Local artists selected as finalists for major art installation in Montpelier

MONTPELIER, Vt.  – Two Vermont artists and two artist teams have been selected as finalists to design, create, and install a permanent work of art at the One Taylor Street Redevelopment Project. They are: Michael Zebrowski of Morrisville; Miles Chapin of Westminster West; Rodrigo Nava and Gregory Miguel Gomez of Putney; and a six-member team headed by Elizabeth Courtney of Montpelier and Michael Singer of Wilmington.

Artists have been selected as finalists for a major art project in Montpelier. Photo provided.

In March 2017, the city announced that it had received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, part of a $150,000 project to create a master plan for public art, and to commission the city’s first major public work of art. A seven-member selection committee was appointed to review applications and to select the finalists. Each artist and team will receive a small stipend to create a concept of their proposed art installation to present to the public on Jan. 31, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at City Hall in Montpelier. The artist selection committee will then recommend one artist or team to the City Council for final award of the commission. The installation is expected to be installed in the spring of 2019.

According to selection committee chair Nathan Suter, the group received 23 applications. “As a group, the candidates represented a broad range of artistic practice, media, and experience with public art making,” Suter said. The group of finalists, he added “is diverse in terms of artistic approach, is deeply rooted in Vermont, and demonstrates an appreciation for the history of the site as well as its potential to distinguish Montpelier for residents and visitors. We eagerly anticipate the presentations of proposals on Jan. 31 when these artists and teams reveal their proposals.”

About the local finalists

Team leader, Rodrigo Nava of Putney, was born in Mexico, and has exhibited his sculpture around Vermont and the northeast. He has done residencies at art schools in Vermont and Mexico. Visit www.rodrigonava.com.

Gregory Miguel Gomez of Putney has also exhibited around the state and the country, is an associate professor of art at Wheelock College in Boston, and has taught at Wellesley College and the Maryland Institute of Art. Visit www.gregorygomez.com.

Miles Chapin is a sculptor who works in Vermont granite and in stone pulled from farmers’ fields. He has exhibited widely in Maine and Vermont and has created public art in Maine, California, and Massachusetts, and in Vermont at the Putney School. Visit www.mileschapin.com.

The one-acre Taylor Street site is a former scrapyard and train depot currently in use as a parking lot for state employees. The City of Montpelier plans to transform it into a state-of-the-art transportation and commercial center and public park. The transit center project is funded through the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, and the city.

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