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Tue, Oct. 15

'Loaner' sculptures to make Prescott Valley an 'art destination'?

The town's Arts and Culture Commission bases its Art at the Center project on a similar successful project in Grand Junction, Colo., which displays sculptures along its downtown sidewalks. The sculptures are on a one-year loan from the artists, who benefit from the free public exposure. At the end of the year residents vote for a "people's choice" among the sculptures and the City of Grand Junction purchases the sculpture for permanent display. The rest of the sculptures come down and the town replaces them with new "loaners."

If the council approves the project, Prescott Valley's Arts and Culture Commission will solicit 10 to 12 sculptures to remain on outdoor display from May 2004 to May 2005. Most of the sculptures will go to the Civic Center plaza, though three or four will go on display at the Town Center - the Harkins Theatre complex. The commission intends to add more sculptures each year and, as the downtown area becomes more developed, to eventually display sculptures all the way from the Civic Center to the Town Center.

To begin, Prescott Valley would spend about $7,600 to build reusable bases for the sculptures, to ensure them against theft and damage, and for promotional materials such as brochures and invitations. Included in that budget is money for receptions and for lodging visiting artists.

If the Town Council elects to purchase the "people's choice," that cost would show up on the next year's Art at the Center budget.

"The advantage to the town is that this would enhance the artistic reputation of the community while creating a destination location for residents and visitors," PV spokeswoman Chris O'Brien said in a request for council action. "The advantage to artists is that their work would be on public display and for sale."

Ed Reilly, owner of Bronzesmith Foundry in PV, has offered a sculpture he owns for the initial display. Reilly also serves on the Art in the Center subcommittee.

The matter was on the agenda for discussion only. The council may vote on it at its Dec. 11 public meeting.

Art Merrill is a reporter for the Prescott Valley Tribune

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