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October 28, 2009 > Finalists selected for Sports Center exterior art

Finalists selected for Sports Center exterior art

By Shavon Walker

Finalists were picked for the exterior art installation at the Union City Sports Center by Council on October 13. They are Robert Holmes, Gordon Huether, Saori Ide and Jonathan Russell, Adrian Litman and Robert Ellison.

The call for artists was issued in early summer 2009. A request for qualification was sent to 140 local artists and made available online. Fifteen submittals were received and reviewed by the Public Art Board (PAB) at its September 3 and September 17 meetings. The PAB recommended Josef Norris, Robert Holmes, Bill Wentworth, Gordon Huethner and Saori Ide and Jonathan Russell for consideration by Council.

$100,000 has been designated for this public art project at the Sports Center. The five finalists will each receive a $1,000 stipend. Artists will use the stipend to prepare their own proposals consistent with design parameters and submittal requirements. For example, there must be a sports-related theme and the artist must create a scale model of his or her concept. The deadline is mid-December. The artists will then present to the Council and the PAB in January 2010 and it is expected the commissioned work will be installed in June 2010.

Brief descriptions for each artist are as follows:

Robert Holmes's work is freestanding art. His submission photos were of bronze sculptures. The Public Art Board felt his work would blend nicely with the sports center, and the council liked his work, too.

Gordon Huether specializes in public art installations and uses a number of media for his art. The PAB greatly admired his work but was concerned the $100,000 budget might prove a constraint for the artist and, therefore, impact his ability to fulfill the requirements of the commission. The council also liked his work, regardless of the budget.

Saori Ide and Jonathan Russell specialize in outdoor sculpture installations. The PAB liked the variety of materials as well as the different types of installations. The council felt their work was appropriate for outdoor sculpture.

Robert Ellison has extensive experience with public art installations and specializes in freestanding sculpture. The PAB thought his artwork whimsical but was unsure if his style would complement the Sports Center. The council noted the artist's work was vibrant and colorful and embodies the spirit of the center.

Adrian Litman has a great deal of experience with freestanding sculpture. The PAB was concerned about her experience with mostly indoor sculptures but the council liked her use of unique materials.

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