Call to Order
The meeting was called to order by Chair, Joy Langley at 6:35 pm.
Roll Call Members Present: Amy Barnes, Joy Langley, Matt Lome, Angelina Odievich, Jessica Prince, Peter Schaefer, Xixi Shakes, Rene Stratton, An Tootill and Erin Vivion Members Absent: Joy Liechty
Council Member Jeff Sanderson was absent.
Bruce Fletcher, Kai Fulginiti and Eileen Hemmis Trifts
Bruce Fletcher, Director, Parks & Recreation Department
Bruce Fletcher introduced himself and thanked the Arts Council for their hard work for the Arts Council and for the community.
Bruce stated that the city is facing both operating and capital funding challenges in 2018-2019.
On the operating side, he explained significant deficits are projected in the General Fund and Youth & Family Services Fund, which account for most of the cities services. Using one-time resources, these projected deficits have been temporarily bridged, but in order to maintain current service levels into the future, a new ongoing revenue source is needed. The City Council may seek a voter approved levy.
Bruce stated that his primary reason for addressing the Arts Council this evening is to get them thinking about what major pieces of art (capital projects) that they might want to see in the future. The city is developing a list of what kinds of things would improve our community. He stated that he would like to see a list from the Arts Council of what they would like to see constructed for the benefit of the citizens of Mercer Island. These could then be considered, along with parks and other infrastructure ideas, for incorporation into the options presented to the City Council for levy funding for capital improvement projects.
In closing, Bruce thanked the Arts Council and invited them to call or email him if they have any questions.
The Arts Council discussed this further after Bruce left the meeting, and agreed to brainstorm and come back to the June meeting with their ideas.
Erin Vivion requested that the minutes be amended as follows: Page 3, General, 4th paragraph, first sentence, strike the word “at” before the word “previously”. Amy Barnes motioned to approve the minutes as amended. The motion was seconded and passed.
New Member introduction: The newest addition to the Arts Council, Xixi Shakes, was welcomed by the council members. Introductions were made all around.
Chair Report - Joy Langley
Bus Turn-around Update: In his absence, Joy shared an email from Councilman Jeff Sanderson regarding the Sound Transit settlement. While some people may be unhappy about some elements of the (Sound Transit) package, the bus rail integration pieces is good news for the sculpture park. In the tentative settlement agreement, Sound Transit agreed to limit the impact to temporary relocation of some of the pieces in the Greta Hackett Outdoor Gallery at 77th. They will not pursue the bus turnaround that would have affected the Primavera sculpture at 80th.
It was noted that this is not yet a binding agreement. Considering the history of surprises from Sound Transit during this process, Amy suggested that Joy and Erin continue to draft a letter stating the Arts Council strongly supports of the 77th street option.
Special Projects, Rene Stratton, Chair
Rene reported that she and Karen Kaser have been talking about a repeat of the Community Dance. She said they are looking at a late February date. The Arts Council gave their support to go forward with the dance. Erin Vivion, Angelina Odievich, Xixi Shakes and Matt Lome volunteered to be on the dance ad hoc committee.
Toddler Art Critic project discussion – Art appreciation for Toddlers
Toddler Art Critic was one of the top choices for inclusion in the 2018 Work Plan from ideas generated at the March 2018 Arts Council Retreat. Rene reported that the proposal is to use Mercer Island Art as well as art around the city to introduce toddlers and their parents to art, and to help them talk about art. Approximately $500 is the budget estimate. The timeframe would be 2018. It would probably be partnership with MIPA and Island preschools. Rene stated that there are some Arts Council members with toddlers, so we have built-in a test group, and will try out some ideas with them.
Island Art Map – Rene reported that she would like the Arts Council to start thinking about an art tour map similar to the guide she and Erin received when they went on the light rail tour. In addition to STQRY, Rene felt having a takeaway is a valuable reference tool, and it gets the Arts Council name out there. Rene will put together a formal proposal for consideration.
Public Art, Erin Vivion, Chair
An Tootill reported on the status of the West Mercer Mural. She stated that the “Call for Artists” has gone out. The deadline for submissions is June 30. She encouraged members to send the a link to the application to artists whose work they admire and would like to apply.
An artist selection panel will choose an artist from the entries received. The artist selection panel is defined in the Arts Council Manual (Guidelines for the Acquisition Program of Art in Public Places). The panel, when fully constituted, will consist of 7 members. An will serve as the Arts Council representative, Kai as the staff advisor and Amy Ferron as the artist. An will find out if Jeff Sanderson will be the City Council panel member. The remaining positions (1 citizen with special interest in the site, 1 Design Commission Member, and 1 lay citizen) have not yet been named. An asked for recommendations for the lay citizen. Recommendations can be sent to Kai. She and An will work together to make a selection.
Erin Vivion asked if there is an update on the Milk Bottle Art placement. Kai said she has not received any updates, but she will check into it and let her know.
Report on the Harmony of Color exhibit hanging. Amy stated that she was very impressed with the group, and that all of the artists assisted with the hanging. She suggested members stop by to meet the artists at the reception this Saturday, June 17, 1:30-3 pm.
Angelina distributed an updated draft follow-up letter to artists letting them know that their contract is up and it is time to remove their artwork from the gallery. She requested Arts Council member input. An commended Angelina on the letter. Discussion centered on the disposition of art when an artist does not respond within the specified time. Joy Langley suggested a check-in with legal to determine the options available. Kai said she will check with legal. Once Angelina hears from Kai, she will make some edits, review the wording of the letter with Jessica, and then bring it back to the council.
Kai reported that she received an email from Ingrid Lahti and she said she has a few questions about placement of her sculpture. It leads her to believe that Ingrid may not want it to go where we want it. She will follow up with her to see what she has in mind and see if she can get her to agree to the proposed location.
Rene asked about filling the now vacant Public Relations chair. Joy Langley gave a brief overview of what he position entails and asked that anyone interested email her prior to the next meeting.
Kai reported that she has received several Mercer Way mural submissions. The deadline is June 30, and she expects there will be more
Summer Celebration Involvement opportunities. The theme for this year is “Out of this World”.
There aren’t many artistic opportunities. Ideas for involvement discussed included sponsoring a band, walking in the parade, or sponsor and staff an MI Rocks booth. There was a great deal of interest in the MI Rocks idea, but it was felt that it is not feasible at this late date. They agreed to revisit this idea in February of next year in order to consider it for next year’s Summer Celebration. Matt Lome motioned that the Arts Council sponsor a band for Summer Celebration. The motion was seconded and passed by a show of hands.
There was further discussion about walking in the parade. Members agreed that if they participated in the parade they would want to do more than walk and carry a banner. Again, it was felt that time was too short to pull something meaningful together this year so it will also be tabled until early next year to be considered for next year.
Kai gave an update on the status of the Greta Hackett Outdoor Gallery sign. She distributed a draft and asked for input. Erin Vivion, An Tootill and Angelina Odievich agreed to serve as an ad hoc committee to review the draft and present their ideas at the next meeting. Kai asked that they work with Greta’s family to see what they would like.