UPDATE, June 9: Links to online polls
Which do you prefer? Click here to vote in the Tidings poll, or click here to go to the city’s poll.
Click here to see the two proposals, “Gather” and “Threshold,” side-by-side.
ORIGINAL STORY: A second design by Seattle artist Susan Zoccola for a public art installation on Gateway Island in Ashland is up for review at a special meeting of the Public Art Commission on Monday, June 6.
Zoccola's first proposal, entitled "Gather," was chosen by a special selection panel in September 2015 as best suited for the space on the park-like pedestrian island at the intersection of Siskiyou Boulevard and East Main Street, between Ashland Fire & Rescue Station No. 1 and the Ashland Public Library.
The City Council on Jan. 5 voted to ask Zoccola for a second design.
"We believe that having a second concept from you will give the Council an opportunity to participate in the selection process more fully and be more invested in their decision," Ashland Mayor John Stromberg wrote in a letter to Zoccola dated Jan. 27. "Whichever one is selected, Ashland is getting a Susan Zoccola piece of art to grace our community ...."
In her written presentation of what's known for now as "Concept 2," Zoccola writes that "Ideas for this sculpture ... came from thinking about the site as a gateway, and how the sculpture would be seen approached by car and explored on foot, with views that would change in all directions. ... I was thinking about the community of Ashland, connections between people, welcoming gateways, the swirl of falling leaves from trees of Lithia Park, water flowing over rocks in the river."
She describes the piece as "using metal poles as the vertical elements, with an assemblage of interconnected spirals made with steel tubes, and steel wire rope connecting them horizontally. The four steel poles of varying heights would be embedded in concrete footing inside the Gateway Island's bricked circle. I see the swirls of organic curves creating an arch ... cascading down from 20 feet to approximately 10 feet."
Commissioners will review the proposal for conformance with its criteria for the Gateway project specifically and city public art policies in general.
The public art project is, according to the criteria put out in January 2014, intended to:
• Become iconic to Ashland and enrich the spirit and pride of the community;
• Create excitement and interest for the community;
• Challenge the viewers' traditional perspective on art;
• Enhance the experience of entering the downtown core; and
• Encourage people to reflect on the larger world community.
The city's codified guidelines for recommendation call for meeting 11 criteria for a piece of public art and six for site selection. Items that must be taken into consideration include quality, relationship of the art to the site, history and context, cost, durability, liability, diversity, accessibility and scale.
Funding for the $100,000 project has been accumulated over the years through a set-aside fraction of the transient occupancy tax paid by overnight visitors to the city.
The meeting starts at noon in the Siskiyou Room of the Community Development Building at 51 Winburn Way.
Email Tidings Editor Bert Etling at firstname.lastname@example.org, call him at 541-631-1313 and follow him at www.twitter.com/betling.