Arts Commission seeking complementary pieces for Meydenbauer Bay park redesign

Robin Cole, senior planner with the parks department, met with the commission late last month to discuss the city’s plan, it’s vision for the park, and the four themes; environment, history, connections and water.

Bellevue Art Commission members are in the process of looking for pieces to matchup with the city's redesign plan for Maydenbauer Bay Park.

As Bellevue’s parks department continues its work finalizing the redesign of Meydenbauer Bay, connecting it to the downtown park, the city’s arts commission is exploring what type of art would best compliment the expanded public space.

Robin Cole, senior planner with the parks department, met with the commission late last month to discuss the city’s plan, it’s vision for the park, and the four themes; environment, history, connections and water.

Slated to begin construction in the fall of 2016, Cole said it was important to start examining potential major and minor art pieces to anchor pathways and walking trails throughout the park.

“Ideally there’d be variety in the park, the kind of mix that makes you want to come back again and find something else you might not have seen, something that’s entertaining and exciting,” Cole said.

The council agreed that starting the discovery process of looking for artists and works to complement the redeveloped park should start sooner rather than later, but the discussion of how much to spend was tabled for another meeting.

“It’s too early to tie ourselves to a number,” said Bellevue’s arts specialist Mary Pat Byrne adding the commission could being the artist selection process. “But we can start to figure out what amount of money could be spent, identify key opportunities.”

Because the overhauled park is being designed with art to connect to other parks in the area, commission chairwoman Trudi Jackson said whatever pieces are chosen need to be viewed as “key connection points from City Hall all the way down to Meydenbauer.”

“You want it to be a destination for the art, but it’ll need to reflect the park as well,” she said.

Byrne told the council if it chose to recommend spending several hundred thousands dollars, it would be “well within the budget” and would still be able to fund other projects throughout the city.

A meeting, with artists and commission members, scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 4:30 p.m., has been cancelled.

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