A mural is blossoming at the Celebration Park on Tuesday, August 6, 2019, in East Naples. (Photo: Wangyuxuan Xu/Naples Daily News USA TODAY NETWORK – FLORIDA)
If you love public art — in fact, if you don’t love public art — you have some reading in store for Wednesday. It’s the last day for comments on a public art policy that will guide the growing number of outdoor displays in the Bayshore-Gateway Triangle in East Naples.
Public input, due by 5 p.m. Wednesday Sept. 30, will be tabulated and brought to the advisory board for the Bayshore-Gateway Community Redevelopment Agency at its 6 p.m. Oct. 6 meeting. (See the information box with story on ways to access it and how to attend the meeting.)
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Then the plan, with any revisions, goes to county commissioners, said Debrah Forester, director of the Community Redevelopment Agency for Collier County.
The pre-CRA commentary request, which has been on its website for several weeks, will allow the advisory board to see all public comment. The meeting is being held on Zoom because of the pandemic, which may make live commentary difficult. You can still attend on Zoom, however, by registering.
Such concepts as eligible spaces, tenor and theme of the art, the proportions it should cover and how it is selected are all part of the plan being presented.
Those wary of public art may have their minds eased by the regulations. They require the approval a panel of artists, and a procedure for “de-accessioning”— essentially removing — CRA-commissioned art that is considered unsafe or “no longer meets standards for quality.”
This plan’s jurisdiction will only cover the area roughly bounded by Davis Boulevard at Shadowlawn Drive to the north and east and the Gulf to the south and west, much of it in a corridor configuration. But its tenets could be a model for further county CRA districts, or other county apportionments, that want to establish specific public arts plans.
Its 55-page length isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Incorporated in it are sample artist contracts, art materials worksheets and graphics depicting the type of places where art would be considered, primarily blank walls, large utility boxes and entry signage.
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The Bayshore neighborhood has already taken the lead in Collier, using open walls for art as long ago as 2011. But new art appearing in 2018 brought questions to the Bayshore-Gateway CRA over its relationship to advertising and size.
Its advisory board officials posed the questions to county commissioners as the final arbiters on any mural policy. That need became the springboard for the first Collier County Arts and Culture Strategic Plan, approved in April.
So this proposed policy returns to the source to answer questions CRA board members posed to county officials over public art, where it should be and how closely it should be regulated.
It includes some potential concepts new to Collier County:
- A “percent for art” ordinance, currently under review, which would provide criteria of CRA capital improvement projects to be allocated for public art.
- Concurrently, a “percent for art” requirement, or fee in lieu of, for private developments as well.
- A conservation and maintenance board to ensure existing public art does not deteriorate or degrade.
- A special incentive for murals, which have generated the most interest, and discussion, in the Bayshore-Gateway CRA District. The plan would require at least one, annually commissioned, mural to be funded by the CRA.
- A provision for installations of temporary public art on loan.
- Bringing in the United Arts Council of Collier County, as the local state-mandated arts agency, for plan oversight.
Harriet Howard Heithaus covers arts and entertainment for the Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com. Reach her at 239-213-6091.
The plan, the meeting
If you’d simply like to read the plan first, there is a link to download the draft play on the website: bayshorecra.com
If you would like to go through the plan and add comments, there is a different link that requires you to register first: bayshorecra.com/projects/public-arts-master-plan/
If you would like to attend the Bayshore-Gateway Triangle CRA meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 6 via Zoom, visit its website for a link.
For more information on Bayshore-Gateway CRA, visit the website or call 239-252-8844
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