Talk of upping Chapel Hill's 1 percent for public art ordinance to 2 percent seems to have faded away, while the town works out some organizational problems in its public art department. A lot's riding on new administrator Jeffrey York, whom I've yet to meet but have heard good things about.
Anyway, a couple of us spoke with some Town Council members a few months after the town's latest public art opened at the Town Operations Center. The project came under some criticism because it cost a lot and was placed where most members of the public will never see it. Town leaders defended the project and the public art program, though some local arts leaders have questioned it too. ArtsCenter director Jon Wilner, for example, has said the money should at least go to local artists, if not to local arts programming.
Now in fairness, we report that those pieces of art at the Town Operations Center have won national recognition. The two pieces are the curved stone wall embedded with tools and the winding marble bench created for the operations center on Millhouse Road in northern Chapel Hill. They were among 45 projects recognized as outstanding public art during a conference last month in Philadelphia.
Read more here.