Artist to Design Congress Square Concept Announced Today

Pandora LaCasse, co-chair of the Subcommittee That Picked the Artist.

Pandora LaCasse, co-chair of the Subcommittee That Picked  Artist Sarah Sze.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,696)

Sarah Sze, of New York City, has been selected to be the artist to design a concept for Congress Square according to Pandora LaCasse this afternoon.  LaCasse made the announcement at a special meeting of the Portland Public Art Committee.

Almost 100 artists responded to a request for applications.  Four of them gave public presentations earlier this year at the Portland Museum of Art.  From there, the subcommittee made its final decision announced late this afternoon.

Sze, originally from Boston, with ties to Maine, was selected for her use of color, mixed materials and scale, expertise in two and three-dimensional artwork and her ability to create work that combines elements of intimacy and discovery according to a press release issued by the City of Portland.  Her artwork will include developing a concept for permanent public art to be sited at Congress Square in collaboration with WRT, the design team selected last month, who will create a concept for the Square as a whole.  The artist fee for this project is $75,000 which comes from the Portland Public Art Committee budget.

The selection process was run by a subcommittee convened for this project, the Congress Square Artist Selection Committee, of which LaCasse, was a co-chair.

In the near future, a store front will be rented at which Sze and WRT will be work together on the project according to Caitlin Cameron, the city’s urban designer.  Another next step will be a fundraising effort to make it all happen according to Lin Lisberger, chair of the Portland Public Art Committee.

“We will try to bring  the public into this process as much as possible,” said Lisberger.   “People will come to Portland just to see Sarah’s work.”