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Arts commission is sprucing up the city through local artists

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – In an ongoing effort to enhance the beauty of the city, the Green Bay Public Arts Commission (GBPAC) gave the go-ahead on a pair of programs to highlight Green Bay artists by giving them the opportunity to present their artwork.

The first program, titled ARTPOWER, has the GBPAC partnering with the Green Bay Military Avenue Business District (MABD) to showcase a handful of Green Bay artists by displaying their artwork on ordinary objects of urban infrastructure.

Laura Schley, public arts coordinator, said three utility boxes on Military Avenue will be transformed into three-dimensional art pieces.

Staff received submissions from 13 artists with more than 60 artworks to select from.

Nine final pieces were chosen by the commission at its meeting last month.

Schley said this is the first year of the program in Green Bay, but was inspired by similar programs in Appleton and Madison.

Military Avenue Business District Executive Director Leah Weycker said the three boxes, located at 1600 Shawano Ave., 1587 Shawano Ave. and 1590 Sixth St., have been approved to be used by the utility owners.

In the coming weeks, the MABD board of directors will vote on the final three.

The MABD will be picking up the tab for the program.

Final selected artists will receive $200 for their design.

The city’s plan to showcase local artists doesn’t stop there.

With the Sidewalk Poetry Project, the art commission is highlighting the art of the written word.

At its meeting last month, the commission selected and approved five poems from authors throughout the area to be stamped into sidewalk panels across the city.

The Sidewalk Poetry Project was approved during the February 2019 meeting of the Green Bay Public Arts Commission.

Schley said 45 poems were submitted throughout April to celebrate national poetry month.

At its meeting last month, the arts commission selected six winning poems.

The commission looked to Professor Emerita at UW-Green Bay Denise Sweet for help in the selection process.
Sweet served as the second poet laureate for the State of Wisconsin from 2002-08.

For her help, the arts commission selected one poem from Sweet’s submitted works to be printed as the Curator’s stamp – resulting in six poems total.

Schley said the cement stamps of each of the chosen poems are currently being fabricated and should be completed by early July.

“We will be working with the parks department to imprint the stamps throughout park’s routine maintenance of sidewalks and new sidewalk development happening this summer,” Schley said. “The final placement locations will be determined by the parks department.”

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