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Crews start installation of parking garage art

Monday, May 23, 2011 | 8:38 p.m. CDT; updated 9:35 p.m. CDT, Monday, May 23, 2011
Proverbs and quotes from famous people throughout history are imprinted into panes of tinted glass that were installed in the new parking garage in downtown Columbia.

COLUMBIA — Crews began installing 30 colored glass panels on the northwest stairwell of the Fifth and Walnut parking garage based on photos of the sky during 2010's summer solstice.

Each panel will have the timestamp noting when the color appeared in the sky on June 21, said Stuart Keeler, the artist overseeing the installation.

“These colors represent the time and color of the changing, shifting, moody and memorable sky,” Keeler said. “It illustrates partly that the things that we think we’re familiar with, that we take for granted, are the things that should give us pause — to see the familiar in a new way.”

Some panels will have quotes from writers and proverbs from other countries along the 38th parallel north, which is Columbia's latitude, “showing a larger connection to a global community and the sharing of knowledge,” Keeler said.

The project, known as Sky Algorithm, is part of the Percent for Art program, which designates 1 percent of any publicly funded project toward public art. The budget for this project was about $140,000, which covers future maintenance, administration and the $110,000 commission to the artist, said Connie Kacprowicz, interim manager for the Office of Cultural Affairs.

Jason Tauer, who is a superintendent with Graham Construction overseeing the installation, said the glass panels arrived Wednesday from California, and installation should take three or four days. But depending on the weather, installation could take up to two weeks, Kacprowicz said.

The 30 panes of tempered glass being replaced cannot be recycled and would probably end up in the dumpster, Tauer said.

Kacprowicz said unless the Public Works Department already has plans for the glass, it could donatethe materials to an art school.

“I think there’s a value to having art in public space that the city of Columbia recognizes — to be a leader in the movement of art to impact everyday lives,” Keeler said.

Randy Scott, a delivery driver at Tony’s Pizza Palace, which is across the street from the garage, said the art seemed like a "waste of money" to him.

“They could spend that money repairing roads,” Scott said. “It’s terrible everywhere you go. It’s more important than art.”

Columbia resident James Pounds said he thought the money could have gone to a better use, given the city's tight budget.

“How many cops would that put on the street? How many firefighters could that give raises to?” Pounds said. “We need art, and we have a lot of people in Columbia that are sensitive to art and pay taxes. I’m just not one of them.”


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Comments

Corey Parks May 24, 2011 | 10:09 a.m.

"The 30 panes of tempered glass being replaced cannot be recycled and would probably end up in the dumpster, Tauer said."

Why did they put in regular glass first when they knew the "art glass" was on its way? Shouldn't the person responsible for planning be fired or fined for such an careless expensive oversight?

To the author. Did you find out how much the original panes of tempered glass cost?

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire May 24, 2011 | 12:09 p.m.

That string of words has to be the most ironic thing that someone could inscribe on a parking garage. !00 points.

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 24, 2011 | 12:21 p.m.

Yet another reason why every tax increase should be voted down: A city that blows money on art, not to mention the wasted glass, does not need to stick its hand deeper into taxpayer pockets.

A free alternative would be to allow artists to display their work at municipal properties. For example, artists could have their paintings hung in the lobby of city hall for a month or two before being replaced by other artists' work.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz May 24, 2011 | 12:54 p.m.

Corey, I think the city's explanation was that to not put glass of some kind in would be unsafe (I think these are the outside windows on one of the staircases). Personally, I think the 1% for Art program should go away. I'll admit I'm not much of an art appreciator, but most everything I can think of funded by the city, minus the keyhole/arch thing at city hall, frankly stinks.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks May 24, 2011 | 10:36 p.m.

I figured they were going to the areas around the stairwell as that is where the glass is but even so. If they did not have the end product then why did they complete it and open it. I bet that the cost of placing the temporary glass then removing them then placing the new art glass costs 10 x as much as they made in change for parking since it has opened.

Absolutely no responsibility with other peoples money.

(Report Comment)
Corey Parks May 26, 2011 | 10:50 a.m.

Ok I drove by the parking garage today and checked out what exactly was going on. The article made it sound like all the glass was being replaced with this new stuff but it appears to be only a few.
I retract my statement that they should have waited to open or had the stuff ready earlier. I do however think it is a waste.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Petersen May 26, 2011 | 1:05 p.m.

Corey - The 30 panes of glass removed from the garage cost $3,000, Jill Stedem, public information specialist at the Public Works Department, said. She said the cost was part of the original plan because there was no way to avoid putting either glass or plywood while the art glass was being made.

Thank you for the question,

Kevin Petersen

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield May 26, 2011 | 1:17 p.m.

Why wasn't the artistic glass ordered far enough in advance so that it could be ready for installation before the garage opened?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 26, 2011 | 1:57 p.m.

"Each panel will have the timestamp noting when the color appeared in the sky on June 21, said Stuart Keeler, the artist overseeing the installation.

“These colors represent the time and color of the changing, shifting, moody and memorable sky,” Keeler said. “It illustrates partly that the things that we think we’re familiar with, that we take for granted, are the things that should give us pause — to see the familiar in a new way.”

Some panels will have quotes from writers and proverbs from other countries along the 38th parallel north, which is Columbia's latitude, “showing a larger connection to a global community and the sharing of knowledge,” Keeler said."

One of the neat parts about the art that some of our local banks (especially Landmark) have is no one has to explain to you what it is. I've thought for a long time that maybe the city should ask the banks for input on what attractive art is.

Somehow I'm not sure this is really $140,000 worth of concept. But I guess I'm not an artsy person either.

DK

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking May 26, 2011 | 2:03 p.m.

Jimmy, I couldn't find the article quickly, but there was some sort of delay in getting the pieces made. They were ordered about 7 months before the garage was supposed to open.

DK

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire May 26, 2011 | 2:14 p.m.

I remember it.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith May 26, 2011 | 2:20 p.m.

I may be wrong, but a road information sign on US 63 in Phelps County just north of Rolla says that is the point where the 38th parallel north crosses Missouri. That's about 90 highway miles south and somewhat east of Columbia.

I do know that US 63 at that point is designated the Korean War Memorial Highway, and there's a sign or signs for that too.

Well, what the hell, we've all heard of artistic license. :)

(Report Comment)

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