approval.

The three finalists were given weeks this spring to design proposals for the benches and PPAC board members were shown the slides of the entries at its meeting yesterday; some such as the SkyeDesign Studio, Washington, D.C. were in final form while the other two benches are in varying stages of development.

The two other artists in the project are Gary Haven Smith, N.H., and Aaron Stephan, a local artist. Each of the three artists has chosen different sites and in some cases different numbers of benches. Three sites were chosen for the Seating project and the artists were allowed to choose any of these sites or a combination of sites. They were not limited to any specific budget. The three sites chosen are:

1. the plaza near Elm Street near Trader Joe’s,
2. the paved circle near Franklin Street to the rear of the Planet Dog building,
3. the Trail Junction at the confluence of the Bayside Trail, Eastern Prom Trail, and Loring Trail, at the entrance drive to the Sewage Treatment Plant, end of Marginal Way, under Tukey’s Bridge.

Funding for installation of all three artists’ work has not been completely secured at this time.

This is the second effort of the PPAC to contract with an artist/artists to provide seating for the Trail. The first effort ended last December with the Committee unable to pick from among the 17 applications. The process was re-started.

Alice Spencer and Anne Pringle agreed to create a forum in which to receive public comment on the three artists’ work prior to the next PPAC meeting in September.