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Arts Council - Minutes     
Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm by Vice Chair, Paulette Buffano, at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center, 8236 SE 24th St., Mercer Island, WA  98040.



Roll Call

Members Present: Bonnie Bradley, Paulette Buffano, Linda Iwanyk, Mireya Lewin, and An Tootill


City Council:

Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm



Amber Britton, Eileen Hemmis Trifts



Approval of Minutes:

Mireya Lewin motioned to accept the minutes of the April 10 meeting as submitted.  The motion was second and passed unanimously.




Ann Hritzay
President, Fine Arts Advisory Council

Mireya introduced Ann indicating that the purpose of having Ann Hritzay attend today’s meeting is to discuss ways the Fine Arts Advisory Council and the Arts Council can better understand and help one another.  Ms. Hritzay gave a brief background of the Fine Arts Advisory Council.  The primary goal of the Fine Arts Advisory Council is to support art education in the schools.  Their main fundraiser is the Annual Fine Art Showcase.  Ann stated that her goal in the next year is to start talking and linking all of the various groups supporting art in the schools together to talk about how we can assist one another and support our common goals.  It is also the goal of the Fine Arts Advisory Council to get the word out about what is happening with art in the schools. The current Fine Arts Showcase is on display at the Mercer. There will be a fundraiser on May 31 in the old Cellar 41 space.


Other ideas discussed for creating fun events focused on art where people can connect with art in all of its many forms is important to them and their families and our community.

·         Bonnie Bradley suggested an Art Bike ride on Mercer Island.

·         Jane Meyer Brahm suggested the “one book” idea where everyone reads the same book.  Events are then held around the book during the couple of months where everyone is reading it. 


There was also a discussion about Youth Theatre Northwest’s plans to build a new performing arts center.  Everyone agreed that they would like to see it expanded to include more of the arts; similar to Kirkland’s Art Center. 


Bonnie asked about the idea of high school kids volunteering (for credit) to assist with art gallery hangings. Amber felt that was a definite possibility.  It was agreed that this could be discussed further at the next Arts Council meeting. 


Paulette stated that in the fall we will be putting together a plan for the next two years.  She felt a part of that plan would be to explore working and collaborating with other arts organizations on the island.  Ann suggested reciprocal members at meetings.  However, their last meeting for this year is coming up.  They will start up again in the fall and we can explore it further in September. 


Amber stated there might be an opportunity to work together on the art project the Arts Council is proposing for the walls in the new playground at Luther Burbank.  The project is a tile project of some sort where the kids create the tiles, and then they are fired and assembled on the wall.  Bonnie thought a collaborative effort on the tiles might qualify for 4Culture’s grant.  One of the requirements for the grant is for a collaborative effort that is ongoing between organizations.



Chair Report:

Paulette Buffano, Vice Chair

Recruitment ideas – why did you join the Arts Council?  Paulette thought it would be fun to revisit why everyone joined the Arts Council.  Everyone gave a brief update on how they came to be on the Arts Council. 


Staff Report:

Amber Britton

Amber reported that Diane Mortenson met with DSG and the Developer regarding the relocation of the Rising Times sculpture. The property where it is located is being redeveloped.  They came up with two options; either keep it on the site and alter it to meet new clearance requirements or move it to a new location.  The consensus was to move it and not compromise the original artwork.  The Public Art Committee will come up with ideas for a new location.


Amber reported that two of the pieces in the sculpture gallery had some pieces come off.  Artech submit  a quote to paint and repair the pieces.  They want to permanently weld the pieces as they have come off several times in the past.  Artech indicated that the pieces can be painted in place once welded. An Tootill indicated that the public art committee will be meeting soon, and they will add it to their list of items to discuss.  She will email to arrange a time for everyone.


Fire Station #92 (8473 SE 68th St) is moving along at a rapid pace.  The architect, construction company and fire department would like to incorporate the art into the construction as it is being done, and have come me up with 3 concepts that they thought could fit into their vision for the art without being too specific.  


·         Pedestrian safety feature - some sort of light feature that would be artistic and could also alert pedestrians that trucks are leaving and crossing the sidewalk.

·         An artistic tactile experience at the entry. It could be on the sidewalk outside and could be carried into the building in some way.

·         Land art or sculpture element built into the landscaping.

Based on this information and the fact that time is of the essence, Amber presented a draft request she prepared for artist qualifications. The request states that the Mercer Island Arts Council wants commission an artist to design and fabricate artwork for the new fire station.  The deadline for submission is to be May 30th, 2013.  Amber indicated that the budget for the project is $29,600 (approximately 1% of the cost to build the fire station). 


A public art committee will be convened.  Responses will be narrowed down to three finalists.  They will interview the finalists.  The public art committee will then choose the final project.


The public art committee will consist of the following (as defined in the public art policy):

1. An artist generally recognized for producing quality work.

2. A Mercer Island citizen with special interest in the proposed site.

3. A MIAC member (will serve as Chair) (Amber will check with Jane Ditzler).

4. A Mercer Island Design Commission member.

5. A lay citizen of the City.

6. A Mercer Island City Council Member (Jane Myer-Brahm).

7. A City staff advisor (Amber Britton).


Amber asked that recommendations for committee members be emailed to her right away.  Mireya suggested Sandy Glass be invited to fill the artist slot.


The Arts Council consensus was to send the RFQ as presented, and to maximize exposure.


Amber reminded everyone that we need ideas for the craft booth at Summer Celebration.  The sooner she can buy supplies, the cheaper they will be.  Paulette stated that Ellen Hochberg agreed to come up with a craft, but she hasn’t gotten back to her yet.  She will contact Ellen again.




Susan Szafir, Chair

No Report




Paulette Bufano, Chair

No Report




Linda Iwanyk, Chair

Linda reported that the current gallery show will be coming down on May 31.  A new show (featuring four artists: Patricia Tamburini, Beni Chen O’Donnell, Ed McCarthy and Anna Macrae; currently being called “The Summer Show) will be hung on Saturday, June 1.  The artists’ reception will be held on Thursday, June 13, 6:30 to 8:00 pm.  Paulette Bufano stated that she will ask her husband, Ralph, if he will be available to assist with hanging the show.  Anyone else that is available is asked to contact Linda. Eileen will be out of town, but Amber will be available by phone. 


Linda indicated that she is reviewing applications for a replacement show for the Juried Art Show this year.  She will convene a committee to review and hopefully have a new artist(s) selected by the end of June. Eileen will send her the committee requirements and associated forms.



Public Art

An Tootill, Chair

An reported that we have received a request from the Veteran’s to consider another location for the Call of the Wild sculpture. They feel it is too whimsical to be placed so close to the Pergola.  It was agreed that Call of the Wild is a playful piece and a more appropriate location for it might be near the new playground at Luther Burbank Park.  If Call of the Wild is installed elsewhere, An would like to see another piece put into the Mercerdale location.


An would like to move forward with artwork for the tennis court walls. She invited anyone that is available to meet with her on May 16th at Luther Burbank to survey the site and the suggested new location for Call of the Wild.



Collections Management Project

Mireya Lewin

No Report.



Community Relations

Chair, Bonnie Bradley

Bonnie reported that she attended the YTN meeting at 77th Central.  She is supportive and would like to see it go forward, but she felt it should be a true collaboration for a total community benefit.  She sees it as more of a Mercer Island Performing Arts Center - home of Youth Theatre Northwest, and would like to see a broader representation of the arts. 


Bonnie reported that she recently attended the Cultural Congress.  The overarching theme was building relationships. Bill Ivey spoke on building and working on authentic relationships. Bonnie talked about building future audiences.  Advertising to teens is very important right now.  They are very visual.  Some places, like Pacific Northwest Ballet, are revamping their websites to attract this younger audience.  This led Bonnie to think about MIAC Brand Awareness, and what the Arts Council can do to be more visual.  We need to get signage and our logo out there; perhaps a sign or banner that says Mercer Island Arts Council and includes the Arts Council Logo to display at all of our events. 


There was some discussion about using signs that can be placed in the right of way.  Amber said we have tried to use these types of signs in the past, but they have proven somewhat problematic due to vandalism, theft, being tossed in the bushes, etc. She stated that there are also ordinances that restrict sign square footage and dimensions to be considered.


Paulette suggested we do at least one new thing to publicize the Arts Council before the summer is over. 







The meeting adjourned at 8:30 pm


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