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.
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.”
Supervising editor is Scott Swafford.