Two Columbia artists approved to create artwork for Daniel Boone City Building

Monday, March 12, 2012 | 6:28 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Two local artists are looking forward to creating artwork for the fourth and fifth floors of the addition to the Daniel Boone City Building after receiving approval from the City Council.

Norleen Nosri and Joel Sager were approved by the council on March 5. The approval came after the Standing Committee on Public Art chose both in January from among four finalists. The committee's recommendation also won the approval of the Commission on Cultural Affairs.

The artwork will be financed by the city's Percent for Art program, which allocates 1 percent of the cost of improvement projects that exceed $1 million to fund the creation and placement of public art. The addition to the city building was completed in May 2010.

Each artist will receive $11,000 to create the artwork and cover all related costs.

Chris Stevens, manager of the city's Office of Cultural Affairs, said he expects the artists to sign their contracts soon.

"Now the artists will go into design phase and go through the process all over again," Stevens said, adding that the artists have 30 days from the time they sign their contracts to submit designs. He estimated that it will be three to four months before the artists start doing the work.

"We carved out money for the exterior project and the interior project at the same time," Stevens said. "The 'Key to the City' out front was the signature piece for the new City Hall addition, but we set aside money for interior art as well. The artwork has been installed for the second floor, and it's about to be installed for the third floor."

Norleen Nosri

Nosri will create artwork for the fourth floor of the city building.

"I'm actively working on the design for the space," Nosri said. "The work will be about serving, hospitality and nurturing. I will be attempting to communicate this through sculptures of teapots and cups. I'm connecting viewers with what it means to serve, which is what City Hall is all about."

Nosri is pursuing a master's degree in fine arts from MU. She also works as a special-needs pottery instructor and volunteers at Access Arts.

She said she was honored to have her hard work recognized.

"My goal of reflecting a supportive community through my work has resonated with the mission of the city of Columbia," Nosri said. "It is great to be part of a place that believes art has the ability to enrich the community."

Joel Sager

Sager will create artwork for the fifth floor of the city building.

"My proposal is to create paintings in my media of collage, tar and oil of historic or important buildings within the Columbia area," Sager said. "Specifically which ones will depend on approval, but as soon as I complete the next round of presentations, I'll immediately begin work on the project."

Sager earned a bachelor's degree from William Jewell College and is a curator at the Perlow-Stevens Gallery.

This is his first city art project.

"I am honored to be a recipient of the grant," Sager said. "It's a good grant. The Percent for Art program is a fantastic program for the community as a whole, and speaks to this city's support of it's rich artistic culture."

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