By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Council, Parks and Arts Commission to consider new public art guidelines at joint meeting
council preview
An abstract mural used to adorn the wall of the Columbia Pool, the mural was removed with the building of the Columbia Water Park in 2009. The Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission is hoping to place another mural at Columbia Park. - photo by Photo Contributed

More public art could soon be seen around town as the Turlock City Council and Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission will consider a new Public Art Policy and Guidelines during a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The PARC has been working over the past year to bring more public art to Turlock, with Commissioners Lakneshia Diaz and Larry Yeakel heading up a subcommittee to seek input from the community on possible public art locations and projects.

One project that has already garnered community interest is the return of a mural at Columbia Park. Artist Justin Blizzard created the original brightly colored, abstract work with the help of local youth. The mural was removed when the City built the Columbia Park Water Feature in 2009.

 “Murals speak to people in a powerful way and is an instrument to teach history, culture and language,” said Diaz in 2015. “Exposing different artistic modalities as a public mural painting will show the importance of how art reflects and influences the social, political and cultural development of different parts of Turlock.”

Before a mural at Columbia Park — or any other public art project — can begin, however, the City needs to have a process in place to evaluate and approve suggested projects.

The proposed policy and guidelines lay out a process of review by City staff and the Parks and Arts Commission to ensure conformance with all criteria and applicable land use regulations before being recommended to the Turlock City Council for final consideration.

Under the policy, all projects would be directly sponsored, managed and controlled by the City of Turlock, with the City having sole discretion to select those messages it wants to promote.

Also at the special meeting, the Council and PARC will consider approving an agreement with The Sports Management Group for the purpose of completing the Sports and Recreation Facilities Prioritization and Feasibility Study, in an amount not to exceed $51,527.

The Sports Management Group started working on the study in March 2016. The group held three community meetings, did a facility inventory, compiled city demographics and sent out 23,000 community surveys. However, only 350 surveys were returned. In order the ensure the City receives the most comprehensive report, staff are recommending a new survey be conducted.

The proposed funding would include re-appropriating unspent funds of $41,967 from the original study contract from fiscal year 2015-16 and an additional $9,560 from the Capital Facilities Fees-Admin Projects fund.

Following the special joint meeting, the City Council will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The Council meets in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.