Council forming to add more public art to Eau Claire

Published: Mar. 1, 2017 at 4:11 PM CST
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Allison Shepard has a vision.

“Ideally we would like to have this blank canvas filled,” Shepard said as she pointed to the outside of the large concrete wall of the North Barstow Parking Ramp.

The lawyer and her team members from the Leadership Eau Claire Class of 2017 have been tasked with forming a Public Arts Council in the city after a request from City Manager Dale Peters.

“We are very excited to see the formation of this organization and want to support and encourage their efforts to connect art to more public spaces,” Peters said.

Peters says over the last few years, the city has seen many proposals presented to put art in public spaces, but they didn’t have the time or resources to handle all requests. That's why the Public Arts Council is being formed.

“The city has tasked us with creating an organization that will responsible for the placement of public art, visual art, visual art, music based art and having a group of people who will facilitate that art,” Shepard said.

The council will be made up of nine voting members on an executive board. That board will be in charge of selection, management and placement of public art.

“One of the spaces that has been identified is this blank wall by the North Barstow parking structure. Other spaces could be in the Cannery District, local neighborhood parks, and public buildings,” Shepard added.

On top handling logistics of art acquisition and placement, the Public Arts Council will be tasked with raising money and acquiring grants to pay for the public art displays.

Even though the council is still forming, Shepard says there has been a lot of interest and she hopes the first pieces could be showing up in the near future.

“I think we can expect it sooner rather than later,” She said.

The Public Arts Council is currently looking for members to join its executive board. The board will consist of individuals with a strong interest in the arts, a formal professional background or employments in the arts, and/or experience with community-based organizations.

Interested applicants may request an application by emailing

Priority will be given to applications received by March 8th.