The Bicentennial Sculpture Garden downtown along the river is getting new, permanent sculptures if an agenda item at tomorrow’s City Council meeting is approved.
The park was initially intended to rotate its sculptures each year, but an alleged threat of legal action may have curtailed that plan. Instead, the city is purchasing four new sculptures while some of the existing structures fixtures will become permanent.
The total for the project by the city is $80,000 for sculpture purchases and installation. Most public art funded by the city comes from room tax funds designated for public art, but city staff did not provide information about how the project is being funded and why the sculpture garden is changing to fixed art away from its original concept.
An online staff report indicated funds were coming from room taxes and capital improvement project funds.
The Rotary Club of Downtown Reno is contributing $10,000 for park upkeep and improvements, and Councilmember Naomi Duerr is donating $8,000.
According to the staff report: “$50,000 for this purchase will come from unspent Room Tax Funds identified by the City Manager and Finance Department for purchase of permanent sculptures, $17,000 from Room Tax allocations in the Public Art Budget for FY 18/19, $8,000 donation from Councilmember Duerr that was transferred to Room Tax in FY18/19, and $5,000 from RCOR donation accepted on May 23, 2018.”
New sculptures include “Circles” by Chris Rench, Ric Blackerby’s “Daring Young Man on the Trapeze,” Carolyn Guerra’s “Rhinoman” for $20,000, and Pierre Riche’s “Iron Horse.”
Two more sculptures will be installed after the city does a call for artists in 2019.