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Published: Wednesday, 5/9/2012 - Updated: 4 years ago

Another public arts project in the works for Toledo

Dan Hernandez. Dan Hernandez.
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Toledoans can look forward to another public arts project designed to make the city environment more attractive, this time on Collingwood Boulevard.

Since 1977, the city has acquired about 40 public art projects. They range from large-scale pieces such as City Candy that stands from the ground floor high into the interior of Vistula Parking Garage, to the figures depicting a family in Promenade Park, and other small-scale art work and murals.

This newest project will adorn the medians on Collingwood Boulevard between Central and Ashland avenues. The public and the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo gets to see the work of three finalists who are vying to be the artist whose work is chosen for the boulevard islands at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Collingwood Presbyterian Church, 2108 Collingwood Blvd.

Some 120 local, national, and international artists submitted their works for consideration for the project. Artists from northwest Ohio made the top 20 list of semifinalists. However, the three finalists are Sheila Klein of Bow, Wash.; Scott Murase of Portland, Ore.; and Mark Lere, of Glendale, Calif.; according to Dan Hernandez, coordinator of art in public places for the arts commission.

They competed against other U.S. artists and those from such international locales as Australia, the Philippines, Scotland, and Canada.

Though the exact location of the art on the boulevard medians has not been decided -- the work could be placed on one or more of the islands -- the seven-member review board of the arts commission will begin the final steps toward choosing the winning artist at Monday's meeting.

"The design review board will meet with the artists prior to the public forum to discuss topics that the artists want to present," Mr. Hernandez said.

The artists will show their work then engage in dialog with the public while the review board observes.

The members of the review board, which include residents of the Old West End, are Toledo City Councilman Paula Hicks-Hudson; Steve Day of the city engineering department; Mike Duket of Duket Architects; Claude Fixler of the Toledo Museum of Art; Jemma Hostetler, a graphic designer; Robert Zollwig, creative director of Libbey Glass; and Ken Thompson, a local artist.

Mr. Hernandez does not know exactly when the review board will make its final decision. However, he expects that a "decision will be made fairly quickly" after Monday.

Contact Rose Russell at rrussell@theblade.com or 419-724-6178.

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