Public Arts Committee, Town Agendas & Minutes|

Town of Chestertown
Public Arts Committee (PAC) Minutes
November 14, 2023, 4 p.m., Town Hall


Ben Tilghman (Chair)

Dave Hegland (Vice Chair)

Marianne Sade (Secretary)

Kate Dowd

Carla Massoni

Yuh Okano

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


  1. Minutes from the October 10, 2023 meeting were approved.
  2. Funds Report: Ben shared that there is about $30,000 on hand even after some bills from the Walls’ installation were paid.
  3. Woicke Collection Installation Updates
    1. “Around Man:” Bob reported via Ben Tilghman that this sculpture is mostly ready since Rob Glebe put in a new hole to stabilize it to the base. Ben Herr is going to get the stone pedestal and it will be ready once the ground is cleared and concrete is poured. Bob and Ben Herr are working on the timeframe for this.
    2. “Puzzled:” Bob is working with Town Manager Larry DiRe to coordinate the exact location (away from trashcans) and which sidewalk bricks will be removed.
    3. “Butterfly:” Ben is still working on trashcans relocation away from the front of the sculpture at H.H. Garnet Elementary School.
    4. “Strength of Community:” Sculptor, Don Rambadt recently visited “Sentinel” (recently rotated) and the proposed placement area for “Strength” at Conley Park and liked bot. Rob and he met to discuss repair treatment of “Strength.”
    5. “Head:” Rob needs advice on powder coating textures and colors for its base. (ACTION ITEM: Ben, Carla, and Yuh will visit Rob’s studio soon and make choices.) Also, flags need to be place at exact park location.
    6. “Super Duty Yellow:” A discussion ensued about conservation, specifically cleaning and whether to repair and treat the rust after Rob mentioned it might have to be taken apart if it needs to be powder coated. (ACTION ITEM: Ben will check with the sculptor, Jeremy Thomas, for recommendations.) Placement at Gateway Park is approved and Ben Herr will pick it up when he gets the base for “Around Man.” (ACTION ITEM: Dave will send detail photos of this sculpture to Ben.)
    7. Lee Kelly works: 
      1. “Durbar (formerly known as “The Throne”): Ben reported that Daniel Peabody, of Lee Kelley’s Elizabeth Leach Gallery, has confirmed the actual name of the work and that he hasn’t heard back from Lee Kelly’s estate to get advice from them on how to move this piece. The preference is in having Jim Schmidt, who was Lee’s favorite assistant, help in finding assistance for this and “Inchworm” repairs. Lee’s daughter, Cassandra is checking this out for us. 
      2. “Inchworm (for John Coltrane):” and “Durbar” conservation may be targeted for an MSAC grant.
    8. Permanent plaques have not been ordered; they will be ordered all at once. (ACTION ITEMS: Kate will send a proper master list of signage information to Elizabeth who will work on the signs with Joe Karlik.)
  4. Possible collaboration with Starr Center for a project at the Customs House. Adam Goodheart, Director of the Washington College Starr Center, and Ben discussed the possibility of a town and college partnership to apply for an MSAC Planning Grant for a monument/memorial beyond the legacy of enslavement in the Starr Customhouse backyard (and possibly basement), given the history of the site. A positive discussion with lots of ideas in support of pursuing this ensued. There is an MSAC grant info planning session online scheduled for December 14. Ben asked for someone from the PAC to be on the committee with him, and Marianne volunteered.
  5. Ben reported that the PAC may have a summer Intern, Sophia Lennox, who would start June 1, 2024, funded by the college. Sophia under the his guidance and also, Sara Clarke-De Reza, Associate Professor of Education (Washington College), would help develop pedagogy, sculpture walking tours and other projects for PAC.
  6. Other Business:
    1. Marianne reminded everyone to record their end of the month total volunteer hours on the PAC Google Drive or send them to her.
    2. Ben requested that the Secretary beginning next month will regularly send both the agenda and minutes before the next meeting.
    3. (ACTION ITEM: Ben to ask Larry DiRe about putting another strip of grass around “Broad Reach” if this is the time to do it. And moving forward, talk to him about the possibility of using town workers when possible.)
  7. Action items were reviewed.


Meeting was adjourned at 5:13 p.m.

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


Respectfully submitted by Marianne Laino Sade, Secretary

November 14, 2023

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