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CONTACT: Porter Arneill, Public Works Department, (816) 513-2538

New public artwork in parking facility

“Pulse,” the most recent addition to Kansas City’s One Percent for Art collection, is in the glass-covered stair towers of the new parking facility at 11th and Oak streets. An opening dedication for the parking facility will be held Jan. 31 at 10 a.m.

Pulse is a collaboration of Kansas City artist James Woodfill and local architectural firm el dorado inc. The designers were chosen by a panel of community representatives including architects, City staff, business owners, art professionals and private citizens who reviewed the work of local and national artists. The designers worked closely with local building designers and contractors to develop, fabricate and install Pulse.

The installation consists of 15 light arrays installed between floors in the two stair towers. Each array faces east and consists of 21 blue LED lights that are programmed to pulse randomly and as people pass sensors. Continuous low-level sound patterns also will react as people pass by. This work will be visible from inside and outside the building, casting an ambient blue light.

The City’s One Percent for Art Program is administered by the Municipal Art Commission. This program, and more than 300 other similar county and city programs across the country, stipulates that 1 percent of public construction costs be set aside for public art enhancements.

The City’s Municipal Art Commission was established in 1926 by the City Charter and comprises an 11-member board including the mayor, the president of the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, and the chairman of the City Plan Commission, all ex-officio members; and six mayoral appointees.

By City Charter, the commission's responsibilities include the approval of works of art on or extending over any City property; the design of buildings, bridges, fences, and other structures built by the City; and any privately owned signs, skywalks, or other structures that extend over public property. City ordinances also provide that no existing work of art owned by the City can be moved or altered without commission approval except under emergency conditions.

In addition to its legislated responsibility for approving all encroachments onto City property, the primary role of the Municipal Art Commission is to oversee the administration of Kansas City’s One Percent for Art Program.

Through the One Percent for Art Program, the mission of the art commission is to serve as a catalyst for artistic growth and aesthetic excellence in our communities, and in doing so, enhance the vitality of Kansas City and enrich the lives of its citizens.

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