courthouse art

David Reif’s ‘The Architecture of Civility’ adorns the north side of the Albany County Courthouse. The county is currently working to establish a committee that would handle the procurement of art for county property.

Albany County commissioners are scheduled to vote March 5 on approving a regulatory framework on how they will procure art for the county’s property.

Their vote will be proceeded by a public hearing, and the proposed framework has been posted the county planner’s website.

Under the proposed framework, commissioners would establish a public art advisory committee tasked with recommending the placement of art, as well as the placement of donated trees, benches, monuments, tables and “other similar structures.”

The group would also be responsible for recommending the deaccessioning of certain art.

The framework also envisions the county establishing an “art plan” akin to what’s been adopted in recent years by the city of Laramie and the University of Wyoming.

The advisory committee would consist of five Albany County residents, especially “those with a demonstrated interest in public art, including art administrators, artists, artisans, engineers, architects, teachers, etc.”

Former county commissioner Tim Chesnut said in December, when the framework was being drafted, that he hopes the county’s library board and fair board will use the new process to bring art to their buildings as well.

The drafted framework states that “art is to be integrated into the design or modification of county-owned or county-controlled public property.”

The framework also allows for the art advisory committee and county commissioners to accept donations of public art.

The framework is more limited than the plans adopted by the city and UW, as was intended by planning commission chair David Cunningham, who crafted the framework and presented an early version to the planning commission in September.

“What we need is fairly simple,” he said at the time. “Public art, I think, really does belong, but I think it belongs in measured amounts and it belongs on public property. I think that going out and demanding visible art on private property is just not the way to go. It’s inappropriate.”

The planning commission spent several meetings developing the framework during the latter half of 2018.

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