Commerce, said he intends to re establish the committee after Crystal Bridges opens in November.
While Northwest Arkansas does not have set funding requirements in place, it is not devoid of public art. Fayetteville and Bentonville are home to several pieces of public art, some of which are publicly funded.
Smith, along with landscape architect Stuart Fulbright, created a temporary land art installation at the University of Arkansas and the Fayetteville Public Library. Known as "Star Seeds and Star Pops," the installation was created from thin strips of wood bundled together to create stalks for rivercane woven balls. The sculptures included a participatory dynamic, with university students and professors coming together to work on the project.
Public art has been a vital component of a viable city since classical Greece and Rome, said Carl Smith, professor of landscape architecture at the University of Arkansas' Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Highlights of Fayetteville public art are the World Peace Prayer Fountain, a bronze sphere by Hank Kaminsky at the Fayetteville Town Center; the Hoover Monument, a bright orange skyward reaching sculpture by Steve Hoover on the Frisco Trail; and Point 7 at Wilson Park, the interactive rock and mosaic tile interactive castle created by Frank Williams.
The city also is home to several murals and a sculpture at Fayetteville City Hospital created and donated by Boy Scouts.
I'm not advocating that we blanket Northwest Arkansas with classical sculptures, but public art is important," Smith said. "It sounds like an obvious thing to say, but a lot of people don't think to go into an art gallery, so they don't experience fine art very often. Kim Curry Evans, public art coordinator for the Raleigh Arts Commission, said she felt Raleigh had been slow in embracing the ordinance.
Bentonville has two murals by local artist Randy Townsend, one of which is on the side of a public building that may be repainted, said Becky McCoy, a longtime Bentonville arts supporter. The mural depicts Bentonville history and is used by teachers as a learning tool on field trips, McCoy said.
"I'm glad they're on board now. They know and realize how much creative capital goes into the creation of public art. It creates jobs, establishes an identity," Curry Evans said.
Construction at Crystal Bridges led to the creation of an art fence to screen the site along J Street. The fence will be moved behind the new Parks and Recreation activity building after Crystal Bridges is complete, McCaslin said.
McCoy agrees what the city is doing with public parks and trails is a form of art.
Fayetteville and Bentonville have worked in past years to revitalize their downtown areas. Bentonville's downtown contains a juxtaposition between an urban center and a natural environment, said Daniel Hintz, executive director of Downtown Bentonville.
"Bentonville has more than reached for the stars when it comes to the parks and the square and the aesthetics. The work that it's doing in that area is phenomenal," said Hintz. "That is how the city of Bentonville has contributed to this conversation."
Traditional works of art also are in the plans for public parks in Bentonville, according to McCoy and David Wright, Parks and Recreation director. The city has budgeted $15,000 for art work in parks next year. Wright said it has not yet been decided whether to commission a piece or purchase one "off the shelf."
"We are trying to incorporate public art into city projects," said Fayetteville City Planner Leif Olson. "We typically look at where art could be included as we go through the planning process. Budgets don't always allow that to happen."
Bentonville and Fayetteville have ordinances in place dealing with public art, but neither has a program set to fund art. However, both cities have founded councils to oversee public art. Fayetteville has the Fayetteville Arts Council, which reviews and recommends approval or denial of public art donated to or purchased by the city. Bentonville's Public Art Advisory Committee, founded in 2007, currently is not functioning. Former member Ed Clifford, president of the Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Omega Seamaster Gmt 50th Anniversary
Fayetteville also has invested some of its money in public art recently. The city added a stainless steel sculpture that serves as a bike rack in front of the revamped municipal building at Church and Rock streets.
The city's first project under the ordinance, a $75,000 mural, recently was completed inside an aquatic center. A second project is in the planning stages and is funded through several smaller projects that combined their half percent.
They are all in the upper tier of funding for American museums with endowments of more than $500 million, they are all in metropolitan areas with populations of more than 1 million people and they all have a public funding process in place to support public art.
Cities Find Place In Public Art World
Another example of temporary art is Slow Dancing, a unique project hosted by the Walton Arts Center in 2008. Three large projection screens hung from the front of the building and displayed dancers performing movements in slow motion.
Add to that list the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, set to open Nov. 11 in Bentonville. Its $800 million endowment places it in the top three in nation. However, Northwest Arkansas has a population of less than half of even the smallest of the other top tier museums. And none of the region's cities have an official mechanism in place to publicly fund municipal art.
What do all of these museums have in common?
is technically on property owned by Benton County. Bentonville leases the Omega Constellation Co-axial 35mm land from the county as a city park.
"Probably, for a region of this size, we have a lot of public art," said Jeff Huber, a professor with the University of Arkansas' Fay Jones School of Architecture.
That could soon change, said Bentonville Mayor Bob McCaslin. Municipal art in the area is "pretty minimal compared to what I think will probably transpire over the next several years," McCaslin said.
in nature," McCoy said.
Bentonville primarily has focused its aesthetic identity by improving its parks system and the square. The city has constructed or revamped six of its public parks in the past five years.
"It's important to give tremendous credit to the city for what they're doing on the square. You come down to the square when those tulips are in bloom. It's a shocking cornucopia of color. That's art," Hintz said.
The Walton Arts Center will host artist Patrick Dougherty in May as he creates an outdoor public piece of art in Fayetteville. The process and the finished project will be interactive, said Beth Goodwin, Walton Arts Center public relations manager.
The city is also home to a Confederate monument in the center of the downtown square. The monument was dedicated in 1908 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 45mm
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