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September 2, 2009 > Arts Commission Report

Arts Commission Report

Melissa Crain, Candice Wedgeworth and Ayesha Samdani appeared before the Arts Commission seeking approval for their artwork to be displayed in Milpitas. A representative of the Great Mall was present to inform commissioners of limitations since the current exhibit at that location incurred extra costs.

Commissioners discussed where the artists' work would be most appropriately displayed, - Phantom Art Gallery, the Public Library, or the Great Mall. Artists gave biographical information and information about their work along with art samples. Artists are limited to five pieces to show as samples.

Photographer Melissa Crain said, "The pieces that I have to display are from a trip I took last September to Cyprus, an island in the Mediterranean. It is sort of divided between Greek and Turkish influences. There's real difference culturally."

It was decided that Crain's artwork would be suitable for showing at the Great Mall.

Candice Wedgeworth, a self-proclaimed stay-at-home mom, lives "vicariously through funky fun art." She has never displayed her art publically before. Wedgeworth brought a variety of her artwork in various mediums - acrylic, watercolor, and oil paintings - to the meeting. She noted, "I get a little too bored, so I always put tangible objects on things" According to the artist, her painting, "Tatoo woman" shows a "wild approach." She added, "Sometimes I try to get the femininity of a woman without actually revealing her."

Commissioners felt Wedgeworth's art may be difficult to showcase at the Great Mall due to depth limitations. Space at the community center or library does not have such restrictions.

Ayesha Samdani graduated from the Academy of Art University and takes her inspiration from nature. Most of her work is done on wood panels as abstract expressions of seasons using variations of tonal values. Commissioner Rabe said that this is the kind of art found in new houses "because it's peaceful."

Chalk art event

The Arts Commission discussed planning of a Chalk Art event with City staff support. The goal is to have Chalk Art on spheres along Calaveras Boulevard. Renee Lorentzen, Cultural Arts Program Coordinator, explained that Shapell Properties is in favor of holding an event close to Earth Day in April. The biggest hurdle is funding, the cost about $4000. Sponsorships are being investigated.

Lorentzen submitted a letter to Shapell suggesting event dates between April 17 and April 24, 2010. Sponsors currently include Shapell and City of Milpitas. Additional sponsors may include Safeway, Staples, Wal-Mart, Crayola, Allied Waste and any other "green" companies including car dealerships.

Lorentzen said such an event might start at 1 p.m., with the artists beginning their work at 10 a.m. People could observe artists at work. People could vote for the best chalk art.

There are 91 spheres on Calaveras and in the Town Center shopping center; 18 would be used for the chalk art event, starting at Big 5 Sporting Goods Store and ending at El Torito restaurant.

Commissioner Hays suggested opening the event up to the general public such as children in schools, since there are plenty of spheres to go around. There could be a separate professional row of spheres.

A subcommittee was formed to begin working on this project.

Lorentzen explained that this year's Spooktacular on October 24 will use the theme of an enchanted forest. Specific activities during event have not been formally determined.

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