ITEM 10-A

Council Meeting: OCTOBER 9, 1990

                          STAFF REPORT

TO:       Honorable Mayor and City Council

FROM:     Arts Commission

SUBJECT:  RECOMMENDATION BY THE ARTS COMMISSION THAT CITY COUNCIL
          AUTHORIZE  THE  CITY MANAGER TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE A
          CONTRACT WITH PAUL CONRAD TO INSTALL A SCULPTURE IN THE
          CIVIC CENTER AREA

Introduction

This report outlines a recommendation by the Arts Commission that
the  City  Council  authorize  the  City Manager to negotiate and
execute a contract with  Paul  Conrad,  to  install  a  sculpture
entitled  "Chain  Reaction"  in the Civic Center area between the
County Courthouse and Civic Auditorium (see enclosed map).

Background

Paul Conrad contacted the City in Spring,  1988  to  gauge  their
interest  in  providing a permanent site for a proposed gift of a
26 foot sculpture entitled "Chain Reaction"  made  from  oversize
chain  links.  The Arts Commission referred the project to an Art
Bank Jury composed of three artists and teachers  (Tony  Berlant,
Bruria Finkel and George Herms), for an expert judgment.  The Art
Bank  jury,  recognizing  the  sculpture's  aesthetic  qualities,
recommended  that  the  Arts  Commission  invite public input and
consult with the artist on the question of  siting.   Considering
the   Art   Bank   Jury's  recommendation,  the  Arts  Commission
unanimously approved proposing acquisition of "Chain Reaction" at
its meeting of June 20, 1988.

Several alternative sites were discussed at  subsequent  meetings
of  a  joint Arts Commission/Recreation and Parks Commission Site
Selection Committee.   A  site  in  front  of  the  gymnasium  at
Memorial Park (14th Street and Olympic Boulevard) was accepted by
the joint Arts/Parks Committee and the artist and this  selection
was  endorsed  by the Arts Commission at its meeting of April 17,
1989.

The Recreation and Parks Commission held a public hearing on  the
siting  of  "Chain  Reaction"  at  its  meeting  of May 18, 1989.
Public input at the hearing favored siting the sculpture in front
of  City  Hall  or  in the Civic Center area.  The Recreation and
Parks Commission voted to endorse the City Hall site rather  than
the    Memorial  Park  Site  at  the  May  18th  meeting.   After
considering  the   Recreation   and   Parks   Commission's   site
recommendation  at  its  meeting  of  June  19,  1989,  the  Arts
Commission unanimously approved the City Hall/Civic  Center  site
pending public input.

In order to gain public  input,  a  maquette  of  the  piece  was
displayed  in the lobby of City Hall from July through October of
1989.  Of those surveyed, 730 citizens  recommended  against  the
City  accepting  the  sculpture  and  392  citizens  favored  its
acceptance.  Those responding positively  were  asked  to  select
from  three  alternative  sites  within  the  Civic  Center.  The
results were as follows:  North of City Hall; 58; front  of  City
Hall;  178;  front of Civic Auditorium; 118.  Based on the survey
results, and after hearing public input at its meeting of January
17, 1990, the Arts Commission voted unanimously to recommend that
City Council accept "Chain Reaction" and install it  between  the
County  Courthouse  and  Civic Auditorium because of the artistic
merit of the sculpture and suitability of  the  site.   Following
renewed  discussion  initiated by co-Council Liaison David Finkel
concerning the role of  public  input  and  the  desirability  of
installing a controversial work, at its meeting of June 23, 1990,
the Arts Commission  reaffirmed  its  "enthusiastic  support"  of
"Chain  Reaction",  and  once  again  referred  the  item to City
Council for approval.

Budget and Fiscal Impact

"Chain Reaction" is a proposed gift and consequently there  would
be  no  budgetary  or fiscal impact.  All installation costs plus
maintenance expense for the first year the work is on  view  will
be  underwritten  by  the  donor.  Because the work is in bronze,
on-going  maintenance  expense  should  be  limited  to  periodic
graffiti  removal.   In  the event that the Civic Center specific
plan or an unforeseen eventuality necessitates removal of  "Chain
Reaction",  the contract will include an agreement with the donor
that he would cover all relocation costs.

Recommendation

The Arts Commission recommends installing "Chain Reaction" in the
Civic  Center  area  between  the  County  Courthouse  and  Civic
Auditorium.  In the event City Council  accepts the art work  but
does  not  agree  with  the recommended site, the Arts Commission
requests the matter of  siting  be  referred  back  to  the  Arts
Commission for further study.

Prepared by:  Barbara Franklin-Moran
              Director, Cultural and Recreation Services