Seeking to spruce up its brush-filled roundabouts, Windsor officials are asking residents whether they might prefer phoenixes, whimsical trees or wells.
The Windsor Public Art Advisory Commission has selected five finalists from nearly 100 artists who submitted roundabout sculpture designs in a bid earlier this year. Now, it wants the public’s help picking two sculptures.
The commission is hosting two public viewing opportunities this week: one at Thursday’s Summer Nights on the Green Concert from 6-8 p.m. and another at Saturday’s farmers market, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the Windsor Town Green.
The finalists include David Boyer of Reno; Ned Kahn of Sebastopol; artist duo Saori Ide and Jonathan Russell of Berkeley; Eric Petlzer of Altadena in Southern California; and Bryan Tedrick of Glen Ellen. Finalists won out over 89 other applicants after a two-round selection process.
The commission reviewed applicants’ public art experience, resume, references and past work. It has been working to install art fixtures at select roundabouts along Old Redwood Highway since 2015.
An existing sculpture at the intersection of Market Street and Old Redwood Highway is on loan and set to be removed this December.
The commission expects to spend up to $100,000 for each of the two sculptures, which will cover labor, materials cost, installation and all other expenses. The town of Windsor hasn’t set aside any public funds for the art, so the commission will have to raise money for the sculptures.
Applicants were asked to create designs that embodied energy and motion, said Olivia Lemen, management analyst for Windsor’s parks and recreation department.
“The theme was energizing the community,” she said. “The artists were encouraged to incorporate some sort of energy producing element, whether it be kinetic movement through wind or solar power.”
Boyer’s design, called the “Communitree,” is a large, tree-shaped wind sculpture crafted from a steel alloy that’ll develop a brown rust patina over time. Kahn, meanwhile, drew from Windsor’s past, designing an inverted well. He said a well once served as the town’s gathering place in the nineteenth century.
Ide and Russell, partners at an art studio, submitted two designs: an LED-lighted kinetic tree with a wide, multi-colored base dubbed “Harvest” and a similar tree design with a blue base and petals that spin with the wind named “Renew.”
Peltzer’s “The Phoenix and The Firebird” sculpture design channeled the Pomo tribe’s reverence for condors and eagles while also paying homage to Windsor’s resilience in the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires.
Tendrick, a Black Rock Desert veteran whose design draws heavily from Burning Man, proposed a winged structure utilizing found objects and donated agricultural and garden tools.
The commission plans to select the two sculptures at its Monday meeting at 6 p.m.
You can reach Staff Writer Meghan Herbst at 707-521-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @Megeherbst.