Kennesaw, KSU present public art project

With the second of two sculptures, standing, L-R, are Geo Sipp, director of the KSU School of Art and Design; Page Birch, studio technician/coordinator, KSU School of Art and Design and Kennesaw Economic Development Director Robert Fox. Seated are KSU artists Megan Pace and Thomas Daniel. Courtesy of Kennesaw

Kennesaw city officials have unveiled art projects downtown that were designed by Kennesaw State University students.

Among the efforts to strengthen the relationship between city elected officials and KSU, early this year the city’s Economic Development Director Bob Fox met with Geo Sipp, the director of the KSU School of Art and Design, about a public art project for Kennesaw’s downtown that would be functional and aesthetically pleasing.

“We wanted to give art students a real-world opportunity to go through the public art commission process, including selection, fabrication and installation,” Fox said. “The city would provide financial support.”

With Sipp onboard with the concept, the next step was to draw up an agreement between the city and the Board of Regents on behalf of KSU, specifiying that the KSU School of Art and Design would submit designs and complete fabrication while the city would underwrite the material cost.

An art review committee, consisting of city staff and members of the Art and Culture Commission, was established to evaluate the designs and choose winners among the eight designs submitted by the students.

The first pieces that were commissioned were benches to be placed on the Southern Museum walkway and at the City Hall Plaza that is under construction.

Students began fabrication by cutting, bending, grinding and welding the benches in preparation for installation with the Downtown Development Authority funding the cost of materials.

The city’s Public Works Department installed the first two benches on the museum walkway that were designed by KSU artists Megan Pace and Thomas Daniel, students in the Master Craftsman Program.

In the next phase of the partnership, design proposals will be requested for the city’s new Gateway Park on Main Street at Sardis Street.

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