CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston needs to build on its collection of sculptures, monuments, murals and other public art, a consultant's report says.
But the city also needs to set up a public art commission and design review board, hire a public art manager and start a public art fund to help enlarge and maintain that collection, the report from Renee Piechocki says.
Piechocki and the McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory were hired early this year under a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant to inventory the city's public art and develop guidelines for maintaining and building the collection. Her August report was made public Monday.
City Council members agreed Monday evening to apply for another grant, for up to $280,000, from ArtPlace to implement major parts of Piechocki's report.
"This grant opportunity came shortly after we received the public art plan," said Councilwoman Susie Salisbury, also a vice president with the Charleston Area Alliance. "We pulled out some of the pieces of the plan particularly suited to the grant.
"We want to form a public art commission and we want a full-time staff member, so there would be funding for 18 months."
City Manager David Molgaard said the job might pay between $40,000 and $45,000 a year. "That [grant money] would be temporary funding. That would get us started. After that, we would have to fund that though our general fund. I suggested to the committee I would recommend we fund such a position."
Other grant money would also go toward conserving some existing art that needs immediate work, Salisbury said, such as the Henry Gassaway Davis statue in Davis Park and Lincoln Walks at Midnight on the Capitol grounds.
"There would also be some funding for new temporary public art," she said. "That's their recommendation, that we focus more on temporary public art, 18 months to three years. So we would focus on FestivALL 2014, which will also be their 10th anniversary.