First Installation Under Portsmouth’s “Percent for Art” Ordinance
Art-Speak, a nonprofit organization serving as the cultural commission for the City of Portsmouth, announced a public art opening at Foundry Place on Sunday, March 24 at 4:00 pm at the stair tower of Foundry Place Garage.
This is the first public art installation under the Portsmouth “Percent for Art” Ordinance, which allocates 1% of public construction and renovation project budgets to a Public Art Trust. This ensures the ongoing installation of public art works for the enjoyment of the Portsmouth community.
The event will feature a ceremony with the two artists being recognized, Seth Palmeter and Terrence Parker; Portsmouth Mayor Jack Blalock; and other guests. A reception will follow at the Liar’s Bench Beer Company, at 459 Islington Street, featuring a specialty brew named for the installed sculpture, “Working.”
“Portsmouth is an incredibly vibrant community of more than 50 active arts and cultural organizations, 500+ working artists, and an arts economy valued at approximately $58 million,” said Art-Speak President Jennifer Minicucci. “These beautiful artworks are now a permanent part of a city committed to celebrating both its heritage and its cultural offerings. We invite everyone to join us in the celebration.”
The two installations to be commemorated are:
- “Working,” created by Eliot, ME artist and landscape designer Terrence Parker. Parker was inspired by the industrial history of the neighborhood, especially the workers who built much of Portsmouth in the foundries and factories from centuries ago. The piece sits in the center of the roundabout at the west end of the garage.
- A glass etching of two foundry workers, completed by Rockport, ME artist Seth Palmeter, whose work echoes the theme of the foundry worker and compliments Parker’s three-dimensional work. This piece spans most of the garage’s five story stair tower at the east end of the garage.
The works were selected from a dozen submissions through a national call to artists initiated by Art-Speak. An eight-person project planning committee, chaired by City Council Member Nancy Pearson and Art-Speak Public Art Committee Chair Cathy Sununu, oversaw the process. The city council unanimously accepted the two works per the recommendation of the committee.