On Monday, El Paso City Council adopted the Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) annual Public Art Plan for the City of El Paso.
“The success of public art has allowed the city to enhance local communities and neighborhoods by creating visual landmarks and sources of inspiration, education and pride,” said Museums and Cultural Affairs Department Director Tracey Jerome. “Local artists have also benefitted from the program by having their work selected or through participation in development programs that help them learn the skills they need to compete for public art projects.”
The annual plan presents an update on completed projects, as well as a breakdown of projects that are scheduled for the calendar year. The City sets aside 2 percent from every Capital Improvement Project budget to fund the Public Art Program.
Since its inception in 2006, the Public Art Program has completed 58 projects with another 32 in process. The program has worked with 123 artists of which 65% are local artists and has impacted 91 local businesses through its projects.
The Public Art Program has received seven (7) national awards and had been feature in six (6) national publications. The public art piece known as Marquise—created by Marc Fornes and located in front of the Westside Natatorium—is featured in the most recent issue of CODA Magazine, which highlights how art and design can transform public spaces that help drive placemaking.
Blackie Chesher Park’s Sun Pavilion by David Dahlquist and Matt Niebuhr received an award of merit for outstanding public spaces by CODAworx, which recognizes public art that integrates art into an interior, architectural or public space.
Projects currently in progress include the Dyer BRIO, Chamizal Recreation Center/Library, city entryways and the regional park in Far East El Paso.
The City’s public art inventory will continue to grow as the projects from the 2012 Quality of Life Bonds are completed.