The newly constructed urban park opened to the public in June, and in January, a Call for Artists invited artists to submit their qualifications and examples of their work. Four artists were selected to develop site-specific public art concepts that would complement the park’s green space, trees, and pergola structure.
The finalists were selected from more than 100 submissions, and the winner will be chosen by public vote.
“Gene Lynch Urban Park is a very high-profile, high-foot traffic area in downtown Silver Spring,” Montgomery Parks project manager Linda Komes said in a press release. “We had so many great submissions, and it was tough to narrow down the finalists. We hope everyone will take the time to vote for their favorite.”
Public voting begins today (Tuesday, September 12) and ends on Monday, October 9. The ballot can be submitted online, by phone at (301) 495-2595, or by mail at 2425 Reedie Drive, 12th Floor, Wheaton, MD 20902, Attn: Public Affairs.
Voting is limited to one vote per person. The design with the most votes will be selected as the winner. If there is a tie, Montgomery Parks’ Artist Selection Panel will determine the winner, which will be announced via press release, social media, and the project website after voting closes.
In order to achieve the project goals of sustainability, durability, and public safety, the concept may be modified during the final design phase.
The Artist Selection Panel consists of the following members:
Dan Reed, AICP (they/them) is Greater Greater Washington’s regional policy director, focused on housing and land use policy in Maryland and Northern Virginia. For a decade prior, Dan was a transportation planner working with communities all over North America to make their streets safer, enjoyable, and equitable. Their writing has appeared in publications including Washingtonian, Bloomberg CityLab, and Shelterforce, as well as Just Up The Pike, a neighborhood blog founded in 2006. Dan received a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. Dan lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with Drizzy, a rescued pit bull mix, and occasionally fosters dogs.
Elizabeth Gallauresi is the Arts Coordinator for the Silver Spring Arts & Entertainment District. She has worked as a public art and arts administration consultant for more than 20 years, previously managing the public art program for the State of Maryland. In her role assisting Montgomery County with the administration of the Arts & Entertainment District, she coordinates placemaking efforts including public art projects, events, community building, and arts programs to support the tourism and economic goals of the districts.
Jerry Withers is a recently retired architect with over 45 years of experience in private and government practice. He has Bachelors and Master’s degrees in Architecture from Tulane University. He started his professional life as a Peace Corps volunteer in Côte d’Ivoire working on culturally appropriate housing models and historic preservation. This fueled his passion for how buildings, places, and art enrich life. His 27-year career with the Department of State as a senior project manager directed the creation of new embassies in London, The Hague, Berlin, and Istanbul, and major renovations in Rome and Paris. This multi-billion-dollar portfolio also houses a world-class and robust public art program. Jerry lives in Silver Spring with his partner.
Linda Komes is a licensed Landscape Architect and Project Manager with Montgomery Parks. With over 30 years of experience in both the private and public sectors, Linda has overseen the design and construction of many public parks within Montgomery County. Through public engagement she strives to create activated public spaces, each with a unique sense of place. Linda has coordinated the selection and installation of several prominent public art projects in Montgomery Parks including the Pergola at Germantown Town Center by David Hess, the Takoma Trees at Takoma Piney Branch Park by Judy Sutton Moore, and the murals in Dewey Park by Juan Pineda.
Asuntha Chiang-Smith is the Executive Director of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency that connects and grows communities across Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Before coming to M-NCPPC, Asuntha held roles in Maryland State government, most recently as the Chief Innovation Officer (CIO) at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and Executive Director for the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure, which is estimated to have created 56,000 new jobs in the state with an economic impact of $36 billion. She also spent almost a decade working for members of Congress earlier in her career in policy development and as an ombudsman. Asuntha is a lifelong resident of Maryland and throughout her life has been engaged in various advocacy work to encourage women in government and protecting senior citizens. In her personal life, she has also worked to support programs for children with autism and military veterans and their families. She is proud to be the wife of a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
More information and online voting can be found on Montgomery Parks’ website.
Montgomery Parks photo