Crane Installs $40,000 Public Art Project In Lancaster

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Workers used a crane this morning to install an “artwork cistern” on the Walnut Street side of the Lancaster Brewing Company building.

The cistern, commissioned by Lancaster city’s public art program, is made of steel and lengths of native wood.

Inside, a tank will hold 750 gallons of rainwater from the brewery roof. The cistern water will be used to support the plants in a rain garden along the street.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/912608_Pictures–Crane-installs–40-000-public-art-project-in-Lancaster.html#ixzz2jKNY9pnh

Pottstown Approves Art/Exercise Park Concept Along River Trail

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County

Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN — A key step in the effort to extend the Schuylkill River Trail out of Riverfront Park and into downtown Pottstown was unanimously approved last week by borough council.

The project was outlined during the Feb. 6 council meeting by Tom Carroll, who in addition to being the new chairman of the Pottstown Borough Authority, is also heading up this project as well.

Carroll’s proposal is to use the triangle of property between College Drive and South Street and turn it into an art and exercise park, call the Pottstown Art and Fitness Trail.

In addition to featuring a system of simple exercise equipment by Energi, the park would also feature platform on which sculptures would be placed.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130219/NEWS01/130219381/pottstown-approves-art-exercise-park-concept-along-river-trail#full_story

Effort To Restore Reading City Park Sculpture Takes Flight

Editor’s note:  Two thumbs up for Godiva Chocolatier, former mayor Tom McMahon, Yesid Gomez and Wilfer Buitrago for their efforts to help beautify the City of Reading.

The pursuit to restore one of Reading’s most unique sculptures is gaining momentum through private donations and the efforts of two artists.

GoggleWorks artists Yesid Gomez and Wilfer Buitrago have obtained the first financial contributions for the dove sculpture in Reading’s City Park, a project that could cost up to $40,000.

“I read the article about the artists working on the dove in the summer,” said Justin Burford, a human resource assistant at Godiva Chocolatier in Exeter Township.  That triggered discussions with Godiva coworkers and the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts about fundraising for the project.

“We thought this would be perfect unifying point for our Cultural Awareness Day,” Burford said of Godiva workers.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=432483

Lancaster City Hires New Arts Manager – The Goal: Make Lancaster “A Significant Arts Destination”

Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray has made the arts part of Lancaster City’s newly revised strategic plan.  Lancaster is to become a significant arts destination.  Evidence of the arts momentum in Lancaster is the hugely successful First Friday’s and the increasing amount of public art appearing throughout the city.  The goal is for much more. 

Making Lancaster more aesthetically pleasing will enhance the quality of life for city residents and give tourists another reason to come to Lancaster County; other than riding around in tour buses staring at the Amish, eating at Shady Maple and shopping at the Rockvale Outlets.  A trip to Lancaster County is not complete until one thoroughly immerses one’s self in the historic City of Lancaster (i am a former city resident who walked to Central Market to grocery shop every week).

So how does one go about turning this vision into a goal and then into a reality?  First, one gets a $200,000 grant from the Lancaster County Community Foundation that will pay the Arts Manager’s salary for three years.  Secondly, find a great candidate like John Lustig and hire him away from Indiana State University where he was the Curator and Director of the university’s permanent collection (valued at $45 million with 7,000 pieces of art).  Finally, support him and allow him to do his job (which by all accounts will happen).

John is a doer.  On his first day, John wrote up a letter of intent for a grant from National Endowment of the Arts.  The deadline was midnight and John worked until 9:30 p.m. to make sure Lancaster would be in the running for this funding.  Impressive first day!

Lustig will be jumping on an arts bandwagon that is already going strong in Lancaster.  His role will be to kick things up a notch and bring more community attention to the arts scene.  John will also be learning what other cities are doing to fund their arts programs and report back his findings.  This information will help city officials find creative ways to fund public art projects without reinventing the wheel or breaking the bank.

John is excited about finding an iconic piece of art that will come to be identified with Lancaster (like the LOVE statue is to Philly, the “arch” to St. Louis or the Statue of Liberty with NYC.)  Public art is a very broad term that can be applied to more than sculpture and murals.  Lustig also considers things like architecture, design, commercial signs and audio clips played in a public space as art.  Creativity exists in all things man-made.  Maybe he has a twin brother who would like a job in Pottstown!?!

Just another reason to heart Lancaster!