Public Arts Committee, Town Agendas & Minutes|

Town of Chestertown

Public Arts Committee (PAC) Minutes

January 9, 2024, 4:00 p.m., via Zoom



Ben Tilghman (Chair)

Dave Hegland (Vice Chair)

Marianne Sade (Secretary)

Carla Massoni

Elizabeth Healy

Kate Dowd

Robert Ortiz

Hester Sachse, (ex-officio member, Kent Cultural Alliance, Chestertown A&E District)


  1. APPROVAL of MINUTES: The December 12, 2023 minutes were approved with the correction of Elizabeth *Healy* typo
  2. FUNDS REPORT: No movement since last month’s financial report. Fundraising update: Ben has a possible donor. Ben is also working on an MSAC conservation grant for the Lee Kelley pieces, “Inchworm (for John Coltrane),” and “Durbar (The Throne),” and for Jeremy Thomas’s “Super Duty Yellow,” which is due the first week of February. He will also reach out to other foundations for funds. In preparation for grant writing he has engaged Howard Wellman Conservation, LLC, Hartford County, highly recommended conservator from a list provided by MSAC. Ben tasked him to create a proposal for a PAC Conservation Plan which will cost $7,000. Wellman will look at the final eight works at the Woickes, (prioritizing the above mentioned sculptures), identify areas of concern, and make recommendations for repairs to prepare them for installation, and share a full report mid-February. The understanding is that there is no obligation to use his services for suggested repairs if the decision is made to make them.
    1. Committee discussed conservation needs and the committee, as arbitrator, working directly with the artist’s preferences as well as other adjustments that might be needed down the line  regarding the particulars of the grant.
    2. ACTION ITEM: Ben will meet with Howard Wellman at Woicke’s on 16th and committee is welcome to go either day.
    1. TRASH CANS: Elizabeth reports that we can move the trashcans at the PAC’s expense; she will contact Ben Herr who might be able to move them.
    2. SIGNAGE: Carla and Elizabeth met with Joe Karlik, Locust Grove Studios, to decide on the final size: 6” x  6” on a 4” stem. Sculptor Constance Swaniker verified via email that the “Butterfly” sculpture’s title is actually “Freedom.”
    3. ACTION ITEM: Elizabeth and Marianne will double check all the titles before signs are made.
    4. WOICKE COLLECTION INSTALLATION: Next four sculptures are ready to go with approval from the Town Council and Dave went with Town Manager, Larry DiRie and all spots check out OK with him; Bob and Dave worked on replacing the brick sidewalk location for “Puzzled.” Weatherand personal circumstance have created slight delays with installations but Bob reports all is in motion. Ben suggests the March 12 PAC meeting as a goal to pick places owned by town property and  non-profit community-oriented areas, for all the remaining sculptures, and then present them to the Town Council in the spring. At the February meeting discuss rough preferences and lay out next steps. The suggestion was made to link next installations along with a celebration of “The Dance,” at Sumner Hall, with A&E Spring Art Walk, April 20  maybe then do a docent “walk” with an updated sculpture map. (The Fall Art Walks are September 14 and December 14)
    5. ACTION ITEM: Next meeting committee brings ideas for last sculptures placements
    1. LOCAL SCULPTURE DONATION: Discussion of Paddy Tobey’s wish to donate her husband Rich sculpture with reference to the established “Town of Chestertown, Maryland, and the Stewardship of Donated Public Art.”
      1. ACTION ITEM: Ben will speak with Paddy and explain the process and where the PAC sits now since the Woicke collection is the priority. The next steps would be to go see it and evaluate according to the policy guidelines.
    2. WASHINGTON COLLAGE STARR CENTER SCULPTURE PROJECT: Ben updated from the Starr Center Planning Grant Committee’s last meeting and asked whether the PAC would support this financially with a $1000 donation and if it is possible how would this work.
      1. ACTION ITEM: Ben will ask the Town Manager if it is possible to get town funds for this.

Review of Action Items: 

  1. Ben will send the secretary the benefactors update for the PAC website
  2. Ben will meet with Howard Wellman at Woicke’s on January 16
  3. Dave will send out an updated sculpture list
  4. Elizabeth will check with Ben Herr about moving trashcans away from the front of the “Freedom” sculpture at H.H. Garnet Elementary School
  5. Group suggests ideas for last sculpture placements for the next PAC meeting
  6. Ben with talk with Paddy Tobey and explain process and where PAC sits now. And possibly amend the info on the PAC website
  7. Ben will consult with Town Manager about the PAC donating funding $1000 to Washington College Starr Center Planning Grant
  8. Elizabeth and Marianne will double check all the titles and other information before signs are made for the sculptures


Meeting adjurned at 5:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Marianne L. Sade


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