Public art guidelines established in Jasper

From Local Sources

JASPER — Guidelines recently approved by the Jasper Community Arts Commission will pave the way for the future of public art in a significant part of the downtown Jasper area.

The local arts commission has been responsible for approving the works for several years, but an established approval system was never in place. After about a year of research, a proposal for that process was approved at the group’s monthly meeting last week.

The new regulations apply to art displayed in the city’s mixed overlay district, which covers a good portion of the downtown area.

This information was pulled from a public art guidelines document shared by Corina Mack, the arts department program coordinator, and the leader of the Jasper Public Art Committee.

The committee formed with a desire to incorporate public art and engage the community of Jasper in art creation and appreciation. The JPAC includes local artisans, art advocates and people who work in the area, all with a passion for art and the community. The committee is dedicated to facilitating public art projects in the city of Jasper while ensuring that the needs and values of the community are upheld throughout the process of these projects.

The newly established guidelines define “public art” as an original work of art that is applied to an exterior building facade, structure or space, and is permitted to consist of any size, shape, form, color, material, medium or combination. It should not include any work that violates any local ordinances without first receiving some waiver or variance.

The artwork permitted in Jasper must adhere to these design standards:

• Artwork shall be original.

• Artwork shall be designed and constructed under the supervision of a qualified artist or other qualified professional who has sufficient knowledge and experience in the design and execution of such projects, as well as with the application of the selected medium.

• Artwork must exhibit excellence in design, content, material and application while incorporating high-quality materials that will enhance the overall development and appearance of the site.

• Artwork materials shall be securely attached if applied to the building or structure.

• Artwork materials shall be durable and weather resistant to prevent premature deterioration or other unintended change in appearance.

• Artwork materials must be appropriate.

• Artwork design, location, scale and content should be in keeping with and enhance the building, wall, windows, fence or other surface on which it is located, as well as the local environment.

• Artwork must comply with all City of Jasper municipal code sections.

The guidelines also prohibit certain artwork, such as work that creates a traffic hazard or work that contains a trademarked symbol.

In addition to approving the guidelines last week, the commission also discussed a plan for five art projects set to take place over the course of the next five years. Their funding mechanisms have not yet been determined.

They would include installing water-conservation-themed decals on the concrete next to water drains in 2020; bringing a sculpture to the Thyen-Clark Cultural Center and possibly promoting the installation of community-made sculptures in other places in 2021; painting or wrapping utility boxes in 2022; placing benches in select locations in 2023, and painting a mosaic underneath the Patoka River bridge in 2024.

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