Public Art Plan Recommendations Sought from Community
Bart Sullivan, 04-11-2019

Charlie Hewitt's High Line sculpture, "Urban Rattle," in New York City—an example of public art.
Stephen Mule
The Cuyahoga Falls Public Art Master Plan continues to be formed as Falls residents were invited to attend the first of two workshops Tuesday evening. The workshop focused on various topics of art in and around the community, including what community art means to the city, how public art is viewed based on various examples, where in the city artwork should be placed, and an opportunity for the public to draw their own idea of a sculpture or other public art piece that should be created.

Public Art Advisory Committee member and Public Art Master Plan consultant Todd Bressi said, “The overall context of this is that Cuyahoga Falls wants to see how it might encourage more public art in the city, and that leads you to 3 questions: why is public art important? What are the kinds of things you’ll do? And how do you do them?"

Tuesday’s workshop focused on the first two questions. In order for the committee to understand why art is important to the Cuyahoga Falls community, it must first understand what the community wishes to see in their neighborhoods, so it provided multiple stations at which attendees answered these questions using visual surveys, an art station for drawing possible monuments they felt would be important, and a city map on which to plot suggestions of where any possible art could be placed. “It tells us what’s important to them. Like maybe there’s some aspect to the city or the community that we don’t know about,” Bressi says.

Currently, one of the obstacles the Public Art Advisory Committee has encountered is the lack of regulations for pieces that might be suggested—murals, for instance, do not fit with current signage regulations. After analyzing survey and workshop results and researching public art and the laws governing it, the committee will make a case for public art in Cuyahoga Falls, and make suggestions based on what the community said is important in the city. Taking all of this into consideration, such problems can be discussed before city council prior to drafting a set of recommendations.

In June, once the advisory committee has completed this, a draft will be published for the community to view and provide further recommendations before the plan is finished.

A second workshop will take place April 23 at 5:30pm in the downtown pavilion building on Front Street,where anybody can bring their answers to the master plan questions. If the public is unable to attend this meeting, the committee asks that they complete the Public Art survey available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CuyahogaFallsPublicArt by April 26.


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