Public Arts Committee, Town Agendas & Minutes|

Chestertown Public Arts Committee
Minutes
Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 4:00 p.m., in Town Hall

Ben Tilghman (Chair)
Dave Hegland (Vice Chair)
Marianne Sade (Secretary)
Carla Massoni
Kate Dowd
Yuh Okano
Robert Ortiz

Guests: Karen Mack, community member; Jim Bodgen, Chair, Chestertown Recreation Commission

 

  1. Minutes from the February 13 meeting were approved with corrections.
  2. Old Business 
    1. Conservation grants update – both have been scored with Public Arts Committee 96.3%, Starr center scoring 95.3% but the results are not in yet. Ben reports results will be soon.
    2. New Town Website: After Ben spoke with the Town Manager he suggested the Public Arts Committee could stay with Francoise Sullivan’s Moo Productions and the committee agreed.
    3. Reflections on public comment from last meeting: The group discussed how to improve communication with the community during the installation process including: publicizing more specifics, centralizing information with new town website, meeting with other independent committees or commissions                                                                         ACTION ITEM: Ben will find out who’s in charge to push out info to town and will reach out to town committee leaders to see how they push out information and can we partner in getting out information.
  3. Woicke Collection Installation Updates: 
    1. Sumner Hall Welcome “The Dance” Sculpture Event. Ben will do a short talk about African art and how this piece fits into the tradition and into contemporary art. A local dance group will perform. This will coincide with A&E Spring Art Walk. ACTION ITEMS: Kate will send out a newsletter notice; Ben will contact Hester to be sure this is on Art Walk promotion materials.
    2. Signage: Ben has the temporary sign for “Puzzled”  and will put it near the sculpture. Locust Grove’s fabrication of permanent signage is on, as of March. The committee will install the signs. Discussed whether any of the sculptures need to be tweaked before signs are installed with anchors, and be specific exactly where the signage will go. ACTION ITEMS: decide and mark exact locations for signage. ACTION ITEM: Bob will contact Ben Herr about “Around Man” whose installation is waiting for good weather.
    3. Recent Installations: Ben has heard positive feedback about location of “Puzzled” and group discussed about possible concerns about the extended arm but feel confident that signage placement will remedy this
    4. Locations for remaining works – Continuing Discussion
      1. Wellman Conservation Reports – Ben integrated these recommendations in the following updates.
      2.  “Woicke’s Owl” – Ben met with Kees and Miles who didn’t like the placement at the far end of the trail, directly behind The Armory on the trail near the viewing platform to be built there, along the Heritage Trail because of the terrain. Kees suggests putting it on the platform they will build, but it won’t happen for two years. Miles recommended two other spots, on the bend off of the WAC CES building and the other is nearby., with a living shoreline. (Ben shared on his laptop) ACTION ITEM: Ben will schedule a walk around WAC CES location
      3. “Fully Empowered”-  Ben emailed but hasn’t heard back from WAC President yet about placement in the garden in front of the College President’s house on Water Street. Ben shared connection with the Callister sisters who are the earliest documented women teaching in higher education in American history, teaching painting and drawing at Washington College. Elizabeth Callister Peale was commissioned by the college to design their seal, and how this might be an appropriate connection with this Ella Tullin work.
      4. “Texas Spiral” – Suggestions: to put it  on grass behind The White Swan, private property; a corner, on the bulkhead in Wilmer Park, or the Old Courthouse grass, behind the Church unless the Taylor Memorial would be place there. Jim Bodgen weighed in on Wilmer Park placement and environmental concerns. ACTION ITEM: Carla will talk to owner of the White Swan.
      5. “The Ladies” – Suggestion at the Wilmer Park off Rolling Road entrance, or near the entrance of the dog park; or maybe at the place at official entry, or where “The Great Yes” presently is. Another idea, Ben suggests spreading them a few feet apart and place them along the trail, going left from the School Lane entrance. Jim as chair of the Chestertown Recreation Commission participated in this discussion. ACTION ITEM: Ben will schedule a walk around two locations Bailey Park and off trail
      6. “Tupelo Cloud” Ben cited that according to the Wellman Conservation Report installing it would be a public hazard and so, the Woicke’s want to fund a new Walter Bailey piece with the parameters of public space installation in mind. Bailey Park or along the rail trail are probably the best spots. ACTION ITEM: Ben will schedule a walk around for possible future locations
  4. New Business:
    1. Dave handed out and reported on the updated “Chestertown’s Master Plan, Strategic Agenda” which was adopted April 24, 2023. that almost all the Public Art Committee comments went in. He suggested the PAC use the 2014 Master Plan to update instead writing a new one. He proposed forming a new committee to read it and propose ideas to the group. Kate and Carla are interested.
    2. Chestertown Public Arts Downtown Walking Tour Map – Dave shared the latest brochure and wants to add four new pieces and update with in situ photos. It is likely that a new one can be done before April 20.
    3. Continue to meet upstairs since committee is large for the front area
    4. Carla is getting no response to from the town regarding grass issue around “Broad Reach”
  5. Comments and Questions from Community Members – none, Karen Mack left earlier
  6. Announcements: 
    1. April 6 Recreation Commission open community meeting about Margo Bailey Park
    2. April 7, 2-4 p.m. Bob’s invite to all to public poetry reading 
    3. Ben announced an opening fora  WAC 12-month, non-tenured track faculty position in art department contact him for more information
  7. Review of Action Items:                                                                                                         ACTION ITEM: Ben will find out who’s in charge to push out info to town (email town council/town manager) and will reach out to town committee leaders to see how they push out information and can we partner in getting out information.
    ACTION ITEM: Kate will send out a newsletter notice; Ben will contact Hester to be sure this is on Art Walk promotion materials.
    ACTION ITEM: decide and mark exact locations for signage.
    ACTION ITEM: Bob will contact Ben Herr.
    ACTION ITEM: Ben will schedule a walk around CES, off Trail, and Bailey Park locations
    ACTION ITEM: Carla will talk to The White Swan owner

Meeting was adjourned at 5:59  p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Marianne L. Sade
Secretary/Archivist

 

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