by Rob White
The Steering Committee for the Public Art Master Plan convened once again on the evening of December 1, 2015 to discuss the state of the process. Master Planner Todd Bressi took a moment to address that week’s plan of holding Outdoor Living Room art installations with visiting artist Matthew Mazzotta, as well as two roundtable discussions with local representatives from business, UGA and the arts scene.
Todd pointed out areas of need that the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission could address, such as the identification and management of existing public art inventories as well as a clarification of the goals of the commission in regards to local cultural resources beyond public art and how the commission could potentially assist with those resources.
The other primary topic of discussion during the evening was the need for a better defined public art ecosystem within Athens. Todd made the observation that the diverse range of work being done in the field both nationally and internationally was not often reflected in Athens. This isn’t due to lack of interest or lack of artistic talent, but rather due to a lack of recognized processes and infrastructure to make interesting public art happen.
By identifying organizations within the community, UGA and local government already addressing social and cultural issues applicable to modern art, potential connections could fostered which might better produce that ecosystem in the future. By bringing community leaders into the conversation early through the Steering Committee, initial steps are being made to turn that recognized need into a future reality.