Public art in Hilliard is expected to blossom after Hilliard City Council approved a policy for its placement, including murals on commercial and residential structures.

City Council on Oct. 22 approved legislation establishing a public-arts policy that also included a "Percent for the Public Art" fund.

The Hilliard Public Arts Commission will consider applications for public-art placement, but final decisions will be made by city council.

Kelley Daniel, chairwoman of the Arts Commission, and her husband, Ed Daniel, each said they pleasantly were surprised council amended the legislation to allow for the placement of murals on residential property.

That decision was approved with a 6-1 vote. "I prefer that it go in stages," said Councilman Nathan Painter who cast the dissenting vote. He said he wanted to observe how murals were applied to commercial structures before considering whether to allow them in residential areas.

The decision to approve the amended public-arts policy was unanimous.

The new policy is based on the work of the Arts Commission.

"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," law director Tracy Bradford said.

In addition, the city will 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 establishes a mural program through which artists can apply to the Arts Commission for consideration of their project.

The Arts Commission, like other advisory boards and commissions, makes a recommendation that Hilliard City Council would approve, reject or approve with modifications agreed to by the applicant, Bradford said.

According to the authorizing legislation, the policy "provide(s) 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.

Kelley Daniel said she plans to apply to the Arts Commission to display a mural of a sunflower she made almost a decade ago.

Ed Daniel covered the sunflower mural in 2010 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 almost a decade to get here. We're excited to get started with new art in our city," Kelley Daniel said.

Members of the Arts Commission are Daniel, Genenia Bellner, Anna Schuer McCoy, Becky Rehbeck, Mayor Don Schonhardt, Mari-jean Siehl and Bill Uttley.

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