VALPARAISO | A new South Shore commuter rail poster featuring Valparaiso's new Central Park Plaza will be created as a marketing, promotional and, city officials hope, moneymaking tool in 2013.
The city's Redevelopment Commission approved spending $10,000 to hire an artist to design the poster and to have 1,000 copies printed. The original painting will be hung at city hall, and copies of the poster will be given to the governor, legislators and businesses interested in locating in the city, commission Executive Director Stuart Summers said.
The city will work with the Greater Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and others to handle sales of the posters. If they prove popular, another printing could be arranged, Summers said.
The commission approved two other art-related endeavors and one involving artistic clocks.
The annual challenge grants provided for the Valparaiso and East Porter County school districts to buy high-tech equipment for training students in the skills needed for the jobs of the future will now allow for an artistic touch. Both schools can apply for grants of up to $3,000 to match a grant available to art teachers through the Indiana Arts Commission Art in Education Program.
Another $20,900 was approved for the 2013 art walk sculptures. Commission President Laura Campbell said Ken Thompson, of the Midwest Sculpture Initiative, who arranged for the pieces now on display along Cumberland Drive and Cumberland Crossing Drive, increased the art walk budget by $5,500 to attract new sculptors and pay increased travel costs.
The commission's funds also will cover the cost of moving two sculptures, the Purple Whisper Bench and the Spring Temple, to accommodate a new business that plans to locate on Cumberland Crossing Drive.
The city has a grant for up to $20,000 to pay for art to enhance the transit-oriented district around the ChicaGo Dash commuter bus station. Summers said two pads were installed near the intersection of Campbell Street and Lincolnway for some kind of artwork, but, as the destruction of the bus shelter just south of Lincolnway by a drunk driver demonstrated, the location close to the road is vulnerable.
Laura Campbell said the art committee came up with the idea of a decorative clock for the site. Commission members supported the idea but suggested getting something more distinctive than the antique clocks Campbell and the committee had proposed and asked if other locations also might be appropriate, such as in front of Target and Town and Country.
Campbell will take the suggestion back to the committee. The funding is from the Federal Transit Administration and requires a 20 percent local match.