ANAHEIM : City to Spend Big for Downtown Art

The Redevelopment Agency this week approved an initial $500,000 payment to finance artwork for the Koll Anaheim Center downtown renovation, which could include interpretations of typically mundane items such as benches, trash cans, drinking fountains and lights.

On a 4-0 vote, agency officials on Tuesday supported a proposal that will bring artists into the early planning stages of the 1.2-million-square-foot redevelopment project on 16 acres near Anaheim Civic Center.

"The purpose of doing an art plan is to have (the artists) be part of the design team for the site, rather than having art as an afterthought," said Elisa Stipkovich, executive director of the Redevelopment Agency.

Plans would be approved in conjunction with the city's nine-member Arts Advisory Committee created specially for the redevelopment project.

"The art will be more integral to the site than a sculpture placed outside a building," Stipkovich said. "We'll be working it into the streetscape."

Five artists, who will design facets of the first phase of the art plan, were selected from a pool of 50 submittals. Further phases of the plan have not yet been funded.

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