Hilliard City Council on Monday, Oct. 22, is expected to consider legislation that would establish a public-arts policy, including a "Percent for Public Art fund."
The ordinance, which is derived from the work of the Hilliard Public Arts Commission, "establishes guidelines and criteria for using the funds set aside by the program for the acquisition of public art to be sited in, on or around the public-improvement project for which the funds originated," law director Tracy Bradford said. "Under this program, 1 percent of the cost of the eligible capital-improvement projects undertaken by the city will be set aside for the acquisition of public art, not to exceed $200,000 per capital-improvement project."
In addition, the city would contribute 1 percent of a project's total cost even if state or federal grants paid for some or most of the project's total cost, Bradford said.
The policy legislation also would establish a mural program by which artists would apply to the Hilliard Public Arts Commission for consideration of their project, she said.
The Public Arts Commission, like other advisory boards and commissions, would make a recommendation that Hilliard City Council would approve, reject or approve with modifications agreed to by the applicant, Bradford said.
The legislation also outlines how the Percent for Public Art fund would be implemented.
Its purpose "is to provide a mechanism to fund the acquisition of public art, including the selection, acquisition, installation, maintenance, management, conservation and commissioning of public art and to encourage the use of various mediums of art as integral elements and features in the development of the city."
The construction cost would include all forms of funding, including from outside sources, but would not include costs for property acquisition, demolition or environmental remediation.
Eligible projects include the construction or widening of roads, construction or renovation of a public building and the construction of or modification to an intersection or roundabout, according to the authorizing legislation.
Projects that are not eligible include the construction or repair of sidewalks, the maintenance or repair of public parking lots, routine building maintenance and the management of natural areas or stream restoration.
The legislation permits City Council to deem any project eligible or ineligible for incorporation into the public-arts program.
The legislation also establishes a mural program, but members of the Public Arts Commission hope to persuade City Council to amend it to allow murals on private property.
"We hope City Council will consider what we are asking," said Kelley Daniel, the creator of a sunflower mural on a barn at her Madison Street residence that since 2010 has been covered with plywood.
Her husband, Ed Daniel, covered the sunflower mural after the city's board of zoning appeals ordered it removed for being in violation of a city code that limits the number of colors that can be used in Old Hilliard.
"It took us eight years to get here," said Daniel, referring to when she vowed to establish a policy for public art when she was made to shutter the sunflower mural.
The seven-member public-arts commission submitted the legislation to City Council that established the Percent for Public Art and mural programs.
The members are Genenia Bellner, Daniel, Anna Schuer McCoy, Becky Rehbeck, Mayor Don Schonhardt, Mary-jean Siehl and Bill Uttley.
However, Daniel said, the administration amended the commission's mural-program language to define a mural as a graphic illustration applied to an outside wall, facade or exterior surface of a commercial building or on any public or private property that is observable and accessible to the public from the public right of way.
"We hope the council will allow for murals, when approved by the commission and City Council, to exist in a residential setting when appropriate," Daniel said.
Meanwhile, commission members hope the program can be used to begin placing art in more public places, such as a mural on the back wall of Otie's Tavern and Grill, 5344 Center St.
"Something like a train station would look great there," Daniel said.
Jim Velio, owner of Otie's, said commission members had approached him about – and he supported – the idea of a mural on the back wall of the second-floor patio.
The commission also would reach out to students to create art.
"We want a variety of art to be displayed, painting and sculptures, and would ask students to get involved," said Rehbeck, an art teacher at Britton Elementary School.
"I'm excited we can play a part in the expansion of a visual-art program to augment the growth of performing arts in the city," said Siehl, also a member of the Hilliard Arts Council.
The Public Arts Commission was created in October 2016 but it took nearly another year, August 2017, to fill its ranks and begin convening, Daniel said.
The commission worked for a year to create the policy that City Council will consider Oct. 22, she said.