Short Street Garage Project to Include Art Project

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs (OCA) and the Columbia North Village Arts District Board will host a public meeting Tuesday to gather residents' input on which art project will be featured at the Walnut Street entrance to the new Short Street parking garage. The project is part of Columbia's Percent for Art program that allows the community to give feedback on art the city installs on public property.

The program started in 1997, and the Short Street garage piece is its latest project. The city sent out a call for artists last spring and has since narrowed it down to three sculptures as finalists. Members of the public can comment on the designs at Tuesday's event. Columbia's Standing Committee on Public Art will then make a recommendation to the OCA Commission to move further on this decision. After that, the commission will send a recommendation to the Columbia City Council in the next couple of months.

Local artists said they are excited about the project. "I think it is going to be a real capstone project," Kenny Greene said. He owns Monarch Jewelry downtown. "[It will] work people toward the North Village... as a designated arts district," Greene said.

North Village Arts District Board President and co-owner of Perlow-Stevens Gallery Jennifer Perlow said she is excited the public can offer input on the project.

"We really wanted to provide a public opportunity for feedback. I think sometimes people can get caught up in day to day life and don't take a moment to go to the website and look at the presentations that are available," Perlow said.

The artwork is expected to be completed, along with the new garage, in fall 2013.