PAC Minutes

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

October 23, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on October 23, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.

Members Present:
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Gail Kolis Sellers
Nancy Ziter

Absent:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Eric Kerns

Also Present:
Tammy Daniels
Phil Sellers

CALL TO ORDER
Vice Chairperson Manville called the meeting to order at 5:36p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its September 21, 2017 public meeting. Blackmer seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

OLD BUSINESS: MASS MOCA COMMUNICATION UPDATE
Manville reported that she had written to Mass MoCA but received no response.  She will continue to check in with them in hopes of establishing clear lines of communication between the museum and the Public Arts Commission.

PROJECT/PROPOSAL UPDATE: EAGLE STREET INITIATIVE
With Kerns absent and responsible for this update, the commission agreed to table this item for a future meeting.

PROJECT/PROPOSAL UPDATE: GRIFFIN LABBANCE'S MONTANA STREET PROJECT
On behalf of Dixon, Manville reported that on October 3, Dixon and Griffin Labbance met to talk about his project, which will no longer involve painting directly on the road (not feasible with the restrictions). He is now interested in doing a crosswalk painting project. Labbance spoke with Phil Sellers in the spring about what he will need to do it, but he is interested in having a large section on Montana Street be designated as a crosswalk area (between a walkway on one side and campus housing on the other side in between Bowman Hall and the gym) to paint along with the Hoosac/Montana crosswalk and perhaps a few others. Dixon sent an email to Mike Canales on his behalf inquiring about this possibility. He sees this as a fall or spring project.

PROJECT/PROPOSAL UPDATE: RAMONA FABREGAS' PRAYER FLAGS PROJECT
Ramona Fabregas told Manville and Sellers she has more than 500 flags created, but is still searching for funding for the remainder of the project.  Manville advised Fabregas to research grants via the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and also shared local after school program contacts with her to help her proceed with her project.  A site for the flags has still not been selected, nor has a complete proposal been submitted.

NORTH ADAMS CULTURAL DISTRICT/PLAN UPDATE
On behalf of Dixon, Manville reported that the cultural district group will be meeting on Wednesday, October 25. Some notes indicated that the group may develop its own cultural plan, so Dixon would like to wait to see what that might look like/who that might serve before launching a draft public art plan. Perhaps these two things can be one in the same.

PUBLIC ARTS COMMISSION EMAILS DISCUSSION
Sellers expressed concern regarding a series of emails from Joseph Smith that she and Ziter felt were inappropriately managed by the Public Arts Commission’s chair.  This information came to her attention via a city councilor, and Sellers felt blindsided by the news, having never seen the emails.  This situation led the commission to hold a discussion regarding how emails from the public are shared and responded to by the commission. 

Ziter felt it would be appropriate for the commission to set up an automated response indicating that the email would be responded to within 48 hours, and that then either the Chair, or someone designated by the chair, should respond during that time window, if the email posed a question that could easily be addressed.  After further discussion, the commission agreed that if, however, the questions or comments appeared to require a lengthier, or less straight forward response, the Chair would encourage the emailer to attend the next commission meeting, and would either add the item to the agenda, or invite the emailer to voice their comments during the “Public Attendees Concerns” portion of the agenda.  Any relevant emails could then be passed along to the other commissioners for review as attachments with the agenda.  The commission agreed this seemed a reasonable way of ensuring that commissioners be as informed as possible, members of the public feel their voices are heard, and all open meeting laws be upheld. 

Regarding the specific concerns of Joseph Smith, the commission recommended that Sellers respond by encouraging him to layout his current specific questions in an email for discussion at a future meeting.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
Phil Sellers, in reference to the bridge columns, asked that the commission look into the current plans for the Harmonic Bridge art installation, and how long the project is intended to remain in that location.  Ziter suggested that someone from the commission approach the City Solicitor and ask what rights the city has regarding the placement of art in that location if no contracts are in place with the city.  Sellers and Manville agreed to set up a meeting with Mike Canalis for further review of the issue.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Quiñones noted that, for personal reasons, she intends to step down from the position of Secretary in December, and invited other members to consider taking on the role.

Future agenda items will include an update on the Harmonic Bridge’s intended duration, an update on the Eagle St. Initiative, and an update on the Cultural District plan.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be determined by an online poll established by the chair.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Ziter moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:25p.m. Quiñones seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

PAC Minutes

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

September 21, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on September 21, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Eric Kerns

Absent:
Gail Kolis Sellers
Nancy Ziter

Also Present:
Vincent Melito

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
With minor corrections provided by Dixon, Manville moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its July 25, 2017 public meeting. Kerns seconded. All voted in favor. None opposed.

OLD BUSINESS: EAGLE STREET INITIATIVE/STAKEHOLDER COMMUNICATION UPDATE
Commissioner Kerns will talk with Councilor Lamb to find out more about the Public Arts Commission’s involvement in the development of a logo design, the parklet, and other related components of the initiative.

CULTURAL PLAN/PROJECT LISTING UPDATE
Chairperson Dixon postponed discussion of this topic to another meeting, citing the need for more time to prepare.

NORTH ADAMS CULTURAL DISTRICT DISCUSSION
Dixon reported on the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s recent decision to recognize a walkable area of downtown North Adams as a Cultural District.  This title comes with $2,000 to support signage related to the district, as well as marketing support. Local leaders have formed a core group to discuss best ways to leverage the benefits of the new status.  Manville moved to designate Dixon as the representative to the cultural district core group. Commissioner Quiñones seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

NEW MINUTES RULE CHANGE REMINDER
Dixon informed the commission that the council amended and then approved to a second reading and to be published an ordinance change requiring boards and commissions to have meeting minutes available at the city clerk's office within two weeks of a meeting.  The commission discussed the logistics of the ordinance, and how they would apply to the Public Arts Commission, which does not meet frequently enough to have minutes approved within a two-week period.  Dixon offered to seek clarification.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
Vincent Melito spoke regarding two concerns: 1. Preserving the old signage on Eagle St. (which Kerns said he would bring up during his Eagle St. Initiative conversation with Councilor Lamb); and 2. Pursuing the restoration of the pillars artwork that has been a focal point in this summer’s Public Arts Commission meetings.  He expressed his personal feeling that Mass MoCA should pay for the restoration of the artwork, and his concern that the whole subject would fade with time and not be addressed.  The Commission responded by discussing how things had been left in the hands of the artists directly involved, and advised Melito to bring his concerns to the artists directly if he wanted to learn more.  Kerns noted that he had heard the conversations between the artists had begun, and Manville offered to bring up the matter for an update during her next conversation with the involved parties at Mass MoCA.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Kerns inquired about the statuses of proposals the commission discussed in previous months, such as Griffin Labbance’s Montana Street proposal, and Ramona Fabregas’s prayer flag project.  Dixon offered to include a project update on the Montana Street project in the next agenda. Other future agenda items will include a cultural district update, as well as a cultural plan update.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 5:30p.m. on Monday, October 23, 2017, at the Eclipse Mill.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Quiñones moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:16 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

July 25, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on July 25, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson, acting Secretary for this meeting
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Eric Kerns
Gail Kolis Sellers
Nancy Ziter

Absent:
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

Also Present:
Tammy Daniels
Stephanie Vanbramer
Larry Smallwood
William Oberst
Vincent Melito

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Commissioner Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its June 29, 2017 public meeting. Vice Chairperson Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

CULTURAL PLAN DISCUSSION
Chairwoman Dixon proposed a cultural plan discussion as an idea, because major cities do this through their cultural commission such as ours. Sellers questioned the responsibility of our commission as proactive, and questioned soliciting for such activities. Dixon discussed our proactive stance. Ziter then asked how we raise the money, since the city does not have funds specific to the Public Arts Commission so she suggested calls for the arts. Dixon responded by suggesting we could just solicit for funds through grants and donations instead of needing a Friends of the Arts Commission nonprofit since we can do that already. Kerns suggested that was too broad of an all call, and suggested we create a roster and solicit sponsors so that the commission does not need to manage funds. Commissioners then discussed as a whole the ramifications of such an agreement. The end result was that we would need a document to establish the ideas for the “ask” so that donors knew where the money was going. Kerns suggested the North Adams Partnership act as our fiscal sponsor and volunteered to reach out to this body. Ziter suggested a bullet point list for the document. Sellers mentioned she was not interested in fundraising. A motion was called, to accept the creation of such a document and plan. Ziter motioned. Manville seconded. All voted in favor, none opposed.

BILL OBERST/CHRISTINA KING APPLICATION REVIEW
Bill Oberst and Stephanie Vanbramer discussed their application which requested approval to remove a section of grey paint from the pillars at the former location of their mural (please see June 9, 2017 minutes for details). Oberst explained that the restorers from the Clark in Williamstown would try a patch study to see if removal of the top layer of paint would work. There is no contract with the Harmonic Bridge sound installation artists or Mr. Oberst that protects either installation.

Ziter expressed concern that Mr. Oberst’s application did not specify the size of the paint section to be removed. Kerns suggested that all the artists meet, which was planned for later this month, to agree on a plan. Oberst said that both installations were not permanent, and suggested that the Harmonic Bridge artists had their time. Larry Smallwood, speaking on behalf of MASS MoCA, prefers that Mr. Oberst find another location to paint a new mural and that MASS MoCA would help in this endeavor. Public attendee Vincent Melito added that he has spent 14 years on city council in North Adams and the people he knows in North Adams would like to preserve the mural in any way we can.

Sellers motioned to approve a six-inch square patch test, Ziter seconded, motion did not pass with no others voting in favor. Motion denied 4-2.

Dixon urged Mr. Oberst to reapply for the restoration test after meeting with the Harmonic Bridge artists and agreeing on a path forward.

STREET ORNAMENTATION DISCUSSION
Dixon presented the commission with the information that the Eagle Street Initiative proposed ornamentation and parklets on Eagle Street. She does not want to dampen the project but would like reciprocal communication between the Eagle Street Initiative and the Public Arts Commission. Kerns volunteered to write an email to those stakeholders. An update will be added to the next agenda.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
Vincent Melito asked about a historic painted sign that used to exist on a building on Eagle Street. He asked about the historical preservation society revamping the faded mural. He mentioned that Ben Lamb, City Councilman, was interested in this prospective preservation.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
None.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be determined at a later date by a Doodle poll.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Ziter moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:52 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Erica Manville, Vice Chairwoman

PAC Minutes

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

June 29, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on June 29, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Gail Kolis Sellers
Nancy Ziter

Absent:
Eric Kerns

Also Present:
Tammy Daniels
Bill Oberst
Christina King
Stephanie Vanbramer
Donna Motta

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Commissioner Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its June 7, 2017 public meeting. Vice Chairperson Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

HARMONIC BRIDGE/ART ABOUT TOWN PILLARS DISCUSSION
Manville reported on her meeting with Jodi Joseph and Larry Smallwood (from Mass MoCA) to establish a more direct line of communication between the museum and the Public Arts Commission.   Manville noted that they were receptive to the idea, and that Joseph agreed to try to attend the next Public Arts Commission meeting.  Manville will be emailing commission minutes, agendas, and meeting updates to them from here on out.

Bill Oberst and Christina King shared details from their recent meeting with Joe Thompson regarding the murals that had been painted over under the Veterans Memorial Bridge.  The discussion focused on restoration of the murals, as they had initially been protected with an anti-graffiti sealant. Ziter suggested to Oberst and King that, since the pillars belong to the city, their next step should be submitting a proposal to the commission to restore the artwork.

DONNA MOTTA PROPOSAL REVIEW
Donna Motta presented information to the commission about a plan to create three 4 x 8 ‘ art panels as part of a cultural awareness festival taking place at the Heritage State Park. Since the ultimate location of the panels has not yet been selected, Dixon told Motta that it would be premature to submit a proposal to the commission.  Potential locations for the artwork, several on private property, were suggested for consideration.  Ziter recommended asking participants in the project to waive their rights to the artwork.  Dixon offered to speak with a copyright lawyer about creating the appropriate language for the waivers.

REVISED APPLICATION REVIEW
Dixon presented the commission with a revised draft of the public art application. After reviewing the application, Ziter moved to accept its new form. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

CONTRACTS/AGREEMENTS DISCUSSION
The contract discussion will be postponed to a future meeting.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
None presented.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Ziter commented on the painting of the compass at the airport and noted that it should have come through the commission as a public art project.

Dixon spoke on her research into the creation of “Friends of…” groups, and noted that the lack of physical assets makes the Public Arts Commission an unlikely focus for such a fundraising group.  Instead, she proposed that we pursue the creation of a cultural plan to guide future projects and fundraising efforts.  Quiñones suggested that the commission hold a public forum to pool ideas and encourage community involvement.  The commission agreed to add this item to the next agenda for further discussion.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission (as determined later by a Doodle poll) will be Tuesday, July 25, at 5:30p.m. at the Eclipse Mill.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Ziter moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:51 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

PAC Minutes

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

June 7, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on June 7, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Gail Kolis Sellers

Absent:
Nancy Ziter
Eric Kerns

Also Present:
City Councilor Nancy Bullett
City Councilor Eric Buddington
Phil Sellers
Bill Kolis
Vin Jensen
Stephanie Borns
Tammy Daniels

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Blackmer moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its May 10, 2017 public meeting. Sellers seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

HARMONIC BRIDGE/ART ABOUT TOWN PILLARS DISCUSSION
In light of MASS MoCA’s decision to restore the Harmonic Bridge installation by painting over the Art About Town community mural projects located under the Veterans Memorial Bridge on Marshall St., the Public Arts Commission held a discussion to consider both what had occurred, and what potential next steps might be taken by the commission and community to avoid future miscommunications and harm.

Gail Sellers described the phone call she received from Joe Thompson on May 10 indicating the museum’s intentions.  During the call, Thompson told Sellers that he had seen the murals being painted in 2012, and knew the students were painting over the gray columns intended to be a part of the Harmonic Bridge installation, but decided to say nothing at the time, believing the mural installation would be temporary.  He also saw the second round of murals being added in 2013 and did not object at the time to their creation and placement.  Sellers warned Thompson about the pushback he would receive from the community, yet in mid-May, MASS MoCA went ahead with their plans to restore the Harmonic Bridge installation by painting over the pillars.

Manville noted that the bridge itself is state property, though Dixon pointed out that is the city’s responsibility to maintain the bridge.  Dixon also asked whether or not a contract had been drafted at the time of the Harmonic Bridge’s installation, underscoring the necessity for contracts in the creation of all future public art in the city.

All of the commissioners noted that they had individually heard from community members about their frustration, sadness, and outrage over the destruction of the art created by and for the local community. 

Sellers proposed that the commission hold a public forum dedicated to further discussion of this issue as soon as possible.  She volunteered to reach out to Christina King and Bill Oberst, the artists responsible for the community mural projects to gauge their interest and availability.

Manville suggested that the commission would benefit from having an assigned liaison to MASS MoCA, in order to improve communication regarding this and all future public art projects proposed by the museum.  She volunteered to be the liaison, given her already well-established relationships with the museum administrators and educators.  She volunteered to check their availability in terms of setting up a public forum.  The commission also agreed it would be prudent to ask MASS MoCA to identify a specific liaison to communicate with the Public Arts Commission and attend meetings as a member of the public.

City Councilor Nancy Bullett noted the commission’s role as a recommending body (as opposed to one empowered to assign punishments to those who have broken contracts or otherwise defaced public art), encouraged the creation of a liaison position with the museum, and recommended increasing communication with the public, in general.

Bill Kolis recommended that the commission use other existing public arts commissions as templates for their by-laws, contracts, etc.  He also noted the importance of considering Visual Artists Rights Act (VARA) laws, which Dixon noted the commission has been aware of since its first discussions in December 2015.

Vin Jensen pointed out that this particular issue has many layers, as there are multiple artists whose works were violated.  He also noted that, were an individual to paint over a public art exhibit without permission, it would be treated as vandalism.  He asked whether or not MASS MoCA had complied with the arts commission guidelines, and Dixon noted that they had not.

City Councilor Eric Buddington acknowledged the importance of considering both the legal and moral authority vested in the arts commission by the city.

Phil Sellers commented that the whole experience felt like an important part of a learning curve for the commission and the city, and expressed regret that the administration at MASS MoCA seem to feel they have a right to paint over anyone else’s work when it suits them.

City councilor Bullett noted that this is an opportune time to formalize a reporting mechanism within the commission—a process for reporting instances such as this, when a person or entity does not follow the guidelines set forth by the public arts commission.  Dixon noted that MASS MoCA did not submit completed applications for public art, as is required by the arts commission guidelines.

CHRISTINA KING PROPOSAL REVIEW
Time and weather restraints have led to this project’s postponement.

REVISED APPLICATION REVIEW
This item has been postponed to a future meeting.

CONTRACTS/AGREEMENTS DISCUSSION
Dixon noted that the commission had decided to hold off on creating a template for artist contracts until they were needed.  Observing that the time has come, Dixon and Quiñones agreed to draft a contract template to run by the city solicitor and will report back to the commission at a future meeting.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
Stephanie Borns asked to whom she should complain about the content of the Jenny Holzer exhibit, noting that she feels the violence described in the text is inappropriate in their current location across the street from a residential neighborhood in which many children live.  Dixon referred Borns to Larry Smallwood, the curator of the project, noting that the museum did not submit a completed application for the project.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Future agenda items will include an update on the public forum regarding the Harmonic Bridge/Art About Town pillars project, an update from Manville regarding commission communication with MASS MoCA, a review of the revised application, a review of the contract template, and other items to be determined.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 5:30p.m. on Thursday, June 29, 2017, at the Eclipse Mill.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Manville moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:58p.m. Blackmer seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

PAC Minutes

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

May 10, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on May 10, 2017 at the Eclipse Mill Gallery at the Eclipse Mill Artist Lofts, 243 Union Street #102, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Nancy Ziter
Eric Kerns           
Gail Kolis Sellers

Absent: none

Also Present:
City Counselor Eric Buddington
Ramona Fabregas
Joe Thompson
Larry Smallwood
Tammy Daniels

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at5:32 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its April 26, 2017 public meeting, with a spelling correction to Krystal Henriquez’s name. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

NOTRE DAME CHURCH INSTALLATION PRESENTATION – MASS MoCA
Larry Smallwood and Joe Thompson (of Mass MoCA) described the upcoming Luftwerk Cloudland Project in the context of the North Adams Exchange Project (NAX), a collaborative, cooperative event between local merchants, the mayor’s office, and Mass MoCA designed to increase foot traffic in downtown North Adams.  The NAX will lead to several visual improvements to the downtown area, including cleanup of the lot at the corner of Marshall and Main Streets, laying clean white stone under the overpass, and tearing down the fence in that area.

Specifically, the Cloudland project will involve placing beacon-like lights atop the four prominent church steeples in North Adams, as well as the clocktower at Mass MoCA, for a citywide exhibit that will run from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with the option to extend until the end of November.  The beacons will flash out, in Morse code, the famous Henry David Thoreau passage describing his experience at the top of Mount Greylock: “As the light increased / I discovered around me an ocean of mist..”etc. The beacons will appear to be in dialogue with one another, trading off lines, occasionally “speaking” in unison.  Roof inspections will be done before the beacons are placed and after they are removed. 

Ziter noted that Notre Dame may be up for bid at that time, and recommended factoring the potential sale into the planning of the exhibit.  Dixon noted the potential for collaboration with schools to create learning opportunities in conjunction with the project.

RIVER STREET INSTALLATION PRESENTATION – MASS MoCA
Larry Smallwood and Joe Thompson presented plans for a Jenny Holzer exhibit scheduled to run from May 27 to June 25 (Wednesday-Sunday) along the Hoosic River side of the Mass MoCA galleries.  Five large projections of scrolling text (specific poetry TBA) will cover the sides of the Mass MoCA buildings from dusk to 11pm.  Two of the 10’ x 8’ projectors will be on city property.  Mass MoCA will have two staff attending to the projectors during the running hours of the exhibit.  Mass MoCA will repair any damage done to the grass by the projectors at the conclusion of the project.  The museum website will contain extended information about the project.

Kerns moved to approve the Luftwerk Cloudland and Jenny Holzer projects as presented.  Blackmer seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

PRAYER FLAG PROJECT PRESENTATION – RAMONA FABREGAS
Fabregas began her presentation by noting that she was not ready to seek the commission’s approval, but rather advice on the planning of her project, specifically regarding site locations.  She then presented an overview of her own artistic work, as well as a detailed description of her intentions.

For this project, Fabregas hopes to engage the local community as widely as possible in the creation of 3,000-5,000 interdenominational prayer flags, some of which would be block printed with Celtic designs and pre-selected positive messages, others of which would be written on and designed by community members with their own personal wishes and hopes.  She projects the cost of the project materials at approximately $2,000, and is researching a possible grant via Wal-Mart.  Community involvement is critical to the project, and Fabregas had several ideas about enabling that engagement, from collaborating with local schools to setting up a table during Down Street Art.  Fabregas would also like to have a celebratory installation event.

Regarding location, Fabregas indicated she would like to install the project in a place where the flags could be left on display for three years or more.  (Typically, prayer flags are not removed; they hang until they deteriorate or are blown away.) Fabregas had identified several possible sites, including the footbridges in town, the Hoosic River, Eagle Street, and the former Johnson School.  She shared pictures with the commission for discussion and feedback.  Commissioners discussed the advantages and disadvantages of each site, from visibility to accessibility.  Ultimately, Dixon recommended that Fabregas identify a location that means something to the project, and then create her proposal around that specific choice.

FINAL WEBSITE REVIEW
Dixon reported that the new Public Arts Commission website (northadamspublicart.org) is live, and gave the commission a tour of the various pages on the site.  Commissioners who had not yet had their photographs taken by Staaf were asked to contact her within the next week to make arrangements.  The website includes many practical features, such an option to complete and submit a public art application online.  The commission agreed it would be valuable to add a resources page, as well as a place for upcoming meeting dates, times, and agendas.  The arts commission email address needs to be updated so that emails are ultimately directed to Dixon, not Manville.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
City Councilor Buddington noted that the commission should be sure to clarify the difference between giving advice and giving approval when discussing proposals with artists.  Dixon reviewed the commissions stated core principles.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Future agenda items will include establishing a FAQ page for the website, reviewing the revised application, and a discussion of the responsibilities of members.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 5:30p.m. on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at the Eclipse Mill.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Manville moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:06 p.m. Sellers seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

PAC Minutes

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Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

April 26, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on April 26, 2017 at City Hall’s law library, 10 Main Street, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary     
Gail Kolis Sellers

Absent:
Nancy Ziter                                        
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Eric Kerns

Also Present: none

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 4:38 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Manville moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its March 3, 2017 public meeting. Sellers seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

MICHELLE DALY’S UPDATE/PRESENTATION OF DOWNSTREET ART PARKLET DESIGN PROPOSALS
Postponed until an upcoming meeting.

UPDATE ON GRIFFIN LABBANCE’S MONTANA STREET PROPOSAL
The commission reviewed and discussed Griffin Labbance’s emailed update (see attached).

GROUP PHOTO
Postponed.  Dixon will have Katrina contact members that still need photos taken.

OLD BUSINESS: DISCUSSION OF POSSIBLE BOARD MEMBERS FOR “FRIENDS OF…” NONPROFIT
Manville reported that William Archer agreed to advise in the creation of the Friends Of organization. Dixon reported that Krystal Henriquez is interested in participating.  Commission members will continue to seek out potentially interested members.

DISCUSSION OF PURPOSE STATEMENT REVISION
Dixon noted that the purpose statement the commission wrote during its first meetings does not include active language that reflects our revised proactive stance.

“The North Adams Public Arts Commission will guide, support, and provide opportunities for artists seeking to create public art and enhance the quality of life in the city of North Adams.”

Manville motioned.  Sellers seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Motion carried.

FINAL WEBSITE REVIEW
Postponed until next meeting.  Dixon suggested the inclusion of a short form application, based on recent experiences with artists approaching commissioners about how to apply.  She also proposed the inclusion of a resources page.

Manville made a motion to include a short form of the application on the website for artists interested in pursuing a public arts project.  Quiñones seconded the motion.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Dixon will adjust the application to include a step for an initial inquiry.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
None present.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Future agenda items will include a website design update, a presentation from Michelle Daly about the DownStreet Art parklet designs, and a presentation from Larry Smallwood and Joe Thompson about an art installation involving Notre Dame.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 5:30p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at the Eclipse Mill Gallery. 

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Quiñones moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:35 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

PAC Minutes

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

March 3, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on March 3, 2017 at Bright Ideas Brewing, 111 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams.

Members Present:
Julia Dixon, Chairperson
Erica Manville, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Nancy Ziter
Eric Kerns           
Gail Kolis Sellers

Absent: none

Also Present:
Katrina Staaf
Tammy Daniels
Phil Sellers
Griffin Labbance

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Dixon called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its February 16, 2017 public meeting, with the revision of titles “Chairperson” and “Vice-chairperson.”  Dixon seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

WEBSITE UPDATE
Kerns reported that he has purchased the domains the commission had been seeking for the PAC website; Katrina can now link the website. 

BUDGET UPDATE
Dixon crafted a proposed budget of $1,097, comprised of $585 for fees related to developing a Friends of the Public Arts Commission, $250 for the development of the PAC logo, $46 for purchasing domains, and $216 for the hosting of the website.  Ziter advised exploring reimbursement for recent expenses, but next year having a separate line item for the Arts Commission.

GRIFFIN LABBANCE’S PROPOSAL FOR TRAILBLAZERS STREET ART PROPOSAL
Labbance is a fifth year student at MCLA interested in creating a series of student murals painted on Montana Street, a city street, though many students perceive it as a piece of the college property, as it is central to the MCLA campus.  Discussions with police led to a plan to use circular rather than rectangular murals to avoid confusing them for crosswalks. Labbance intends to complete project on an afternoon in April, or in the fall if necessary, as far before the winter as possible, knowing that the wear and tear on the road would likely damage the art. He plans to invite college students to apply to submit proposals for the mural to a committee to be approved. 

Ziter pointed out that the students would need to inform the traffic commission, and possibly public safety, as well, and suggested talking with Mike Canales. Kerns suggested spinning the MCLA lettering to correspond with the flow of traffic, and adding to the call the idea that the images should not have a specific orientation, since the primary audience will be pedestrians coming from either direction.  Gail and Phil Sellers advised the use of road paint that comes in four colors.  Dixon advised submitting a call as soon as possible, and seeing what responses are received.

Ziter motioned to vote to approve the initial concept. Kerns seconded.  All voted in favor. None opposed.  Motion passed.

Dixon offered the committee’s support and help with pursuing the project and navigating the process of approval with the city.  Manville offered to go with Labbance to speak with Mike Canales.  Sellers offered to help further advise the work, given her experience with similar projects.

FRIENDS OF THE PUBLIC ARTS COMMISSION UPDATE
Dixon reported on the requirements for starting a 501(c)3.  First, the commission would need a lawyer and an accountant.  The commission would also need to have a board established and committed before filing.  There are no exclusions for board members regarding participation.  The primary issue to be concerned with is the potential for conflicts of interest. Board members do not need to be North Adams residents.  There are also related filing fees that the commission would need to cover.  There is no minimum number of board members required.  The “Friends of” would need to apply for the federal 501(c)3 status, as well as the Massachusetts charitable status.

Kerns proposed that we each identify two potential board members and talk with them before the next meeting.  Dixon has already reached out to Krystal Henriquez.  Dixon pointed out that it will be more work up front for the board members as they will be developing the initial structure the ”Friends of” group, its bylaws, etc.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
Art About Town is thinking of creating totems to display along the center median of Main St. this summer.  Some have criticized the use of the word totem to describe the art pieces, as a totem is typically considered spiritual in nature, so the description may change, but so far this has been the group’s term of choice.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Future agenda items will include interested potential board members for a Friends of the Public Arts Commission, and a group photo. Dixon will make a call for additional agenda items via email.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 4p.m. on Thursday, March 30, 2017, at City Hall.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Ziter moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:30 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary

PAC Minutes

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

Public Arts Commission
North Adams, Massachusetts

Meeting Minutes

February 16, 2017

The North Adams Public Arts Commission held a public meeting on February 16, 2017 at City Hall’s law library, 10 Main Street, North Adams.

Members Present:
Erica Manville, Chairperson
Julia Dixon, Vice Chairperson
Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary
William C. Blackmer, Jr.
Nancy Ziter
Eric Kerns

Absent: Gail Kolis Sellers

Also Present: Katrina Staaf

CALL TO ORDER
Chairperson Manville called the meeting to order at 4:07 p.m.

PUBLIC ARTS COMMISSION OFFICERS ELECTION: ELECTION OF CHAIR, VICE CHAIR, AND SECRETARY
Ziter nominated Dixon for Chairperson.  Manville seconded. All voted in favor. None opposed. 

Ziter nominated Manville for Vice Chairperson. Blackmer second. All In favor. None opposed. 

Manville nominated Quiñones for Secretary.  Ziter seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES
Ziter moved to accept the Public Arts Commission minutes from its December 1, 2016 public meeting.  Dixon seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

ORDINANCE AMENDMENT UPDATE
At a City Council meeting in December, counselors reviewed remaining ordinance proposals.  City Councilors wrote and approved a new draft of the ordinance amendments with minor edits.  The most significant change was an additional paragraph in Section 2-178 stating that the commission “shall develop and recommend to the city council policies and programs that would encourage and enable the planning and placement of public art in locations owned by the city,” establishing the commission’s proactive nature. 

Regarding the removal of members, given that no other commission has removal language in their ordinances, the city council felt that it would be best to address this issue on a larger scale, not beginning with the arts commission ordinance.

The council also recommended setting up a Friends of the Public Arts Commission 501c3 for fund raising and management purposes.  Dixon will ask the library how they started their Friends of organization.  In the meantime, the commission can still receive donations and grants that are designated for the Public Art Commission.

REVIEW OF WEBSITE DESIGN BY KATRINA STAAF
Staaf isolated the website to Squarespace and will launch the site and send commissioners a link to view the site.  Funding will be needed to sustain the site.  She also suggested she could work to move the site to Wordpress, though hosting would be an expense regardless.  Home page is a feed of news articles about the commission.  So far, only Dixon, Quiñones, and Manville have submitted photos and bios.  The site also includes meeting minutes, the application, photos of current public art throughout the city.  Staaf is no longer formally interning for academic credit with the PAC, but has volunteered to continue to work on the website, as well as other projects that come up.

Ziter motioned to obtain northadamspublicart.com and .org.  Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.  Kerns offered to buy the sites upfront if they are available.  Manville wrote to Mike Canalis about obtaining a nominal budget line item of $500 to cover the website and other related expenses.

REVIEW OF LOGO DESIGNS (JULIA)
Dixon had a new logo drafted and sent to commissioners in December.  After some discussion of minor tweaks, Manville motioned to approve the logo.  Ziter seconded. All approved.  None opposed.

DISCUSSION OF POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT OF BY-LAWS
To support the future governance of the commission, Manville suggested that we explore creating by-laws, but the committee has agreed to keep the language as is contained within the ordinance.

PUBLIC ATTENDEES CONCERNS
No public attendee concerns were presented.

MEMBER CONCERNS/FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
Future agenda items will include an update on how to establish a Friends of the Public Arts Commission, and a proposal from Griffin Labbance for a painting on the road near MCLA on Montana Street.  Dixon will make a call for agenda items via email.

NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Public Arts Commission will be held at 5:30p.m. on Friday, March 3, 2017, at Bright Ideas Brewery.

ADJOURNMENT
With no other business to discuss, Ziter moved to adjourn the meeting at 5:15 p.m. Manville seconded.  All voted in favor.  None opposed.

Respectfully submitted,

Cynthia Quiñones, Secretary