After a decade of community enhancements, Allen’s next Public Art Master Plan reveals the city’s strategy for future works. Allen Parks and Recreation staff presented the plan during the city council workshop on April 26.
The plan calls for a new approach to projects, which would support the central ideas of the updated vision statement. Future works should:
• Contribute to Allen’s identity as a unique and welcoming space,
• Activate community gathering places, or• Bring character and creativity to everyday places.
These guidelines allow for the addition of art in both highly visible locations (such as bridges, overpasses or roundabouts), as well as “everyday places” such as streetscapes or trails. Public art could also serve a functional purpose, creating a community gathering place around tables, seating or shade structures.
The plan also provides new recommendations for how the City works with developers to encourage public art in private development.
Allen first adopted a public art master plan in 2005. During the last ten years, the plan has led to the installation of five major works from bond funding approved by voters in 2007, including Oceano, Blackland Prairie Song, Rail Ladder Fire, A is for Allen and Current Drift. Two more installations are in the works including mosaic artwork as part of Ford Pool renovations and art pieces for the new Watters Branch Community Park Phase I development.
The city has also placed a number of donated works, such as Chac and Monstrum Incarnata, and benefitted from public art installations at private developments, including the new Wave Machine at the Cottonwood Crossing trailhead and Cisterna at Montgomery Farm.
The number and scale of future projects will largely hinge on the outcome of Allen’s bond election on May 7. Proposition 5 calls for $1.77 million dollars (approximately 2% of the total bond amount) to be spent on public art in Allen.
Council members are expected to vote on the updated master plan during the May 24 council meeting.