Laborer

Laborer by Mike Wsol will remain at its current location in Brooke Street Park near City Hall.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Alpharetta will roll out a new set of sculptures for outdoor display this summer after the City Council signed off on eight on-loan pieces through its collaboration with Arts Alpharetta.

The pieces, all of varying sizes and shapes, will be displayed at different locations throughout the city and will replace the current loaned pieces at Brooke Street Park near City Hall. 

“The exact locations have not been worked out for all of these pieces; we know right now we have five places the art is going to go,” said Parks and Recreation Department Director Morgan Rodgers. “There will be three new locations, somewhere around Brooke Street Park or along the Alpha Loop along Thompson Street, which has always called for art.”

The city has an agreement with Arts Alpharetta to continue the Outdoor Art on Loan Project whose intended purpose is to further goals and policies set forth in the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Downtown Master Plan and the Art in Public Places Guidelines & Polices. 

Speaking at the June 17 City Council meeting, Rodgers said the eight new pieces were selected by Arts Alpharetta for ratification by the council. The pieces will be on display for two years.

Council members were amenable to all but one of the pieces — Solar Wind by Phil Proctor, a 50-foot structure in steel, aluminum and acrylic. The piece features two large round discs, one blue and one yellow, extending out at a 90-degree angle from the top.

Councilman Jason Binder said the city has to give variances for businesses to construct structures that size.

Mayor Jim Gilvin agreed, saying the piece may be too tall for the city’s taste. 

“The color’s one thing, but to have that color 50 feet up in the air, that would be a bit much, I believe,” Gilvin said.

Arts Alpharetta has selected two alternate pieces that can be substituted if a suitable location that satisfies city leaders cannot be found.

In a related matter at the June 17 meeting, the council agreed to purchase one of the seven sculptures now on display at Brooke Street Park as part of the Miscellany Open Air exhibit.

The city performed an informal Facebook poll asking residents which of the current five pieces on display they liked best. Rodgers said Laborer was the overwhelming winner. He said the department’s operating budget has enough money remaining to fund the $24,000 purchase price.

“The recommendation tonight, coming from Arts Alpharetta, would be to purchase the Laborer and let it be a permanent piece sitting here on the City Hall property,” Rodgers said.

Arts Alpharetta recommends leaving the piece in its current spot, he said, because it is an interactive work that fits in with the surroundings.

Councilman John Hipes was on board.

“My grandkids like that particular sculpture right there in the park so they can climb in it,” he said. “If they’re indicative of all the other kids in Alpharetta, they like it there.”

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