More details revealed on 42nd Street arts corridor
Plans for public art on South 42nd Street are progressing as funds are being raised and a public arts commission is being developed, but there are still questions about the project. A committee is being formed to research artists and sculpture op...
Plans for public art on South 42nd Street are progressing as funds are being raised and a public arts commission is being developed, but there are still questions about the project.
A committee is being formed to research artists and sculpture options for the proposed 42nd Street arts corridor, said Kristi Mishler, executive director of the Community Foundation, which is raising funds for the project.
The idea is to have about 50 large sculptures along 42nd Street to bring in passing traffic from Interstate 29, Mishler said. The sculptures could also prime 42nd Street for a “Destination Corridor” with shopping, entertainment and more, she said.
The committee will be directed by Laurel Reuter, executive director of the North Dakota Museum of Art. It will choose “a broad spectrum of works” to propose to donors and 42nd Street stakeholders, Reuter said in an email.
“They must be works that the public will become fond of,” she said. “It is important the first couple (sculptures) become landmarks for the city.”
Other committee members are Madelyne Camrud, Grand Forks, Ann Brown, who is married to Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown and Bruce Gjovig, CEO of the Center for Innovation, Mishler said. There could be one to three additional members added.
Separately, a public arts commission, unofficially called the Partners for Public Art, is being developed, which will consider public art for the entire city, with 42nd Street being its first project, Mishler said.
Reuter will be the chair of that commission, and Ann Brown will be vice-chair, Mishler said. Others in the group are Gjovig; Mike Kuntz, of Icon Architectural Group; Barry Wilfahrt, of the Chamber of Commerce; Marie Strinden, of North Valley Arts Council; and Tom Di’Lorenzo, provost at UND, she said.
Other partners are the Community Foundation, the city of Grand Forks, the Grand Forks Park District and the city of East Grand Forks, she said.
“The structure of how to manage (and) maintain a community public arts and culture initiative is being explored,” Mishler said. “We are assessing how to be most efficient, access the strengths within the local leadership involved and define roles from there.”
In earlier interviews about the 42nd Street project, Mishler said it was likely that a separate nonprofit would be formed to own and maintain the sculptures.
Now, though, the conversation seems to be pulling away from the idea of a separate nonprofit, Mishler said. “We don’t know if it’s necessary,” she said, because one of the other organizations involved - such as NDMOA or NoVAC - could eventually take the project once it is fully defined.
The Community Foundation will not own the public art on 42nd Street, but it has set up three funds for the project and future public art, Mishler said.
The first is the Public Arts and Culture Operation Fund, which will provide resources to develop a community public arts and culture program which may include research for public art projects or installing and maintaining public art, she said.
Next, the Public Arts and Sculpture Fund will be used to provide grants for purchasing public art, Mishler said. The city Urban Development department has a possible $150,000 in reserve that would be used for this fund, but it has not been released yet pending a memorandum of understanding requested by City Council members.
That MOU is still in progress, Mishler said.
The third fund is the Public Arts and Sculpture Endowment, which will provide long-term dollars for maintenance and ongoing needs of public art, Mishler said.
Mishler and Wilfahrt presented many of these plans for 42nd Street to the Alerus Center Finance/Renovation Committee on Friday and suggested putting one of the first sculptures on Alerus Center land.
It could be an example for the future sculptures along the corridor, Mishler said.
The Alerus committee didn’t make any sort of decision about the project Friday.
“There are still a lot of questions,” said John Schmisek, an Alerus Center commissioner.
One of the main questions is “how the sculptures will be coordinated up and down the corridor,” such as, the maintenance and look of the sculptures under various owners, he said.
Mishler and Wilfahrt told the committee they would return with more information as plans progress, Schmisek said.