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Art coming to Downtown?

City might pay $1,500 stipend to creators
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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City staff is looking into possibly putting art in Downtown Auburn on a rotating basis. During Monday’s City Council meeting, Public Works Director Bernie Schroeder presented a potential temporary art program to the council members. Schroeder said the idea was inspired by a similar program in Roseville and would allow artists to display examples of their work in the city of Auburn for two years at a time. “The two-year program starts with an application process and a selection would then be done through the Arts Commission and, of course, City Council,” Schroeder said. Schroeder said the Public Works Department would also have some say in the selection of art pieces. Lee Buckingham, a member of the Auburn Arts Commission, said the city would pay each artist a stipend of $1,500 for participating in the program. Buckingham said the idea started with the city paying for art to be displayed permanently throughout the Streetscape phases. “We all know what happened to the economy a few years back, and there is no money to be doing this,” Buckingham said. Buckingham said while there were about 11 places the pieces could go if the Streetscape phases were complete, there are only three available currently in Downtown Auburn. Schroeder said the city would be responsible for the installation of the art, a plaque with the artist’s name and title of the piece, some maintenance and some marketing material if the piece were for sale. She said the artist would be responsible for creating a base for the piece as well as being responsible for repairs. Councilman Keith Nesbitt said he would like to see the amount of the stipend negotiated with each piece of art, with a potential for a commission or reimbursement to the city if the artwork was sold. Councilman Kevin Hanley asked if they city would be required to cover damage costs if vandalism should occur, and City Attorney Michael Colantuono said the city would not be responsible for that and could give the artwork back to the artist in its damaged state. No vote was taken on the program because the presentation was for information purposes only. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com