PA arts commission sets aside funds for 'master art plan'


The Palo Alto Public Arts Commission recently voted to earmark $25,000 for the hiring of a consultant to put together a "master art plan" for the city.

Whomever is hired by the commission will be charged with taking an inventory and conducting an overall assessment of the city's public art and putting together a future vision of the direction the collection should go, according to Kathleen Kavanaugh, chair of the Public Arts Commission.

The commission voted unanimously at its March 20 meeting to commit $25,000 of the remaining $29,000 in this fiscal year's budget. The new fiscal year will begin in July.

Kavanaugh said that committing the funds is an important first step for the commission. Creating a master art plan is a "big undertaking," she said, adding that the project is the commission's "first priority."

The commitment to a public-art master plan comes four months after the Palo Alto City Council voted to require all new commercial projects costing more than $200,000 and taking up more than 10,000 square feet to contribute 1 percent of construction costs to the Palo Alto public-art purse.

As the city continues to grow in response to the burgeoning tech sector, the arts commission is sure to see its annual budget grow, Kavanaugh said. As such, she continued, it makes sense to hire a contractor to put together a plan for how to best use that budget.

Kavanaugh said the commission will look for a seasoned arts professional with experience on large art projects to create a five- to 10-year plan. The master art plan will identify which works of art need maintenance and help ensure the collection remains balanced and equally distributed.

"It becomes a guide for the art commission," Kavanaugh said of the plan.

The commission will likely vote to earmark more funds for the hiring of a consultant in the coming fiscal year, Kavanaugh said. She estimates the art master plan project could cost as much as $50,000 to $100,000.


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Posted by Ben
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Mar 31, 2014 at 9:48 pm

Much of the public art in Palo Alto is simply awful, period. The digital egg cost the city $8000 I think, and remember the 'color of Palo Alto' project? amazingly the color turned out to be a green-brown mix, or something completely predictable. The artist came back for more pay some years later, did the city pay up for some touch-up paint perhaps? The point is, the public art commission has money that clearly should be spent on other projects, especially now that the city has given them a pot at the end of the rainbow to be filled over and over with developer taxes. Why does the art commission needs to hire a consultant to tell them what and where their art 'installations' are?? Really unbelievable.

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Posted by Mr.Fischer
a resident of another community
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:33 pm

What sticks out in Our Greatest Bay Area city,"San Francisco",...Is thier huemungous!! Statues,...that are historical and lifelike,...People come from all over the world to see them,...Palo Alto have beautiful parks the can house such items,..I am with "ben on this one that "Egg needs to be cracked and hauled away,...nothing magnetic about that piece of art,If you drive up coastal,...*Hwy 101 ,..those bear sculptures,carved from chainsaws got us beat by a thousands points,Speaking of Bears ,..Shasta City,..has Bear Sculptures all over thier downtown, Its simply beautiful.

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Posted by Carl
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 1, 2014 at 1:08 am


The City needs to hire a consultant so people like you cannot blame them for picking art that is considered objectionable. It gives them the perception that they are being objective, even though anyone can pick art just fine.

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Posted by pa
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:29 am

consultants or contractors. Pick your choice.

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Posted by Berry
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 1, 2014 at 10:34 am

Bring back the Greg Brown Murals!

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Posted by Robert
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Apr 1, 2014 at 8:00 pm

The Egg, the Color of Palo Alto, and other notable heaps of **** are the highly visible legacy of the PA "Arts" Commission. The egg was rightly described as a pile of E-waste, among other things, some time ago Web Link now it's just older E-waste.

I would like to hear from the Arts Commission why they need to spend $25,000 to inventory existing public art in Palo Alto? That's the first step, right? If you are the art commission, and you really don't know what/where the public art is in Palo Alto, something is really wrong.

I'll count all the toilets in city hall, twice even, for $10,000 and tweet about it. Where do I sign up to become a Palo Alto approved 'Consultant'?

Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Too bad this wasn't a April Fools Joke.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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