With sturdy supplies, artwork could stay


BRATTLEBORO — Local artists whose project was supported by a National Endowment of the Arts grant in 2016 are inspired to make a more lasting work.

Elizabeth Billings, Evie Lovett and Andrea Wasserman will ask the Select Board to replace their artwork at the Brattleboro Transportation Center with "a permanent installation of the same concept using more durable materials," according to an administrative report for Tuesday's meeting.

"As we talked with people in the community about plans to take down the temporary installation 'River Wall,' we have received feedback that the Brattleboro community did not realize this was a temporary artwork," the artists wrote in August to the Town Art's Committee, which supports the proposal. "We have received numerous comments that 'River Wall' enlivens the parking garage and uplifts the Transportation Center area."

The proposal included comments from three community members and letters from two leaders of local art groups in support of the project. The artists do not plan to ask the town for any financial contributions. They expect to pay for the project through grants and other fundraising means.

"River Wall" is a 32-by-32-foot kinetic sculpture with 38,000 sequin disks moving in the air currents, imitating patterns of wind on water, according to a project description. It was part of "From the River, To the River," which the artists described as a place-making project with interrelated art installations that contemplated the relationship between Brattleboro and the Connecticut River. Interactive elements included an eight-minute video showing photographs of the Brattleboro community and water imagery, and reflective river panels with poetry written on them. A riverfront mural also had been painted at 23 Depot Street.

Tuesday's Select Board meeting starts at 6:15 p.m.

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- The board will discuss lighting and painting in the Transportation Center during a conversation on "parking matters," which also will focus on public safety in and around town parking facilities, alternatives for parking rate increases, Sunday parking fees and shared parking agreements.

- The board will have a second reading and public hearing for town ordinances to include all vehicles for hire under a section previously dedicated solely to taxicabs, and create a loading and unloading zone in front of the Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro on Flat Street.

- Energy savings projects will be considered. An air handling system and other measures at Brooks Memorial Library is estimated to cost approximately $315,275, about $170,000 more than the town budgeted for the project, but the library's board of trustees has approved an appropriation to cover the overage, according to the administrative report.

A wood pellet heating system and other measures at the Transportation Center is estimated to cost $174,747, and it "is expected to be accomplished for less than the amount budgeted in the Parking Fund," the report says. The project will use a rebate program through the Windham Wood Heat Initiative for savings.

- The board will be asked to approve certificates of project completion to the Vermont Municipal Bond Bank for the police and fire facilities projects. There is still about $415,000 left in the bond fund, according to the administrative report, and the town "will advise the bond bank the final disposition of those funds after such final disposition is approved by Representative Town Meeting and implemented by the Select Board and town staff."

Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.


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