Commission revamps ArtFest, public art policy

New tenets to reflect modern outlook, diverse artistic styles outlooks



Commission members attends a PAC meeting Saturday afternoon in the Young Meeting Room at Neill Public Library.

SANDY VO, Evergreen reporter

The Pullman Arts Commission revised its public art policies and procedures and discussed Pullman ArtFest, formerly known as ArtWalk.

“We’ve been looking at other cities and towns … to freshen our policy up so that it’s new and fits better,” said Jeri Harris, Pullman Arts Commission chairperson.

Members of the commission emphasized the importance and purpose of public art in Pullman.

“The purpose of the public art program is to integrate a whole wide range of public art into the community, [and] reflect the diversity of artistic styles, disciplines and points of view,” said Suzanne Polle, Pullman Arts Commission member.

Commission members also wanted a policy to establish the difference between public and private art.

“When you’re curating something for public art, it is a total different beast than private art,” said Joanna Bailey, Neill Public Library services director. “The point is, public art is [meant] to spark interaction and stimulate discussion.”

Commission members also discussed accessibility issues and the need for a special place to put art.

“Art should be placed somewhere where it can be most appreciated,” Polle said, “not just a place where you can go by quickly – a place where you can go there [and] stay there.”

Bailey said she wanted to know if visual art is a broad enough art to include all forms of art.

“When we were doing a call to artists for the image for ArtFest, one of the questions was, ‘Does this policy accommodate digital art?’ ” Bailey said.  “We want to make sure the policy is modern and accommodates all types of format.”

Polle said she wanted the board to consider the maintenance policies when it comes to public art.

“Some details could include who does the [maintenance] … and how often it should be done,” she said.

Commission members also hope to get businesses around Pullman involved in ArtFest.

Commission members moved their discussion to ArtFest and chose a promotional image that reflects all types of art. The promotional image included pictures of theater masks, music notes, ballet shoes and a paint palette.

Polle said ArtFest will occur on May 16-18, and they hope to broaden the event by including quilt shows and theater performances.

“We want to include more art,” Harris said. “For example, baristas—they make art on top of coffee. We want to be more inclusive.”