The Palo Alto Public Art Program is putting out calls for selection-panel participants as well as calls for art submissions for its upcoming projects, which include the California Avenue parking garage and public-safety building.
The program oversees the city's art commissions, which are categorized as municipal projects, temporary art or public art in private development. The program presents project ideas to its advisory board — the Public Art Commission — and gathers a selection panel to vet artists. Last month, the program won three awards handed out at the Americans for the Arts' public art pre-conference, which recognizes outstanding projects across the country.
According to Public Art Program Director Elise DeMarzo, current and upcoming municipal projects include commissions for the California Avenue parking garage, downtown parking garage, public-safety building, Charleston and Arastradero corridor, U.S. Highway 101 pedestrian bridge at Adobe Creek, Fire Station No. 3, Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo and the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course reconfiguration.
The program is accepting applications to serve on the selection panels for the California Avenue parking garage and public-safety building. Anyone interested in being considered should email DeMarzo at Elise.DeMarzo@cityofpaloalto.org with a brief biography, including any background in art, architecture or design, as well as a statement explaining why they are interested in participating.
Typically, selection panels are made up of seven stakeholders, with a mix of art professionals, community members and staff.
Once prospective panelists are interviewed and selected, the panels will meet and look at the work of around 20 artists before they narrow the pool to three to five artists who will be interviewed in person. From there, the panel will select one artist to recommend to the Public Art Commission.
Artist calls for the two projects will go out after the panel is compiled.
Program staff will present the downtown garage public-art project to the commission in August, to be followed by the same process of gathering a selection panel and artist calls.
Artists Mary Lucking and Susan Zoccola were commissioned for the freeway pedestrian bridge and Charleston and Arastradero corridor, respectively. Both are currently working on concepts that will be presented to the commission for approval once finalized.
Designs for Fire Station No. 3 were approved in June; artist Pete Beeman is moving ahead with constructing a sculpture.
Additionally, the program is working on a call for an artist to create designs that can be translated into thermoplastic, a type of durable pavement marking, for the bike boulevards at the intersection of Lewis Road and Fielding Drive.
DeMarzo also said program staff are vetting artists for the temporary public art displays in front of City Hall.
In other business, the Public Art Program will hold a retreat on Sept. 15 to set priorities for the coming year.