City puts finishing touches on new public art policy – Half Moon Bay Review

December 16, 2021 by No Comments

The city of Half Moon Bay owns several pieces of public artwork but until last week had no formal policy for managing or maintaining them.

On Dec. 7, the Half Moon Bay City Council approved a new Public Art Policy after months of outreach to stakeholders and review by the Half Moon Bay Parks and Recreation Commission.

The primary purpose of the new rules is to provide a framework for the city to commission projects, evaluate, accept or deny gifted artwork, and manage public art funds. In April, the city approved its public art deaccession policy, which determines the process to remove or relocate art within city limits. The more general policy adopted last week details how the city will manage funds as well as maintain and keep records of public artwork.

City staff is also now required to keep records of all public art owned and maintained by the city, including contact information on the artist, a designated heir or legally appointed representative, and instructions on maintaining the artwork if necessary.

The first draft of the policy was reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Commission in August. It reviewed a second draft last month. City Community Services Analyst Victor Gaitan said creating the policy involved outreach to many local arts groups, including the Coastal Arts League, Ayudando Latinos a Soñar and the Half Moon Bay History Association.

The Parks and Recreation Commission will oversee the public art programs within the city and make recommendations to the council. Gaitan noted that in some instances the Architectural Advisory Committee or the Planning Commission could review proposed projects as well. The policy also establishes a fund to keep grants or gifts for the exclusive use of public art projects.

The city adopted its deaccession policy in April after it approved plans to upgrade the intersection at the south end of Main Street, which required the removal of the half-moon sculpture that had stood at the gateway for 20 years. Deputy City Manager Matthew Chidester said the policy had been a long-standing objective for the City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission.

“The policy is really the first step in providing and acquiring more public art for the community’s enjoyment,” Chidester said.

“And it’s an important step because it provides a process for the city to evaluate public art.”



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