Bayside ‘Swirl’ Benches Scent Fades; “Follow the Money”


June Lacombe, Art Consultant, at Portland Public Art Committee Meeting.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,473)

At its monthly meeting this afternoon, the Portland Public Art Committee voted unanimously to accept a gift of four sculptures and two benches from William D. Hammil to the city’s Jetport.  The acceptance  is subject to finding appropriate siting for the pieces at the Jetport.  Representing Hammil at the Commitee meetng was June Lacombe, art consultant.  Lacombe said that Mr. Hammil would like to have them installed this fall, if possible.  “I love to see art in public spaces,” said Lacombe.  “Pieces (for the Jetport) must either promote aviation or be grounded in Portland Maine’s sense of place,” said Paul Bradbury, director of the Jetport, who also attended the meeting.

Two years ago, Hammil, Yarmouth,  donated a group of deer and other animals to the Jetport sculpted by Wendy Klemper.  Lacombe was the art consultant in that gift  as well.

According to chair Lin Lisberger, the city now expects to receive eight pieces of sculpture from the Estate of Bernard Langlais.  The pieces must all be located inside and can be located off the peninsula.  The Ocean Gateway Terminal can’t accept of the pieces because when the Polar Express runs during November- December, all the contents of the Terminal need to be removed.   The East End Community School on Munjoy Hill has indicated interest in having one of the pieces.  Other locations will need to be found.

The website Launch Party on the East End Beach that was canceled late last month because of the weather, has been postponed until September. Perhaps it’ll be held  in Deering Oak Park rather than the Beach. Jessica Lipton, organizer for the event, said it could be a fundraiser for a temporary art project.

At its June 19, meeting the Committee voted to end, with regret, its relationship with Skye Design, to construct benches for the Bayside Trail. The Committee voted to put that $42,500. sum into a signature art piece on the Congress Square Park project.  The city’s Greg Mitchell, is currently negotiating with RockBridge over a sale agreement for the controversial piece of property next to the new Westin Hotel.

“Follow the Money”