ROSWELL, Ga. — Roswell has officially established policies for installing public art in the city, including temporary and donated artworks. The new rules do not impact any art on private property.
The new policies come in the wake of increased interest of public art in Roswell.
“As we started and continued to work on a number of different art initiatives supported by the community and the Arts Fund and our department, we realized that a consistent framework in the form of a policy is necessary,” said Director of Recreation and Parks Jeff Leatherman.
One of the biggest initiatives includes the ArtAround Roswell Sculpture Tour, which rotates about 10 sculptures each year throughout the city. Since the tour’s inception about five years ago, it has brought 10 permanent sculptures to Roswell through purchases and donations.
Under the city’s new policies, Sculpture Tour art is defined as temporary art.
The temporary art selection process, as outlined by the policy, mainly involves a designated arts agency, like the Roswell Arts Fund, which would form a selection panel and present projects to the City Council for authorization and placement.
Donated art undergoes a similar process.
Long-term and permanent art selection requires more involvement from the City Council. For such art, a conceptional project must first be presented to and authored by the mayor and City Council, before a designated arts agency’s selection panel forms a project recommendation. The final product is then presented to the City Council and upon authorization can be installed.
The fact that the selection processes ended at installation was troubling for resident Lee Fleck. He pointed to some art sculptures in the city that have begun rusting and urged the City Council to consider upkeep as well.
“If you’re going to install something, you have to have a maintenance program,” he said.
Councilman Marcelo Zapata amended the policy to add that long-term project recommendations must include dates for installation and project removal.
One of the policies’ goals, to drive economic prosperity for Roswell, caused some confusion for Councilwoman Christine Hall.
She said it was unclear how public art by itself would accomplish that goal.
“There are some studies that suggest that as you continue to evolve your vibrant community through art and other cultural opportunities that that also drives community culture and eventually economic development,” Leatherman said.
The City Council unanimously approved the new policies.