Public Arts Committee, Town Agendas & Minutes, 2022|

Town of Chestertown
Public Arts Committee (PAC) Minutes
August 8, 2023, 4 p.m., Town Hall


Ben Tilghman (Chair)
Dave Hegland (Vice Chair)
Marianne Sade (Secretary)
Kate Dowd
Elizabeth Healy
Yuh Okano
Bob Ortiz
Hester Sachse (ex-officio member, Kent Cultural Alliance, Chestertown A&E District)

Guest: Larry DiRe (Chestertown Town Manager)

1. Minutes from the July 11, 2023 meeting were approved.

2. Funds Report: Ben shared that according to Amanda Miller, the Town’s Accounting/Treasury Specialist, to date $76,982 has been received in grant and private donations. After spending for the installations the remaining balance is $35,277.55. There is enough to cover the next round of installations but fundraising for 2024 will be necessary. There are two available challenge funds: one matching grant is from the SFW Foundation for $50,000: since $24,000 has already been raised there is $26,000 remaining as a possibility.

3. Committee Membership updates

a. Since Yuh Okano was recently unanimously approved by the Town Council she was welcomed by the PAC committee as a new member.
b. Marianne was unanimously voted in as Secretary replacing Dave Hegland who was voted in as Vice Chair at last month’s meeting.

4. PAC Records Management Policy

a. Marianne fielded questions and entertained comments, which were largely positive, about the proposed policy of best practice recommendations from Lindsay Sheldon, archivist consultant. Hester asked for a correction in the background section, (page 3) that “The Committee works with…under the Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District” should read, “works in collaboration with…” Marianne also noted that references in the document to “City” of Chestertown should all be changed to “Town.” Ben clarified that the PAC is chartered as the Public Arts Committee that could foster all kinds of public art, in the future. Ben will follow up after this document is corrected and see if it should be shared with the town council for official approval as policy; for now it will be used as an internal document, especially for grant-writing and as foundational model for the PAC.

5. Woicke Collection Installation Updates

a. Bob and Rob Glebe will work with Adam Walls on the installations of his two sculptures, “Taking the Hill,” and “The Ball and Red Arches” before the weekend of October 6 when the sculptor will be visiting the Chestertown area. Ben and Elizabeth will co-coordinate opening event activities with him for “First Friday.” Ideas discussed included something with the food truck(s) at 210 Cross Street, and/or hosting an artist talk, and/or a possible school or RiverArts tie ins.

b. “Puzzled:” The YMCA communicated that they had second thoughts and would not like this sculpture installed at their proposed location. It was decided that no viable alternative sculpture exists for that location and the PAC would offer support to the YMCA for a future art project instead if they are interested. Discussion ensued about possible alternatives for “Puzzled.”

c. Ward 4 Locations

a. Discussion ensued about installations and locations that might best fit into this ward which includes the present location of the middle school, the hospital and shopping centers. Ben will follow up with its Town Council Ward Member Meghan Efland to see if she has any recommendations. Committee members will also consider other possible sites there.

d. Woicke Collection Updates

a. Bob brought up questions to clarify liability insurance issues and discussion with Town Manager resulted in agreement that we should ask contractors and workers hired, to provide a copy of their liability insurance on site. Also, new Town Manager, Larry DiRe, advised the need to have estimates of the art value so the town can be sure to have accurate insurance of these assets, which could increase in value, if they are owned by the town. Kim Lawson (Town HR) needs to know. Workers should provide proof of their liability insurance before they show up on site. Volunteers would need to leave the lifting to the pros. Ben will follow up with the Woickes to get appraisal information for the sculptures they are donating. Bob will talk with Matt Warrington about liability insurance.

b. Bob shared that he, Rob Glebe, and Yuh visited the Woicke property to move the next group of sculptures: “Around Man,” “Strength of Community,” and “Head.” He talked about what needs to be done with the bases for them. A bronze plate of “Around Man” needs to be made as a mate to the sculpture. The base of the “Strength of Community” is fragile. Only the “Head” was moved here but not with its base. ”Head” needs a black metal plinth and Bob will ask Rob Glebe for a design and a proposal to create it. To this end, Ben shared an email from the artist, Patricia Volk, who supports the idea of a black metal plinth in line with the seating opposite and the slate mount on the piece. She wrote that “Head” should be shown at eye height so the ideal height should be about 5 foot. The group verified that it will go on the corner of Fountain Park’s entrance near Spring Avenue.

c. The group also agreed on the proposed location of “Strength of Community” next to the tree at the entrance of Conley Park, corner of Cannon and Mill Streets. Ben will consult with Kees De Mooy, Zoning Administrator, about the health of the tree and whether it could be a liability to the sculpture placement.

d. The committee discussed placement of “Around Man” in Remembrance Park on Horsey Lane, and will meet the evening of August 9 to see what the lighting to consider moving it close to the park light close to Horsey Lane.

e. Marianne will request a copy of the text inscribed on “Around Man” from Peter Woicke after the group thought it would be helpful to share this on the website.

f. Painting “Inchworm (for John Coltrane:” It was decided that the surface of the sculpture would benefit from paint due to the present condition of the metal. Peter Woicke said he would fund the repainting. The group discussed what color it could be after a photo shared showed the blue color was apparently originally applied in a more abstract way, not as a solid, flat blue. Ben will contact Lee Kelly’s estate to get advice from them on how to proceed with color choice and application. Bob will request that Rob Glebe give us a quote for powder coating and/or welding repairs if it is needed.

6. Fountain Park Utility Box Request

a. The Chestertown Garden Club requested that the PAC write a letter to the Maryland State Highway Administration in support of their proposal to cover a utility box in Fountain Park with a reprint of local artist, Marcy Ramsey’s nature painting. After discussion it was decided that Ben will reply with a recommendation that they request this letter from the Town Manager instead since PAC decided that this type of request is not within their prevue.

7. Other Items

a. Elizabeth proposed that there is a celebration of the recent installation of “The Dance” sculpture at Sumner Hall and will lead the planning of something for the middle to the end of October. Ideas include having a formal welcome, engaging Jodi Bortz and her school drummers and Jennifer’s Dance Academy as entertainment and having Ben share an art historian’s perspective on this kind of African art since there is not much information about the artist or this piece.

b. Action items were reviewed.

Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

Next meeting is scheduled for September 12, 2023, 4:00 p.m.


Respectfully submitted by Marianne Laino Sade, Secretary

August 31, 2023


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