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City’s public art, such as it is, gets some oversight

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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The Dispatch wrote City’s public art, such as it is, gets some oversight

Sunday, December 2, 2007

BY ROBERT VITALE

Nearly 50 years after creating a Columbus Art Commission to oversee sculptures, murals, fountains and other works in public places, the city finally has convened the group, whose roster of artists and art experts will take over duties previously assigned to transportation engineers.

The commission’s seven members have met three times since October. They will make decisions about maintaining city-owned art, buying or accepting new pieces, and allowing private owners to place artwork on city property.

Eventually, officials say, the group might have a role in setting up a program in which Columbus — like Cleveland, Chicago and more than 200 other U.S. cities — would dedicate a portion of its construction budgets to commission new public art projects.

“Columbus is one of the few major cities I know of that doesn’t have a public art program,” said Bryan Knicely, president of the Greater Columbus Arts Council. “Think of all the things we could have had.”

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