Call to Order
The start of the meeting was delayed in anticipation of a quorum. The meeting was called to order at 6:55 pm by Chair Jane Ditzler at the Mercer Island Community & Event Center, 8236 SE 24th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040.
Members Present: An Tootill, Bonnie Bradley, Jane Ditzler, Anna Gordon, Mireya Lewin and Susan Szafir. Members absent: Paulette Bufano, Linda Iwanyk, Karen Kaser, Julian Trejo, and Susanne Zahinser.
Council Member Jane Meyer Brahm
Diane Mortenson & Eileen Hemmis Trifts
Approval of Minutes
Due to the late start of the meeting, approval of the July minutes is deferred until the September meeting.
There were no appearances.
Jane Ditzler, Chair
The chair gave a quick summary of summer activities to date, and stated that she was especially pleased with the success of the Arts Council booth at Summer Celebration! and thanked everyone for their participation. Discussion of upcoming activities included a reminder about the upcoming Russian Chamber Orchestra performance at Mostly Music in the Park in August. She reported that a recent article in the Mercer Island Reporter stated that the Jewish Community Center is remodeling their current auditorium. It will be open to the public for events. She suggested Bonnie call for more information.
Jane stated that the Arts Council has several art projects on the docket. The first is the dragon at Deane’s Park. This project is scheduled for completion by the end of this year. The other project is the tile project at Luther Burbank Park.
1) In response to a query from Mireya Lewin, Diane Mortenson advised that the cost of the dragon will be up to $60,000. This includes creation and installation by the Artist. Removal of the existing dragon will be done by the Parks Maintenance crew. They want to save the head of the original dragon and place it in the bushes, kind of peeking out. A plaque with information about the original dragon could accompany this piece. The artist is doing an acid wash etching for the scales and it will have a green tint. It will be about 6’ tall.
2) Jane reported that the playground will be finished at the end of August. She indicated that Sandy Glass and Jose Orantes, the artists, have indicated they would like to do a presentation about the project at the opening on September 10. They would like to receive a small fee of $750 to $1000 for the proposal and opening preparation. There was discussion as to whether or not it would be appropriate to make a payment to the artists prior to design approval and the timing of the project. Councilperson, Jane Brahm, stated that this discussion made her wonder if this project is being rushed. She felt it would be nice if the funding was secure and we knew we had an okay from the City Council to go forward. She suggested opening the park with an announcement about the tiles and the fact that the Arts Council is working on putting a project together. She felt this way Sandy and Jose will be guaranteed not to be wasting time or energy on a project that may not be funded. The Arts Council agreed. Jane Ditzler will contact Sandy Glass to let her know.
Jane asked everyone to start thinking about agenda items for a retreat in October. Amber will email everyone to find a Saturday morning in October. Mireya Lewin asked if the retreat would take the place of the regular Arts Council meeting in October. Jane indicated that it would.
Diane Mortenson Fire Station 92 Update: Diane reported that he committee chose option #1. The artist and the fireman taking Chief Tubb’s place on the committee now want to merge proposals #1 and #2. In order to do this, it would have to go in front of the committee again. The artist, the architect, and the project manager are meeting on Friday, and we should know after that if they wish to proceed with a change. Jane Ditzler advised Diane that Arts Council member Paulette Bufano’s husband Ralph may be able to arrange for transportation through Boeing.
Call of the Wild Sculpture: Diane reported staff has received two bids from Artech for installation of this sculpture; one with a swivel base and one with a fixed base. The cost for the swivel is $4,500 and the fixed is $3,000. Artech is recommending the swivel because they feel it would destroy the base if we ever wanted to move the sculpture. An Tootill recalled that the original quotes from Artech were much less. She is going to review her emails and will come back to the council with her findings. The council felt the new quote was too high, and would like see if there is another vendor that can do it for less. Diane suggested she could also show the quote to the Parks Superintendent to see if maintenance might be able to do the installation.
Extraordinary and Thanks Sculptures: Artech gave us an estimate of $3,700 to repair both pieces of sculpture. It will require re-fabrication of the pieces that have been lost, and quite a bit of work to refurbish both pieces. Diane will check with Artech to find out: 1) if the pieces will still be kinetic and not be easily damaged, and 2) if Artech will provide a warranty. The Arts Council agreed that staff should proceed, and a formal vote will be taken to approve the expenditure at the September meeting.
Dog Sculpture: Diane reported that it looks as if the donors of this sculpture want to remain anonymous. She and Amber have been working on a plan for a plaque, and the unveiling. A location has not been determined. An stated that the Public Art Committee did submit their thoughts on a preferred location and possible alternate locations for consideration. Diane asked her to please resend this information to her.
Collections Management Presentation: Diane gave a short presentation on the Artech Collections Management system. It is online and currently accessible to staff using login and passwords. The Arts Council agreed that only staff should have the ability to make changes to the site, but they would like viewing to be available by the City Council, Arts Council, and eventually the public. This is the first phase, and additional phases will address this.
The Arts Council requested that an “acquired” field be added to the database. This would be used to add information on how the piece was acquired, i.e., donation, memorial, purchase, etc.
Mireya Lewin stated that she and Amber will be doing some research, looking at similar collections, to determine recommendations for the next phase. They will also look into atomization of maintenance schedule notifications.
Susan Szafir, Chair
Mostly Music in the Park
Paulette Bufano, Chair
Linda Iwanyk, Chair
An Tootill, Chair Topiary Deer: An reported that the deer were vandalized again. There was a robust discussion around vandalism of the deer and what, if anything can be done to stop it. An pointed out that drawing attention to the vandalism is a double-edged sword. It would give attention to the vandals. There was concern that sustainability could be a problem; replacing or rehabilitating the deer, putting them back, and they get vandalized again.
The general consensus was that the Council did not want to give in to the vandals. Jane Brahm suggested telling the community two died, we have a warranty, and we will get two more healthy topiaries. She thought funds for transportation (which is not covered by the warranty) could be found in the budget. In the meantime, it was suggested that maintenance test the soil to see if they were poisoned (in addition to be pull out of the ground and pushed over) or if it is simply a poor location for them. It could be the soil or a problem with water. Diane Mortenson assured the Arts Council that parks maintenance is on top of this.
Tennis Wall Mural: An reported that there was a requirement put forward at the City Council meeting that a seven person commission be assembled to approve the design. This project uses 1% for Art funds, so there is a requirement for a call for artists be sent out and a public art committee review submissions. The committee is still lacking a community member; someone connected to the site. It is preferred that this person be a frequent tennis player at Luther Burbank Park. It was suggested that we contact Ralph Jorgenson.
Dedications: An stated that she feels the word “dedication” is being used indiscriminately. She indicated she is having second thoughts about calling every acknowledgement of a public artwork or recognition of a donor a dedication. It should be to a specific purpose or person. She suggested the Arts Council watch their terminology, and acknowledge or recognize a piece in the form of an announcement. Diane commented that looking back on the art acquired through the years, we have not recognized every piece. She suggested the Arts Council should be consistent, deciding whether or not they want to recognize each piece going forward as well as how they want to do that - with an announcement in the Mercer Island Reporter or with a gathering. The Arts Council consensus was to look at every piece separately, and make the decision on a case by case basis.
Chair, Bonnie Bradley
As previously reported, the Arts Council did not receive the 4Culture Grant for a collaborative project. However, Bonnie stated that she plans to continue collaboration with the Mercer Island Preschool Association on the tile project, while seeking other funding or sponsorship.
Bonnie reported that there is a facilities grant deadline at 4Culture coming up in October. She indicated she will work with Amber on an application for installation of lighting on the backside of the stage in the Amphitheatre at Luther Burbank Park.