Sturgeon Bay's Local Art Board convened for the first time at noon on Wednesday in the Council Chambers. The hour-long meeting's main focus was a presentation by Pam Seiler of Destination Sturgeon Bay on the Graham Park renovations. From now on, the board will have approval authority for beautification projects, but Graham Park has already been vetted by the Common Council, making Wednesday's presentation informational in nature. Seiler provided additional details about the progress of the fountain, which will be the centerpiece of the new design.
The fountain has two primary components, a hull with water jets giving it the illusion of being in motion. Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding will be creating that section out of steel. Hi-Tec Fabrications of Sturgeon Bay is working on the mast portion of the fountain, made from aluminum. The hull represents the city's working waterfront with the sail signifying recreational boating. The board has asked Destination Sturgeon Bay and artist Rob Soukup to think about giving the piece a name. Tim Graul and Bay Engineering are still putting the finishing touches on the specifications for the fountain. It is expected to be installed in time for a dedication next May.
The board has been given a modest $10,000 budget and discussed how it could create public art projects similar to what has been done in Egg Harbor to provide additional funding for purchases. The general model is to have galleries lend pieces to the city for display on public property. When those sculptures are sold, a portion of the revenue generated goes to Sturgeon Bay. Administrator Josh VanLieshout says this can be successful because it opens up works to a much larger clientele than just those who feel comfortable in galleries.