Dunwoody City Council members are looking forward to a more colorful city after they passed a public art implementation plan at their Sept. 29 meeting.
“I’m very excited about this,” Councilmember Pam Tallmadge said. “There’s so much community involvement and so many hands that will go into this project throughout Dunwoody.”
The plan aims to provide a vision and goals for public art by creating guidelines for how to implement art in different areas of the city.
The plan calls for the establishment of a Public Art Commission for planning and oversight; a process for prioritizing and approving projects with public land or resources; a process for approving art on private property; and an approach to encourage developers to include public art. It also discusses funding options and outlines best practices in public art policy.
The plan has been in the works since the beginning of the year and includes suggestions based on community interviews and a survey, said Todd Bressi, a consultant who worked on the project.
The plan states the city could add artwork on the pavement of the multiuse trails or small seating areas as public art. Bressi suggested the city could have “game-changer” projects, which are ambitious art pieces that take five to 10 years, or “creative activation” projects, which are smaller pieces that could be temporary or created by local artists.
Councilmember John Heneghan said he wants the council to stay out of everyday operations of the public art commission and have little involvement in art projects to let residents and groups take the lead.
The next step in the implementation plan is creating a public art ordinance.
Michael Starling, the director for economic development, said the ordinance will be a guide for residents to start creating art.
A public art ordinance creates a process for approving and designating pieces as public art and defines such key words as “artist,” “mural” and “public art.” Public art is usually defined as something created by an artist that is preferably original and somewhere in public, Bressi said.