Artists compete to add their sculptures outside Short Street garage

Friday, August 17, 2012 | 7:27 p.m. CDT; updated 3:24 p.m. CDT, Sunday, August 19, 2012

*An earlier version of this article included an incorrect gender for Bede Clark.

COLUMBIA — Downtown Columbia is about to become home to another piece of public art, and residents are invited to help pick which of three proposals they like most.

The city's Office of Cultural Affairs has received proposals from three artists for sculptures they would place outside the future Short Street garage.

Two artists and one team of artists are competing, including Bede Clarke of Columbia, Marni Jaime and Robert Friedman of Columbia and Beth Nybeck of Kansas City.

The project will be funded by the city's Percent for Art Program, which reserves 1 percent of the budget of any building project costing $1 million or more for public art. Each of the artists received $2,000 to create a concept design, and the winner will have $58,000 to create the finished version.

The Standing Committee on Public Art will review the public feedback then recommend one of the proposals to the Commission on Cultural Affairs.  The Columbia City Council will make the final decision.

*Clarke wants to do a colorful piece he would call “Landing,” intended to depict a descent from above.

The work would be “an act of alighting or falling on earth,” Clarke said.

“Conceptually, I am seeking an expression of balance, contentment, health, even certain joyfulness," Clarke said. "I am especially fond of the idea of creating a site which would appeal to the playful curiosity of children.”

“Crossing Paths,” a piece proposed by Jaime and Friedman, would feature three 8-foot-tall sculptures each weighing 2,800 pounds.

“We have designed three figures oriented to demonstrate a meeting and crossing of paths. Two figures have just met and crossed paths, and the third figure has crossed paths and moves on. This sequence implies movement through space over time,” Jaime and Friedman wrote.

They added that spreading the pieces apart would "make the observer part of the interaction as well as create a sweeping visual tension."

The piece Nybeck wants to create is “Tidal Murmur.” It would be a metallic creation with an abstract style. Nybeck wrote that "the vibe" of Columbia inspired her draw a comparison between the community and the sociological concept of the ripple effect.

“How we live creates an energy that makes ripples," she wrote. "Our ripples dance and collide with the ripples that are simultaneously created around us. This became a metaphor for the community of Columbia.”

Cultural Affairs Manager Chris Stevens wouldn’t budge at all when asked whether he has a personal favorite. He added, though, that he doesn’t envy the committee’s decision.

“I’m going to be Switzerland on this one and remain neutral," Stevens said, "but I will say we were all very pleased with the different designs we received.”

The Office of Cultural Affairs also is seeking public input on its Facebook page.

Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.

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Harold Sutton August 17, 2012 | 9:01 p.m.

$58,000 could be used in a more helpful way..... snow removal equipment, homeless sheltering, lots of greater needs.....

The University just this past summer finished removal of a piece of high priced "Art" that had to be covered up after just a few seasons. And then paid a large sum as "out of Court" settlement to the "Artist".

(Report Comment)
Harold Sutton August 17, 2012 | 9:06 p.m.

$125,000 to go away; re-the MU mozaic.

(Report Comment)
Richard Saunders August 18, 2012 | 1:52 p.m.

This article should be labeled as requiring a two drink minimum.

(Report Comment)
Jeff Perkin August 18, 2012 | 4:34 p.m.

Pardon the criticism..but it's a parking garage people. It does not merit spending that kind of money. It is not a destination that people coming here will go out of their way to go's supposed to be functional not aesthetic.

Come on

(Report Comment)

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