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Council approves sculpture event

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At their Feb. 19 meeting, Village Council members unanimously approved moving ahead with a bronze sculpture symposium sponsored by the Yellow Springs Arts Council. The two-week event, to take place in October 2013 on the Antioch College campus, will bring four bronze sculptors to the village to create new work, leading to a new Bronze Sculpture Trail situated on public land in the village.

“I feel incredibly positive about this,” Council member Karen Wintrow said. “It’s a thoughtful project that the group has been working on for more than a year.”

Council’s action was an approval of the concept of the project, with the selection of public space to take place at a later date.

According to a concept proposal from the Arts Council, the Village is not being asked for funding beyond help with maintenance of the 12 pieces to be created, for up to a 10 year period, at a total cost of about $1,000 to the Village.

The symposium “will strengthen ongoing local efforts in art and cultural placemaking by providing an unprecedented national stage for artists to create work for the public good,” according to the YSAC proposal. A national jury will select three sculptors to take part, and one local bronze sculptor, Brian Maughan, has already been selected. The symposium seeks to “engage and educate” community members and visitors on the ancient art of bronze sculpting, and the project will conclude with 12 finished pieces to be mounted on posts or walls for the sculpture trail. Public sites that have been proposed for the trail include the easement between the Little Miami Bike Trail and Corry Street, between the Glen and Antioch College; a sidewalk wall on Dayton Street downtown; and Bill Duncan Park.

The project will help to promote Village Council goals by conveying “the creative and welcoming nature of our community;” increasing community collaboration and honoring Antioch College in a way “that communicates its important contribution to the Village and the nation,” the proposal said.

The project received a $25,000 donation from an anonymous donor in 2011 to hire a project manager, according to the proposal, and a match grant of $25,000 from the Morgan Family Foundation last year. Other grant funding applications are pending from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ohio Arts Council, the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, the Xylem/YSI Foundation, and the DP&L Foundation, among others. The Arts Council also plans to raise funds to cover additional costs. Project manager for the event is Joanne Caputo.

Discussion around the sculpture project centered on the potential role for the newly created Yellow Springs Arts Commission, which Council officially approved at the Feb. 19 meeting, but which is not yet active since its members have yet to be appointed. When the group is functional, it will play a role in the sculpture project, although a national jury will select the chosen sculptors, according to the proposal. Council members encouraged villagers interested in sitting on the new Arts Commission to communicate their interest to Council.

The sculpture project is among the first proposals received on a newly-designed Conceptual Proposal Regarding Art on Public Property form, which Council recently approved to address similar requests. The Arts Council sees itself as a “test case” for how well the new proposals work for the Village and local artists, Arts Council President Jerome Borchers said.

Other items of Council’s Feb. 19 agenda will be covered in next week’s News.

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