Public Opinion Sought in Selection of New Bayside Trail Benches; 9/12

Anne Pringle and Alice Spencer, Co-chairs of the Public Forum - 9/12

By Carol McCracken (Post # 870)

The Portland Public Arts Committee (PPAC) will host a public forum to solicit public comment about the proposed artist-designed seating along the new Bayside Trail. The public forum will be held on September 12, 2011, 5:30, at Zero Station at 222 Anderson Street, Portland. The proposals are available on the City’s web site at: http://www.portlandmaine.gov/planing/baysidetrailartproject.asp.

“We are excited to see this project underway,” noted Alice Spencer, co-chair of the PPAC. “The proposed designs take into consideration surrounding views, future land uses, landscape setting and other factors. We expect a lively discussion and welcome all points of view.”

This process included a request for qualifications (RFQ) resulting in over 100 artist submissions from which three artists were invited to develop a concept and cost estimate with a $1,000 stipend. They are SkyeDesign in Washington DC., Aaron Stephan, Portland and Gary Haven Smith, Northwood, New Hampshire.

Three sites were identified for the Bayside Trail Seating project and the artists were allowed to choose any of these sites, or a combination, and were not limited to a specific budget, although guidance was provided that the PPAC is hoping to construct three seating elements within the available budget. The three artists’ concepts were received on Friday, August 5th. The Portland Public Art Committee reviewed the above design concepts at their meeting on August 17th and will make a recommendation to the Portland City Council after the public forum.

In April 2000 the City Council established the Portland Public Art Program to preserve, restore and enhance the City’s public art education. The group commissions art that engages with the surrounding environment to create, enrich, or reveal a sense of place and to express the spirit, values, visions and poetry of place that collectively define Portland.

For more background information, please see Post # 858, dated August 18th herein.