City Council Approval for Bayside Benches Delayed; Public Art Committee Supports Two Other Arts Projects at Monthly Meeting

Granite sculpturer Jesse Salisbury at Commitee Meeting

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,021)

Perhaps still smarting from the controversy over the Tracing the Fore public art this summer and aware of the criticism of the current recommendation of the Committee to purchase two benches from a Washington, D.C. studio at a cost of $42,500, Committee members voted last night to delay forwarding its recommendation to the City Council for its approval until a later date – that could be next winter or spring of 2012. But as had been anticipated, the matter won’t be forwarded to the City Council for its approval this December.

The embattled Committee discussed in detail its need to reach out to already existing community orgaizations with informational meetings. The one such meeting held at Zero Station in Bayside earlier this year did not “cast a wide enough net” to adequately inform the public about the choice made for SkyeDesign benches. Co-chair Alice Spencer told the Committee to have a successful roll-out of the benches, a number of different steps must be taken first. They include meetings with the city council, mayor, city manager to discuss talking points.

The first item on the Committee’s agenda was the introduction of sculpturer Jesse Salisbury by June Lacombe, his agent. It has been proposed that one of his granite pieces be installed at the International Jetport. The work is another gift frp, William Hammill, Yarmouth, who donated the Herd of Deer sculptures recently dedicated at the Jetport and is the work of Wendy Klemperer. The Committee gave Maine native Jesse Salisbury a vote of confidence; however, it will review other possible transportation sites before deciding on the location and giving direction to Salisbury. Salisbury has lived exensively overseas and his work can be seen at the Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, among numerous other places.

On the Hill, the Committee voted “to reconfirm its allocation to the dragon” with a contract to be negotiated between the city and the PTO at the East End Community School – where the dragon resides. Formerly, the dragon was located at Congress Square, but was moved to the EECS with the understanding the School would raise $5,000., a matching amount from the Committee. Distractions at the school have prevented this fundraising from happening, but both Ethan Boxer Macomber and principal Marcia Gendron, who attended the meeting, reafirmed their commitment to completing the project, with the assistance of the artist Carol Hanson.

The next meeting of the Public Arts Committee will be on December 14th; place uncertain at this time.