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Mayor’s Council on the Arts Adopts Public Art Policy to Assist Artists

A citizen-based committee that has worked for the past three years to solidify the importance of the arts in Huntington has adopted a public art policy and master plan and launched an online inventory of potential locations to encourage the display of public art on city-owned property.

The Mayor’s Council on the Arts was formed by Mayor Steve Williams in fall 2014 as a natural outgrowth of two highly successful arts summits held in Huntington in prior years. The vision of the Council is to foster an environment where the arts permeate and enhance every aspect of the lives of citizens and are a part of all planning, strategic decision-making and governance.

One of the ways that can be achieved is by adopting a public art policy and master plan, said Margaret Mary Layne, chairwoman of the Mayor’s Council on the Arts.

“Public art plays a crucial role in any successful community,” Layne said. “It can serve to inspire the citizenry, create a sense of unity and purpose, encourage creativity, and celebrate the cultural heritage of the residents of this region.

Among other things, the master plan outlines a structure under which public and private entities can cooperate in the selection, location, installation, display and maintenance of public art. It also establishes an application process for a public art exhibit on city-owned property. Before submitting a formal application, artists will be required to submit a concept paper for their proposed exhibit for review and approval by the Mayor’s Council on the Arts’ Public Art Policy Subcommittee.

To help artists identify a potential location, the Mayor’s Council on the Arts has launched an online inventory of more than 25 locations in Huntington that are suitable for a public art exhibit. The inventory features an interactive map that includes a photo of the location, the dimensions and any restrictions.

It was created by Sam Ball, a senior at Marshall University who is majoring in graphic design in the School of Art and Design. Ball developed the online inventory through a two-part internship, first with the city’s Public Works Department to identify and document the locations and then with Bulldog Creative Services to embed the site images and descriptions into an interactive map.

The public art inventory; public art master plan and application documents; and more information about the Mayor’s Council on the Arts, including its membership, can be found on the City of Huntington’s by clicking here.

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