Basalt Public Arts Commission (BPAC)
The Basalt Public Arts Commission, commonly known as BPAC, was established in 2015 by the Basalt Town Council to act as a formal advisory board on public art matters within the Town. BPAC is tasked with exploring and cultivating partnerships that can support the implementation of the Town's arts goals, reviewing and making recommendations on financing for public art, acting as a referral agency on development applications when appropriate, and working with the Town's other committees and boards to help further the goals and objectives of the Basalt Master Plan.
Current Projects and Actions
I) DOWNTOWN MURAL COMPETITION
BPAC recently concluded the Downtown Basalt Mural Competition. The competition had ten initial applicants, out of which eight were chosen to create murals at locations along Midland Avenue in downtown Basalt. Six artists were able to complete their murals during the artist work period that took place from August 10th through August 20th. The public was invited to vote for their favorite mural, with voting concluding on September 3rd.
The People's Choice winner was Kirsten Hix of Glenwood Springs. This beautiful nature piece will be recreated on a wall at the Basalt pool in the spring of 2024, prior to the pool's summer opening. We look forward to working with this talented artist and showcasing her winning mural for all to enjoy!
Finn Johnson of Woody Creek created the sole submission in the student category. This talented artist created his unique piece employing a single, unbroken line. Finn's mural has been accepted into the Town's public art collection, with the idea to inspire a future BPAC sponsored student contest or exhibition.
During the competition BPAC was pleased to have been contacted by several downtown business building owners interested in hosting a mural on the side of their buildings. Town Staff is currently working with the building owners and artists to support the creation of murals throughout downtown Basalt.
II) 2023 BPAC Grant Program
The BPAC grant program is intended to support local artists and nonprofit organizations through funding arts and cultural opportunities while encouraging members of Basalt community's appreciation, education and participation in the arts. The 2023 BPAC grant program was launched in July, and marked the program's fifth year.
For the 2023 grant program, BPAC prioritized proposals that met the following criteria:
- Community. The creation of interactive, community-driven art. Art that benefits the entire community or a specific population of the Basalt community in a way that can be defined. Art that brings Basalt residents together physically, virtually, or through some interactive experience.
- Accessibility. Art that can be experienced in public spaces. Art that is free of charge. Accessibility may include enhancements of literal physical accessibility that will allow the public to access and experience the art.
- Impact. Art that is provocative. Art that provides a positive experience for the Basalt community. Art that leaves a lasting impression and connection within the Basalt community. Art that is a long-term investment opportunity. Art that may be built-upon or replicated in the future. Art that has a measurable result.
- Culture. The creation of art that highlights the diverse cultures found within Basalt and beyond. Art that brings voice to marginalized communities. Art that is inclusive.
- Skill Building. Teaching and encouraging others to learn about creating art in various forms, building community, and engaging with civic entities.
The following Applicants were awarded grant funding by BPAC for projects or programs:
1. TACAW - Pumpkin Jazz - October 7th around Willits Town Center. For more information visit: https://tacaw.org/calendar/pumpkin-jazz/
2. The Art Base - mural by Reina Katzenberger inside the Basalt Regional Library and digital lab upgrades.
3. HeadQuarters - Youth summit, workshops and in-school mental health education series.
4. Art Williams - oral history and portrait project of Basalt-area Latinx population. Live, interactive exhibit anticipated for Spring, 2024.
5. VOICES - Nuestras Voces Spanish language theater production at TACAW - October 20 - 22 at TACAW. For more information visit: https://voicesrfv.org/nuestras-voces
6. Aspen Film - free in-school programming and summer documentary film camp.
7. Aspen Dance Connection - dance production in support of future sculpture at the Basalt River Park. Date TBD.
III) Basalt River Park Sculpture
In 2022 BPAC released a Call to Artists for the creation of a permanent sculpture at the Basalt River Park. Many talented artists provided submission for consideration. BPAC ultimately recommended Gail Folwell's submission Stay Human as the finalist, which was accepted by the Basalt Town Council. The sculpture is currently in the process of installation and is expected to be finalized and in place by early October.
IV) Arts Master Plan
BPAC members are working on the creation of an Arts Master Plan for Basalt that will be used to prioritize areas for public art pieces and funding for public art. Art may be temporary, rotating, seasonal, or permanent depending on the location. BPAC expects the Arts Master Plan to be drafted and brought to Town Council for consideration in 2024.
BPAC Membership and Meetings
Those interested in BPAC are asked to attend a couple of meetings, after which current BPAC members will make a recommendations, and the prospective members will be interviewed and appointed by the Town Council. Commissioners typically serve three year terms. If you are interested or would like more information please contact Sara Nadolny at 970-279-8112 or at email@example.com.
Meetings take place monthly on the first Thursday, from 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm. Meetings are held at the Planning Office meeting room at 99 Midland Avenue, next door to Town Hall.
Ordinance No. 5, Series of 2015 approving BPAC as a Committee of the Town of Basalt can be found here.
Current Basalt Public Arts Commissioners include:
- Karyn Andrade (Chair)
- Josh Mueller (Vice Chair)
- Liz Bell
- Brit White
- Jack Trembath
- Colleen Irvin
- Chris Mueller