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Art proposals sought for Medford gateway

Artists interested in designing a city welcome sign can pick up information packets at Medford City Hall this week.

The art will be placed on a berm on Highway 62 across from the Rogue Valley Mall. Called Medford's gateway, the area is near the north Medford Interstate 5 interchange at the convergence of highways 62, 99 and 238.

Now that the roadways are in out there, it's a whole lot more visible when you come from Jacksonville, said Greg Jones, interim director for Medford Parks and Recreation.

It doesn't necessarily have to have 'Welcome to Medford' on both sides, but it has to look good from the back side as well.

The Medford Arts Commission is budgeting about &

36;20,000 for the project. The commission will budget about the same amount for gateway art near the south Medford interchange.

Artists may pick up packets from the Medford Parks and Recreation office, Room 140 in the Lausmann Annex, or from Kathy Ameral, city purchasing agent, room 253, Medford City Hall. The packets will include comments from an April public hearing.

The artwork must be vandal-resistant, Jones said. Requests for proposals must be returned to the city by October.

A clock tower that keeps the correct time, concrete lettering spelling out Medford with water flowing over the top and a cornucopia with the motto Heart of the Valley were some of the ideas artists presented last spring.

We're going to incorporate all the comments that came in from the public hearing, Jones said. But we're not setting a hard-and-fast theme.

Some people didn't like a model that two Applegate artists created to show to the Medford City Council. It depicted Mount McLoughlin behind bright orange and blue Welcome to Medford lettering.