A Double-take on art overlooked
July 4, 2008
While I’m sure you’ve noticed the abundance of privately owned art galleries that line Main Street in Park City, there also exists the more subtle collection of art designated specifically for public spaces and public appreciation. Such pieces include the mural of Park City hanging inside the Old Town Transit Center, the creative designs on several shelters of the bus routes, and a series of bike racks found in multiple locations around town.
The installations originate from the ideas and criteria laid out by the Park City Public Art Advisory Board. After receiving an approval from the City Council, the town sends out a Request for Proposal where candidates submit their ideas including themes, budgets, and timelines.
That is how Marianne Cone’s mural was selected for display back in 2002. She submitted a proposal and was chosen amongst dozens of others artists to display her construction in the Transit Center. Her brilliantly colored piece depicts various types of transportation both previously and currently used in and around Park City. Cone incorporates three-dimensional artifacts such as skis, a work boot, and a wagon wheel within scenes of Main Street, the Rail Trail, and mine.
The Art Advisory Board seeks out pieces that pertain to Park City and the spaces in which they are to occupy; Cone’s mural covering an entire wall of the Transit Center fulfills this aim perfectly as it depicts several aspects of transportation.
Another local artist, Missy Robbins, submitted her ideas to the Public Art Advisory Board after they sent out a Request for Proposal in search of someone to help create designs for bus stops and park benches. The bench she created for the space by the Racquet Club is made from an old British garden gate.
The great thing about Park City, she says, is that "there is a lot of opportunity to create." Robbins works with many different mediums and this is evident in the bus shelter she designed in 2005 at Silver Lake in Deer Valley.
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The inspiration behind the bus shelter is "juxtaposition between the old and new Park City". This can be seen through her use of broken glass, cowboy boots, tiles, signs, and old photographs, all incorporated within the shelter. There are many different stories displayed within the bus shelter, providing those standing in it with a lot to look at.
The latest project is still a work-in-progress, but the installation is expected by the end of the summer. The artist, Scott Whitaker, was selected after submitting a proposal to complete the ideas of Judy Taylor, a well-known and well-respected artist who passed away just over a year ago. The piece will be installed between the Miner’s Hospital and Poison Creek.
Whitaker works with 100 percent recycled material, primarily steel and other scrap metal from Park City and surrounding areas. Taking off of Judy Taylor’s original idea to create a fish installation, Whitaker brainstormed the concept of constructing "metaphoric fish" that might be found in Poison Creek. His use of industrial material includes mining and farming equipment that were once prevalent in Park City.
Public art in Park City is geared towards the community. It utilizes the public space that might otherwise contain nothing and it creates a sense of uniqueness for the town. The Public Art Advisory Board was created about six years ago. Additional information about its ideas and incentives can be found at: http://www.parkcity.org/government/boardandcommissions/publicart.html .