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Gainesville joins Hall in supporting public art project
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Public art just off the square in downtown Gainesville along Bradfod Street references former President Franklin D. Roosevelt's visit to Gainesville.

Public art tour

The Vision 2030 Public Art Committee has created an online map of public art installations in and around Gainesville. Check it out by visiting www.vision2030.org/public-art-tour.

The Vision 2030 Public Art Committee is hoping to expand the influence of paintings, sculptures, digital designs and other art projects throughout Hall County, and they now have a supporter in Gainesville.

City officials expressed their desire to help the committee install and maintain public art in the coming months and years as a way to beautify Gainesville, showcase local creatives and establish community events around the displays.

Officials also expressed support for the committee’s request to make Gainesville Special Projects Manager Jessica Tullar a liaison to the group; allow the placement of art in midtown and other city properties; and consideration of including public art in future city construction projects.

“Great communities have great art,” said Frank Norton Jr., president and CEO of the Norton Agency real estate firm in Gainesville and member of the public art committee.

From murals at the federal courthouse to a tiger sculpture at Brenau University to a sculptural garden at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center off Green Street, Gainesville already has a strong inventory of art.

The committee has developed a public art policy — which establishes guidelines for selecting works of art to display, parameters for where to display them and a commitment to diversifying the portfolio — are for city officials to review.

“Having a variety of art will provide the human connectivity,” Norton said.

The policy also sets protocols for maintaining public art and protecting it from graffiti.  

Councilwoman Barbara Brooks said ensuring that the community has a sense of ownership of and pride for the art will limit the potential for vandalism.

The committee also hopes to use electrical grid boxes and bus stations as canvasses for art.

Another idea is to install tile designs on a giant blank wall off Pearl Nix Parkway.

Councilman Sam Couvillon said that while he is not an art aficionado and may not have considered the value of public art, “Now that it’s there, I do appreciate it.”

Finally, the committee hopes to eventually launch a “free-range” art project, blowing up 10 pieces of art onto commercial grade signboards and placing them in well-traveled locations throughout the city and county.

“Art touches the heart,” Councilman George Wangemann said.

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