Two Bellevue City Hall public art projects have been selected as examples of the best in public art across the nation by Americans for the Arts, the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the arts. This is the first time public artworks in Bellevue have received this honor.
The selected works are "Current," a 12,000-square-foot terrazzo floor of the main concourse, created by Linda Beaumont of Whidbey Island, and "Compass," a 51-foot-tall sculpture powered by wind and the action of visitors opening City Hall's front doors, created by Alan Storey of Vancouver, B.C.
"Current" and "Compass" are two of three art works commissioned for City Hall. A third, "Root," by Dan Corson of Seattle, is in the process of being installed and was not eligible for entry this year.
Two jurors reviewed 300 applications from around the country, and selected a total of 40 exemplifying "the most successful, innovative and exciting public art projects in the United States." These art works were announced at the annual "Year in Review" session of Americans for the Arts' national conference. AFTA will compile images and narratives of the selected projects onto DVDs and make them available to public art programs, cities and architects around the world.
Mayor Grant Degginger said, "It's gratifying to have our art recognized as among the nation's best. We wanted City Hall's public art to speak to who we are as a community and to the role of City Hall, and we have succeeded.
"Linda Beaumont's terrazzo floor captures and reflects the flow of activity through City Hall beautifully," Degginger noted. "Compass gives the building a striking landmark that makes a powerful statement about the role of the citizen: by opening the door to City Hall, you affect what happens here and you contribute to our view of the future."
"The best advocacy for public art is great public art," said Roxanne Shepherd who chairs the Bellevue Arts Commission. "Having our projects picked as among the country’s best confirms what we already knew, that the art in City Hall is exceptional. We hope this national recognition generates momentum in the community to include superb public art as a matter of course as we build our sidewalks, streets, plazas, parks and buildings."
"Public Art Year in Review" is a program of AFTA's Public Art Network (PAN.) PAN connects the public art field of more than 300 public art programs nationwide, developing professional services for individuals and organizations engaged in expanding the field of public art.
Bellevue's Public Art Program purchases and commissions art for the city with the advice and guidance of the Bellevue Arts Commission. The focus of the program for the next seven years includes using public art to define and enhance an urban walkway from City Hall to the waterfront, working with the private sector to increase public art in the city, and working with neighborhoods to commission public art that expresses their unique characters.
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