City of Mercer Island, Washington - Home City of Mercer Island, Washington - Home Facebook Twitter YouTube
site map
Notify me by Email
Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Call To Order:

Chair, Helen Martin called the meeting to order at 6:38 pm in the Calkins Room, Community Center at Mercer View, 8236 SE 24th Street, Mercer Island, WA  98040.


Roll Call:

Present: Kevin Curry, Helen Martin, Katalin Pearman, Sandra Schilling, Beth Brennen, Susan Sears and Judy Leithe.  Absent:  Tudor Sherrard, Jane Ditzler and Ellen Hochberg


City Council Liaison, Bruce Bassett and Mayor, Jim Pearman were present.


Staff present: Amber Britton, Pete Mayer, Keith Kerner and Eileen Hemmis Trifts.



There were no appearances.



The following correction was made to the minutes of September 10, 2008.

Under Public Art, change first word of first paragraph from Helen to Ellen

Judy Leithe motioned to accept the minutes as amended.  The motion was seconded and passed.


Staff Report:

Pete Mayer and Keith Kerner:  Update on town center investments/enhancements and Arts Council 1% for Art at Luther Burbank Park. 


Pete Mayer reminded the Arts Council that the Town Center plan was adopted in 1994 to provide dual purpose of mixed use with pedestrian activity and includes two new public plazas.  The goal of which will be to create an anchor for the town center.  It consists of the following components:


  • Era Living Aljoya House - opening in November – includes improvements in I-90 Trail.
  • 77th Ave  Floral Enhancements
  • 78th Ave Town Center Park Plaza
  • 78th Ave Town Center Street Plaza
  • Sound Transit Light Rail


Private development expects to finish in 09/10, the 77th Ave Floral Enhancements in 2009/2010, and the park plaza itself will likely be 2010 or 2011, with Sound Transit in 2020.


There are two concepts for the Town Center Plaza going before the City Council on the 20th of this month (October).  Both concepts incorporate water features – the plan is to work with the Arts Council to incorporate public art with the water feature.


Pete reviewed both concepts with the Arts Council.  He stated that we currently don’t have an approved budget.  We won’t actually get into financing until next year. We will present the both concepts on the 20th with cost estimates. (The first concept is estimated at $800,000 to over a million dollars.  The second concept is $750-900,000.)   The quality of the design and construction are all very high.  Both of these concepts will incorporate public art.  .


Bruce Bassett asked whether adequate consideration has been given to the kids playing in water and the traffic.  Pete replied that there is a balancing act in keeping the visual open area and be able to observe kids.  We have an elevation change and some bollards.  Pete suggested he could talk with the designer to see if there is any additional elements that might be considered.



Pete admitted that parking and bathrooms are a problem in the town center area.  He said that in the past nine years he has been unable to get approval for a restroom.  The only one he knows of is one that was included with a permit given to put in by a telephone tower into a park. They agreed to include construction of a restroom in order to have an above ground unit.  Pete thought that there might be a possibility of getting restrooms included in some future development.  It is too late in the process to get them included in the current developments.


Pete stated that the maintenance of the water feature and park will be paid for by the city.  The developers will pay for all of the public improvements – sidewalks, streets, etc.


Pete invited the Arts Council to come to the City Council meeting on October 20th.

Councilman Bassett asked Pete what he sees as Arts Council involvement.

Pete responded: Arts Council support of whichever concept is approved by City Council and input on what type of public art the Arts Council might see as a part of the project.


Pete understands there was been some activity by the Arts Council for the $60,000 1% for Art.  Pete explained that the master plan for Luther Burbank took over two years to develop.  We’ve identified all of these areas, as formally adopted by the city council, on a map.  Through the master plan process, there wasn’t a lot of dialog.  But, here are the parameters that were set forth at that time – essentially maintain it’s esthetic character with out much improvement, other than maintenance and some improvement of the concrete and landscaping. 


As far as improving the amphitheatre and incorporating some kind of a cover could be consistent with the master plan. The challenge will be to design your 1% for arts criteria, an artistic element that is also functional.  The balancing act is size and scale.  Color, texture and size are also considerations. It can’t be too grandiose but sufficient to accomplish the objective.  For $60,000 it might just be electrical upgrades, improved lighting, wings or some kind of storage area that is artistic. 


In closing, Keith Kerner stated that he would like to see sensitivity to the 70’s design of Luther Burbank.  He feels there is historical value in keeping this element, which runs throughout the park.  Pete agreed, saying, we’d like to see some enhancements and improvements without changing the overall character.



Chair’s Report:

Helen introduced new member, Susan Sears to Arts Council Members and staff.


City Council Report:

No report.


Mostly Music in the Park: 

No Report


Literary & Shakespeare:

Judy Leithe reported that at the end of the fall film series, it will move to the Community Center and be in the evenings instead of a matinee. The Ring Cycle program started last week. Attendance was around 40 people. There are three more planned.



Beth reported last week she attended 4Culture meeting. There was some discussion about site specific programs, which they do every year. Beth is not sure they are as appropriate for MI as for a bigger city where there are more people.  Beth distributed a list of 10 possibilities.  She indicated that if we decided to do any of them, we would have to pay a little something.


Beth advised that 4Culture is having a meeting on public art on October 15th. She will be going and will call Jane and Ellen to see if they are interested in going.



The current gallery show is Women Painters.  Several pieces have sold.  It is coming down on Friday.  The following Monday, MIVAL is scheduled to go up. 


Katalin Pearman, Gallery Chair, reported that the 2009 schedule is being problematic.  We lost Jose Orantes, our first show.  She will call around and try to fill open dates.  The remainder of the year is full.  One of the shows, in September, will be a memorial show featuring Brenda Zager’s work.  Katalin will send out an updated schedule when it is settled.



Public Art:

Judy Leithe reported that she, Kevin Curry, George Mount from Wooden O, and Helen Martin met about improvements for the amphitheatre from the 1% for Arts.  After Pete’s presentation tonight, she would like to schedule a meeting with him.  She is concerned he may have some misconception of what they are trying to do.  She thinks the wooden structure could be looked at to tear down.  She said the structure is ghastly and there is no place to change clothes. 


Amber clarified that there is no money available to do any of what Pete showed on the master plan.  It was just for illustration purposes:  If they were to make those improvements, that is what it would cost.


Judy didn’t think there was any reason to spend money on the seating area.  Amber said that it is a maintenance issue because the wood is rotting. Pete was saying that the Arts council might want to consider this and incorporate some kind of artwork in it.


Amber stated that if Arts Council Members determine that they would like to pursue any grants or money, it has to go through her.  Additionally, anything on behalf of the Mercer Island Arts Council must go through all of the city approval processes. 



Community Relations:

No Report.



Staff Report:

Amber Britton reported that the Arts Council has a new QFC card with a $300 limit.  This card is intended for Gallery Reception food, drink and supplies.  Beth will be handling the reception for MIVAL on October 23rd.


Amber reported that winter recreation guide information is due to Katie Borden by Oct 16th


Adjournment:   8:35 pm


City of Mercer Island Washington | All Rights Reserved © 2019| Privacy Policy | printer friendly version Printer friendly version | Site Handcrafted in Ashland, Oregon by Project A