Talent arts panel wants input

Artists, supporters invited to share visions

TALENT — A forum to share visions of art for spaces, buildings and streets will be held by the city's Public Arts Advisory Committee on Wednesday, Sept 11.

Organizers are throwing in a free, light meal of soup and salad to attract input.

If you go

Who: Artists and art supporters

What: Forum on future public art projects

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11

Where: Downtowne Coffee Shop, 200 Talent Ave.

Attendees are asked to RSVP by Sept. 6 to tpac@cityoftalent.org or call Karen Rycheck at 541-621-6239.

Artists and art supporters are invited to the event, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Downtowne Coffee Shop, 200 Talent Ave.

"We are basically there to hear what's important to them," said committee member and mosaic artist Karen Rycheck. "We have been operating in our own little world for a while. We know what we want, but we don't necessarily know what they want."

Ideas on how to turn visions into reality through fundraising, grants, in-kind donations and other means will also be sought.

"We want to encourage people to help create the projects to try to capture a little of folks' interests in helping out now and then," said Rycheck.

Sculptures on street corners would be a great addition to the town, said Talent artist Peter Van Fleet, who will attend the forum. He'd also like to see more murals in town.

"I'm just an artist who is immersed in his own little reality," said Van Fleet. "I think the meeting will help spearhead some new things here."

A growing number of artists reside in Talent, and the meeting could help bring that community together, Van Fleet said.

While the city's Public Arts Advisory Committee started in 2006 to approve a sculpture for the town's skateboard park, it languished until 2011, when a Ford Foundation leadership group proposed a mural project in Talent. The group discovered city codes wouldn't allow murals.

By fall 2011, prompted by the leadership group, the city adopted a code revision to allow murals, and reactivation of the advisory committee was underway.

Under committee oversight, a community mural created by Rycheck was unveiled in August 2012 on the Advanced Business Teleservices building at Talent Avenue and Main Street. Another has been painted on the Downtowne Coffee House. Committee members are now looking at other potential mural sites and artists.

The committee also initiated arts displays in City Hall's entrance area. About six shows per year have been mounted, with a least 30 artists participating.

Committee work for the shows included installing a lighting system, securing insurance for art and constructing two display cabinets by Peter Christofferson to show small sculptures and other art objects that can't be displayed on walls.

Committee members also host a booth at the Harvest Festival, scheduled this year for Oct. 5.

A public sculpture or art within a roundabout planned for 2014 is on the committee's to-do list, said Rycheck. Talent's Urban Renewal Agency plans to construct the roundabout to connect Valley View Road with an extension of Main Street.

"For that we know we need to get a grant," said Rycheck. "It's not a state-funded project."

Attendees are asked to RSVP by Sept. 6 to tpac@cityoftalent.org or call Rycheck at 541-621-6239.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboomwriter@gmail.com.


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