Custom Search
CivicLifeSportsSchoolsBusinessFoodOur HomesLetters/OpinionsCalendar

Published September 21st, 2016
Art Chosen for the Jennifer Russell Building
Photo provided

In a discussion that was more like "American Idol" than a city meeting, the Lafayette City Council made the final decision on which of two pieces of artwork will grace the vestibule area of the Jennifer Russell Building.
Five artists had been invited to propose and of those five, the Public Arts Committee (PAC) selected two. Both had been previously presented at a joint meeting of the PAC and the Parks, Trails and Recreation Committee. The resulting vote was evenly split so the choice was sent up to city council for a final ruling.
It was clear why it had been a split vote - both pieces met all the parameters for aesthetic quality, relationship to the city's present collection and to the community, compatibility with the environment and for the materials used and both were art pieces of high quality.
Elin Christopherson, an Oakland artist with 25 years experience of sculpting using mainly glass, wood and aluminum, presented her concept - "Red Buds Sprig" - a suspended aluminum and glass sculpture of leaves and branches featuring nature-inspired colors. Christopherson pointed out that the art would be visible from St. Mary's Road. She said that the aluminum would provide durability.
The Council then heard the presentation from Emily Payne, a Berkeley-based artist, whose installation "Hover" is a suspended wire sculpture consisting of several spheres made from wire circles joined together and designed to rotate as people open doors and move about below. She said that her work was intended to be playful and interactive and might suggest balls or bubbles.
Both artists expressed a need for additional lighting.
Juliet Hansen, staff liaison to the PAC, noted that $25,000 has been approved for the art project but that the committee was now asking for an additional $250 to be awarded to the runner up. The timeline for installation of this project is between four and five months.
Council member Brandt Andersson said that although he felt "Hover" to be more intellectual, he was concerned about the strength of the wire. He said the color and scale of "Red Buds Sprig" would make it more visible from the street, an opinion also shared by council member Don Tatzin and vice mayor Mike Anderson. Council member Traci Reilly said she thought that although the colors were striking in "Red Buds Sprig," she liked the subtlety of "Hover" and that it suggested clouds and movement, blending with the environment.
All members approved the extra $250 and agreed that they would come back later to discuss specific amounts and design for lighting.
And the winner is ..."Red Bud Sprig," which was approved by the council by three votes to one.

print story

Before you print this article, please remember that it will remain in our archive for you to visit anytime.
download pdf
(use the pdf document for best printing results!)
Send your comment to:
Reach the reporter at:

This article was pulished on Page A2:

Quick Links for LamorindaWeekly.com
send artwork to:
Classified ads
Lamorinda Service Directory
About us and How to Contact us
Letter to the Editor
Send stories or ideas to:
Send sports stories and photos to:
Subscribe to receive a delivered or mailed copy
Subscribe to receive storylinks by email
Our Homes

Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA