At least three artists from outside the U.S. have submitted their names to compete for a City Hall commission to create a sculpture that will stand along the entry to the Quinn's Junction recreation complex.
It is rare for an international artist to seek a commission from the municipal government, and the three will attempt to win the right to create the artwork against a broad field of domestic submittals.
The deadline for submittals is 3 p.m. on Wednesday. Sharon Bauman, the City Hall staffer assigned to work with the Public Art Advisory Board, said approximately 30 artists had responded to what is known as a request for qualifications by midday Monday. The three foreign submittals were filed by artists from Mexico and Great Britain, Bauman said.
"It's not very often we receive anything from overseas," Bauman said.
The other submittals came from artists from across the U.S., Bauman said. She was not sure on Monday whether any were filed by artists from Park City or the environs.
City Hall wants to commission one of the artists for a piece that will sit along the high-profile S.R. 248 entryway. The recreation complex is a prominent feature along the state highway. Officials continue to consider locations for the sculpture. The two under discussion are in the vicinity of the dog park. The piece could stand as tall as 25 feet based on the zoning at the site, Bauman said.
The municipal government plans to spend up to $84,000 for the piece. The funding was set aside earlier in City Hall's budget for capital improvements. The funding is not associated with a separate program in which Park City spends 1 percent of a project's overall price tag on art.
The Public Art Advisory Board is scheduled to review the submittals over the course of two or three meetings starting on Feb. 10, Bauman said. The panel will then request up to five of the artists to submit a more detailed proposal. The Public Art Advisory Board could further narrow the field at that point or select one of the five. Interviews are typically held with the artists, according to Bauman.
The panel will eventually make a recommendation to the Park City Council. The elected officials must approve the contract with the artist. The City Council is not bound by the Public Art Advisory Board recommendation.
Bauman said it could be midsummer before a contract is brought to the City Council for approval. Under that timeline, the sculpture would be installed in the spring of 2015, she said.
In the paperwork requesting artists to submit qualifications, the municipal government indicated it desires a sculpture that creates "a welcoming entry experience for residents and visitors to the community as well as patrons of the facilities located in this area." The piece should "reflect the healthy lifestyle, wellness, recreation, athleticism, outdoors, and love of nature and open space of Park City residents and visitors," the paperwork read.
The sculpture will occupy a high-profile location close to Park City Ice Arena and the fields complex, and it will be located along the road to the Park City Medical Center, the National Ability Center and the United States Ski and Snowboard Association headquarters. It will be visible from S.R. 248.
The piece would be located across Park City from another prominent sculpture marking the S.R. 224 entryway. That ribbon-like sculpture celebrates Park City's role in the 2002 Winter Olympics, when approximately half of the competitions were staged in and around the city.
Park City leaders have long incorporated artworks into public projects or commissioned pieces to stand in locations on their own. The works, they say, add pleasantness to the community.