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Commission considers additional funding for Short Street Garage artwork

Tori Meador

Columbia’s Commission on Cultural Affairs is considering a proposal to increase the funding for the Short Street Parking Garage sculpture, "Tidal Murmur."

The additional money would be used to pay for specialty LED lighting for the sculpture.  Chris Stevens, manager of the Office of Cultural Affairs, presented the proposal from artist Beth Nybeck. He says that the extra money would help to improve the project.

"So generally part of the artist's proposal is that they pay for the cost of the installation and the lighting,” Stevens said. “Because this is sort of a unique project, and we really want this to be of the highest quality based on the quality of this garage project."

The eight lights will cost just more than $6080. The money would come from the Public Art Fund, a fund that has been unused since 2007.

The commission members say they want more information before reaching a conclusion, and the city council would have to approve the use of funding. Member Judy Harper says the group needs more time to discuss the funding request. 

"You’re always waning to make sure you are using moneys for public art or any project we have, that you’re using it wisely," Harper said.

Nybeck competed with 26 other artists for the commission to build the sculpture as part of the city’s Percent for Art Project. The standing committee on Public Arts has already awarded Nybeck $58,000 to complete the project.

"Tidal Murmor" will be housed in front of the Short Street Garage. Construction of the parking structure is is projected to finish in late August. The sculpture pieces are finished and the artist is currently working with engineers to make sure it is structurally sound before it is assembled at the site.

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