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May 20, 2009 > Fine Art manifests in form of "functional furniture"

Fine Art manifests in form of "functional furniture"

By Ceri Hitchcock-Hodgson

There will soon be noticeable changes on Milpitas' public art front due to the diligent efforts of the Public Arts Committee (PAC).Established August 2, 2005 at the suggestion of the Milpitas community, PAC serves as an advisory body to the City Council, which in turn makes the final decisions on what will provide "a livable and vibrant community for all of [Milpitas'] citizens and visitors."

Serving without compensation on a volunteer basis, the 11 PAC appointees are elected to three-year terms and include all seven members of the Milpitas Arts Commission (AC, est. Oct. 17, 2000), three representatives from the Alliance for the Arts and one individual from the general public who possesses either a particularly specialized involvement with the arts or is an artist.

Upholding its promise to enrich the city via the promotion of fine arts, the Milpitas City Council unanimously voted to approve PAC's 2009 master plan. Among the items currently under way is an installation in to be located in front of the Barbara Lee Senior Center. Overseeing the project are members of the Senior Advisory committee, the Senior Center Art Installation Subcommittee and PAC.

The Senior Center Art Installation Subcommittee decided that the new installation should add to the aesthetics of the new building as well as be useful to visitors of the center. Their idea will incorporate four benches rendered in bronze designed and created by an artist, that is yet to be chosen.

The selected artist will be given between $75,000 - $100,000 to cover all costs related to the piece's design, materials, engineering and fabrication, travel expenses and installation of the final work, including the required insurance and shipping to its final home in front the Senior Center.

The deadline for proposals is July 1, 2009. Packets are available online at the City's website. So far, PAC has sent out 50 entry packets in the mail while the number of packets downloaded from the website is still undetermined. Qualifying artists may acquire information/submission packets by contacting PAC's Program Coordinator, Renee Lorentzen at (408) 586-3231.

PAC is also overseeing the relocation of the "Cartwheel Kids" sculpture, a bronze sculpture depicting three children cavorting on a patch of grass. The piece will be moved from Milpitas City Hall to the grassy area in front of the new North Main Street library.

PAC decided that the sculpture's theme of children at play would coincide with Milpitas' first grammar school, located near the library. Replacing Cartwheel Kids will be artwork more appropriate to the size and design of City Hall.

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