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Friday, January 15, 2021

Rosedale roundabout art selected and public art master plan update at council

The Fort Worth City Council on Tuesday approved a final design and commission agreement with Jim Hirschfield and Sonya Ishii LLC for $164,685.00 for final design, fabrication, installation and contingencies for artwork for a roundabout on East Rosedale Street at Mitchell Boulevard.

The artwork will consist of a sculpture in the form of a carousel with six large, colorful parrots, a reference to the mascot of nearby Polytechnic High School. Motorists will drive around the traffic circle and the stationary carousel.

The carousel serves as a metaphor for the circle of life. Its theatrical quality references Jubilee Theatre, which was established in the area, and the theater department at nearby Texas Wesleyan University, while the classic brass rings and the mascot are symbols of striving and education.


Barbara Goldstein, consultant for Fort Worth Public Art (FWPA), reported in the pre-council work session that the research phase of the Master Plan update is completed and she said community engagement is nearing completion. The next public meeting is set for April 27 at the Fort Worth Public Library to present a draft plan in outline form.

Goldstein said the FWPA has completed nine of a dozen artist outreach programs. In addition, a survey of residents has yielded over 1,000 responses, notably concerning ways of getting more involved.

Goldstein pointed to areas such as downtown, the Cultural District, Trinity River and the historic Stockyards as places that draw both locals and visitors.

“This is a really good opportunity for the city to build a relationship with the private sector,” Goldstein said.

While the presentation reinforced Fort Worth’s strong support for the arts, citing something for everyone in every neighborhood with a good cross-section of local, regional, and nationally recognized artists, Goldstein noted ideas from FWPA that could strengthen the program. They include:

*Addressing concerns about how long it takes to complete projects.

*Revising methods of project budgeting.

*Communicating the process clearly.

*Devising new ways of engaging the community.

*Coordinating projects more closely with the capital improvement plan development.

Goldstein’s presentation suggested that:

*More frequent project updates be provided.

*The artist selection and review process be modified.

*Public art be more closely tied to infrastructure development and timeline.

*Budgets be built with greater detail.

As part of expansion and development of temporary projects, the presentation encouraged more opportunities to experiment with new ideas, enabling a new group of artists to participate, contingent on funding.

She also stressed looking for more opportunities for partnerships.

In expanding the pool of artists, it was suggested providing training for local artists, along with entry-level commissions. FWPA is also hoping to create opportunities for artists who don’t normally work in public, along with using the invitational process for major commissions.

The final draft of the plan is expected in early June, she said, with a presentation to the council to follow.

– Rick Mauch

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