As a Public Art Advisory Committee Member, duties range from writing policy to researching artists. With the recent passing of the Public Art in Private Development Ordinance, Richmond will be welcoming new projects and opportunities. The process to discover and vet artists has started. As a volunteer, the rewards for community outweigh the vast time commitment.
If a developer’s project exceeds $500,000 in building costs or is an apartment building with at least ten units, and implemented after August 8, 2017 then it qualifies to contribute 1% for pubic art. In addition, developers can allocate the 1% to an in-lieu fund. Artists will have the opportunity to create elements such as decorative fencing to lighting. The possibilities are endless to beautify, connect, and enhance civic pride.
Richmond, the city of pride and purpose welcomes the partnership with developers!
Recently, I visited the Richmond Sculptural Accents studio of artists Lois and Ernest Rich. The workshop was filled with sketches, tools, materials, projects, and artworks. The Rich’s specialize in private and public metal art inspired by natural and human forms. From Berkeley Hills Living magazine, Ernest Rich: “Function art is what we specialize in…People enjoy the utility of it.”
Lois and Ernest create window grids, gates, handrails, walkways, sculptures, and much more. The couple’s background includes public art projects, articles, and client commissions. Every detail of safety and craftsmanship is thoughtfully delivered with fire, a hammer, and an anvil. Professionalism and experience was on full display.
Developers now have the opportunity to work with artists like Lois and Ernest Rich. Art enlivens and activates spaces. The Public Art in Private Development Ordinance is here and moving forward. Thanks to Rosie the Riveter: We can do this!