June 4, 2009
Committee approves placing sculpture in Uptown
The city's Redevelopment Authority approved placing a 9 1/2-foot tall sculpture at a new pocket park being built at 1247 Washington Ave.
Artist Nic Noblique donated the sculpture to the city after he nearly moved to Uptown as part of the city's Artist Relocation Program. Noblique and his family was displaced by Hurricane Ike and briefly moved to Racine. He intended to buy one of the Uptown buildings, but the deal fell through and Noblique moved back to Texas.
The abstract steel sculpture, untitled, is a flowing bright red design that will sit on a 2-foot-8-inch pedestal in the 800-square-foot park. Members of the Uptown Business Improvement District approved the sculpture, said City Development Director Brian O'Connell.
Members of the RDA briefly guffawed at the artwork, but unanimously approved placing it in the park at the corner of Washington Avenue and 13th Street.
The committee asked about potential vandalism to the sculpture. O'Connell said city staff believed the public would respect the artwork. He added staff acquired some of the red paint to cover up any graffitti on the sculpture.
The city acquired the triangle-shaped piece of land from the county. It was a tax delinquent property, O'Connell said.
Along with the sculpture, the city will do some minimal landscaping in the park, including planting trees, he said.
Contractor Vassh and Sons Excavating Inc., of Franksville, was the low-bidder on the project at $3,730. (See the plan here.)
A plaque with Noblique's name will be displayed by the sculpture, O'Connell said.