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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 8, 2006

Panels hear public art proposals

The Kansas City Municipal Art Commission continues to bring art and its benefits to Kansas City residents. Visitors to the Kansas City Convention Center and the Sprint Center will be greeted by artwork done by artists with national reputations as the result of a selection process done by the commission.

Jun Kaneko was selected Tuesday to create artwork for the Kansas City Convention Center ballroom expansion. Kaneko, an artist from Omaha, Neb., presented the winning proposal for the landscaped area on the south side of the new convention center at 16th Street between Central and Wyandotte streets.

A selection panel convened Tuesday to review the proposals of Kaneko and Peter Fink, an artist from Art2Architecture in London. The selection panel, which included artists and art professionals familiar with the public art field, representatives of the Municipal Art Commission and local citizens, examined both proposals for the installation before choosing the work of Kaneko.

Artist finalists Chris Doyle and Dennis Oppenheim presented their visions Wednesday for the $1.3 million art installation for the Sprint Center being constructed at 14th Street and Grand Boulevard. Both artists are from New York, N.Y., and were chosen from an original field of 154 artists representing some of the most highly regarded artists in the country.

The all-volunteer selection panel included artists and art professionals familiar with the public art field, Municipal Art Commission representatives, local citizens and representatives of the Sprint Center arena design team. The two artists spoke individually to the panel, and the panel examined their proposals before adjourning late in the afternoon with the intention to meet again soon to deliberate and make a recommendation to the full Municipal Art Commission. The commission will then make a final recommendation to the City Council.

“These two projects are some of Kansas City’s most exciting additions to recent capital improvement projects,” said Porter Arneill, director of the Municipal Art Commission.

The art projects for the Kansas City Convention Center expansion project and Sprint Center arena project are possible because of the City’s One Percent for Art Program. Under a 1986 City of Kansas City, Mo., ordinance, any new building project or building renovation project undertaken by the City must allot 1 percent of total design and estimated construction costs to commission a work of art related to the project. The Municipal Art Commission administers the One Percent for Art Program for the City.

The program’s projects range in scope from the “Dream Play” sculptures on the walls of the Marlborough Community Center, to “Sky Stations,” the $1 million installation gracing the roof and interior hallways of Bartle Hall.

“Of the more than 300 similar public art programs in the United States, Kansas City’s One Percent for Art Program is regarded highly for its programming and collection of art,” Arneill said. “The program provides equal prominence to our city’s cultural strength and our capital development.”

“Public art brings variety, energy and life to our public spaces. The One Percent for Art Program compliments this town’s thriving art community and it serves as a testimonial to our elected officials’ dedication to the city’s cultural heritage and vision for the future,” Arneill said.

For more information about the One Percent for Art Program and the City’s Municipal Art Commission, visit www.kcmo.org/cimo or call Elizabeth Bowman, Municipal Art Commission, (816) 513-2656.

    
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