Three finalists have been chosen in the search for an artist or artist team to design works of public art to be embedded in the four entryways of the Market Building in downtown Roanoke. The current building, which dates from 1922, was closed for extensive renovation in the fall of 2010. The art will be in place for the planned reopening in the summer of 2011.
A citizen selection panel has chosen the following three finalists:
• Cheryl Foster of Temple Hills, Md. Ms. Foster specializes in glass mosaics and has completed public art projects in Maryland, Florida, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina.
• Wayne Healy and David Botello of East Los Streetscapers in Los Angeles. Their public art projects include painting, tiles, bas relief and sculpture in a wide variety of materials and can be seen across the United States as well in several foreign countries.
• Pat Ward Williams of Tallahassee, Fla. Ms. Ward Williams is known for her integration of photographs and historical elements into public art projects. Her work can be viewed across the United States from California to Florida.
The three finalists were chosen from a pool of 35 responses to a Request for Qualifications issued by the City of Roanoke. A selection panel which included arts professionals, community volunteers, and members of the Roanoke Arts Commission reviewed each entry, judging its merit on the strength of the artist’s resume, past experience with public art projects, and appropriateness of the suggested media for the site. Each artist was required to submit up to 10 images of their previous work and they could include a draft proposal for the site.
“We were so pleased with the quality of the work presented by the artists who responded that it was difficult to narrow it down to these finalists,” said Talia Logan, an Arts Commission member who is serving on the selection panel. Susan Jennings, Arts and Culture Coordinator for the city, says the next step is for each finalist to develop a complete proposal, including a three-dimensional scaled model called a maquette and an illustration of the proposed artwork. Each will travel to Roanoke to present their work to the panel in February. The final artist and work will be recommended to the Roanoke Arts Commission by the citizen selection panel, and must ultimately be approved by City Council. The artist should be under contract in time for an announcement by March 2011.
This project is funded partially through the city’s “Percent for Art” program, a one percent allocation based on the cost of certain projects in the capital improvement budget, as well as funding dedicated to the renovation of the Market Building.