Takoma Park business group wins grant for public art project

Photo of the Takoma Park Gazebo by Mike Diegel.

The Old Takoma Business Association/Main Street Takoma has won a $15,000 grant from the state and will commission a set of five “Art Seats” that will be placed at the Takoma Park Gazebo.

The grant, which came from the state’s Department of Housing & Community Development, will be supplemented by about $5,000 from the association, said Executive Director Laura Barclay.

“We have an artist that we’ve worked with for a long time named Howard Connelly,” she said. “He’s fabricated seats for us . . . he’s done work for the City of Takoma Park and he’s just got a fabulous portfolio and a very creative mind.”

The organization now is looking for a group of about 6-10 interested volunteers to help provide direction to the artist.

“We also have members of our Design Committee, which is how we’re structured as a Main Street, that will be participating from within our organization, and then our representatives that we work with in the City of Takoma Park through the city’s Housing and Community Development Department will participate as well,” Barclay said.

“We’re going to go through a few design reviews,” she continued. “We’ve got some general ideas that we wrote the grant around. We’re going to work with the working group on those ideas and present our thoughts to the artist.”

Connelly will come back to the group with sketches of themed ideas for the five seats, she added.

“Once we narrow that down a little bit more, we can take the final drawings to the community for the final decisions,” Barclay said.

The designs should be ready in the fall and, in addition to the community, will be reviewed by the city’s Façade Advisory Board and the county’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Working group participants will be expected to attend one to two meetings in July and August. Those interested in serving on group should email Barclay by Wednesday, July 12.

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