Mercer, Macon Arts Alliance partner on new public art database

pramati@macon.comFebruary 3, 2014 

Mercer University and the Macon Arts Alliance announced Monday a partnership that has led to the creation of a database for public art in Macon.

The project came about when Creighton Rosental, chairman of Mercer’s philosophy department, wanted to work on a project the entire community could get behind.

“My inspiration came from the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County,” Rosental said.

“I realized the community was coming together in a new way.”

Because Rosental’s class includes a service element, his students were asked to help update Macon’s public art database, which hadn’t been updated since 1993. Students went throughout the city and county to photograph and make 360-degree video recordings of public art offerings, which were then added to the database found on the Macon Arts Alliance’s website, www.ovations365.com.

A link under the directories menu for public art is available and contains hundreds of examples of art that can be looked up by artist, type, location or collection. Entries contain photos, videos and general information about the art, including its current condition.

Jonathan Dye, spokesman for the arts alliance, said the database represents only a portion of Macon’s public art, and he encourages people to contact the alliance if they know of something that has been omitted.

Rosental said the next step in the process is to put together an ordinance for the Macon-Bibb County government to consider that would cover public art in the future, including maintenance. He said students plan to meet with public officials to find out what they might want in the ordinance before it’s presented to the commission.

Rosental noted that it’s the final year of the Knight Neighborhood Challenge grant program and that many of the previous grants have gone to fund programs related to public art in the College Hill Corridor. Rosental said two programs under consideration for grants are a public art program in Tattnall Square Park administered by Mercer’s art department and a national search for an artist to help develop James Park at the corner of College Street and Georgia Avenue.

Monica Hoyle, a senior art history major from Decatur who is enrolled in Rosental’s class, said she’s excited to be part of the project.

“I hope it creates something to help people who aren’t educated in art to see something in a different way that they may not have seen before,” she said.

The Knight Neighborhood Challenge and the Community Foundation of Central Georgia will host a meeting Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Peyton Anderson Community Services building, 277 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., for the public to weigh in on three public art proposals for the College Hill Corridor.

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