(Manhattan, Kansas – August 14, 2020) Nine outdoor art pieces are currently on display in the Downtown area of Manhattan, with a tenth expected by the end of August. This public art project is part of a grant-funded initiative led by the City’s Arts and Humanities Advisory Board.
Works of art were selected as part of a juried contest and will remain on display along the 3rd Street corridor from Blue Earth Plaza to Osage Park until April 2021. If grant funding can be secured to continue the project, new pieces will be installed next year.
“The intent was to work closely with Downtown Manhattan, Inc. and other partners to promote and coordinate the Public Art Exhibition with the Third Thursday events and Incite MHK art activities,” said Randi Clifford, Director of Recreation for the Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department. “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, those events could not proceed as planned but, we’re very excited that the art pieces are available for the public to enjoy.”
A map of the artwork and information about the artists will be available soon on the Manhattan Parks and Recreation website at https://www.mhkprd.com/OutdoorArt.
The City of Manhattan was successful in securing a total of $20,000 in grant funding from the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation (GMCF) and the Deihl Community Fund for this project. The grant provides for artist and juror honoraria, installation costs, and publicity materials for the project. All expenses are tracked through a City project fund.
The City/AHAB issued the Call for Entries in October 2019 to solicit artwork submissions Sixty-one public art entries were submitted in response, from artists in Kansas and several other states. After an initial review of entries by the AHAB juried art committee for safety and durability concerns, the entries were submitted to the juror. Susan Earle, Ph.D., Curator of European and American Art – Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS, served as the juror.
Dr. Earle made the initial aesthetic and curatorial selections from all qualifying entries. City staff convened a local selection committee to review recommended finalists; the committee consisted of seven members, including City staff, AHAB members, business representatives, and arts professionals. This committee provided input on the placement of the selected art pieces at the designated installation sites. The local review committee’s recommendation was accepted and approved by AHAB at the May 6, 2020 board meeting for recommendation to the City Commission.
The purpose of the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board (AHAB) is to promote and support arts and humanities in the City of Manhattan, including recommendations for activities, programs, projects, and collaborations. The board meets the second Wednesday of each month at 11:45 a.m. Find more information at https://cityofmhk.com/1688/Arts-and-Humanities-Advisory-Board.
The mission of the City of Manhattan is to sustain order and protect public safety, promote public health, preserve the built environment, and enhance economic vitality. The City supports a regional community in which individuals and families develop and thrive. More information about the City of Manhattan is available online at www.cityofmhk.com, on Facebook at /Cityofmanhattan and on Twitter @cityofmhk.
Art: ’Study in Light’ by Pat Slimmer
Photo credit: Theresa Mueller, Manhattan Parks and Recreation