Public Art Committee considers Noyes Street artwork, mural repair


Julia Esparza / Daily Senior Staffer

Noyes CTA viaduct. The Public Art Subcommittee discussed possible art installations under the viaduct.

Julia Esparza, City Editor

During a Tuesday meeting, members of the Public Art Subcommittee considered proposals for an art installation under the Noyes CTA viaduct and voted to propose the repair of three other murals throughout Evanston.

The committee received proposals from the Chicago Public Art Group and CODAworx. The project has a budget of $16,000.

The Chicago Public Art Group proposed a team of two artists, Andy Bellomo and Caesar Perez, who would install a large-scale outdoor artwork. The piece would be made from colored Plexiglas that would add a “vibrate, uplifting and exciting piece to the environment,” according to the proposal. The artists’ proposal included the possibility of adding a light system to the piece.

Members also discussed the proposal submitted by CODAworx, which included portfolios of imagery from similar installations they have completed. Sample work submitted included bright, abstract artwork that used contrasting colors. The proposal stated that installation would cost $1,600, which is a tenth of the budgeted price.

Committee members were unsatisfied with the enthusiasm present in the proposal though.

“I was disappointed in CODAworx,” committee member Gay Riseborough said. “I expected some ideas, not portfolios, just ideas and some excitement.”

The committee decided to move forward with CODAworx to craft a more detailed proposal. Riseborough said they will continue discussing the project with the organization and give them more time to come up with “different” ideas.

City staff plans to get input from stakeholders near the site including businesses on Noyes Street and the artist community within the Noyes Cultural Arts Center.

Committee members also discussed the Mural Repair Action Plan. During an April 2 meeting, EMAP presented five murals that need maintenance. Committee members considered repairs for the murals at Central Street, Dempster Street, Foster Street, Church Street North and Church Street South.

The committee decided to propose repairs for the first three murals respectively, citing more foot traffic near the sites and the need to maintain the bright colors in the pieces.

“I drive by the Church Street murals but I hear what you say that they are lighter so the deterioration is not as obvious,” said committee member Indira Johnson.

Repairs for the Central Street mural will cost $750, the Dempster Street mural will cost $800 and the mural at Foster Street will cost $550.

These repairs will be considered and voted on at the Art Council meeting on May 14.

Other agenda items the group considered included updating the public art interactive map on the city’s website and creating a database of all public art in Evanston.

Additionally, the group sought to standardize and formalize the City’s public art donation policy. In creating guidelines for accepting art donations, the group considered aesthetic measures along with the power to place, move or destroy donated pieces as the city sees fit.

“Are there certain standards that the piece has to meet to make sure that we are giving everyone a fair consideration,” said assistant to the city manager Paulina Martínez. “How do we evaluate whether the materials are suitable for our community, whether we have a space that makes sense for the piece?”

The policy will be amended and reintroduced at the next Public Art Subcommittee meeting.

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Twitter: @juliaesparza10

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