Augusta ‘Art Cart’ ready for placement

Art and golf collide in Augusta’s first “Art Cart,” a public art project now ready for its first installation.

 

The project, developed by Greater Augusta Arts Council and Textron Specialized Vehicles, features a stationary golf car outfitted with seating, a bike rack, solar panels to charge handheld devices and body panels adorned with original art.

The council’s call for artists last year resulted in a winning entry from local artist Richard T. Worth, who told organizers he “believes in creating realistic art that is easily understood” and enjoys concealing hidden images in his art that will draw people back for a second look, according to a report going to the Augusta Commission on Tuesday.

The project was controversial when the council announced it in late 2016. Members of Augusta’s arts community ridiculed the project as “plop art” that lacks public input and reduces artists to decorators.

Worth’s work, titled “City of Stars,” features famous Augustans James Brown, Bobby Jones, Jessye Norman and Butterfly McQueen as well as an image of the Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art.

Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Augusta Downtown Development Authority originally wanted the project to go in the center of Broad Street, according to the agenda item. But the city Planning and Development department disagreed – and the Augusta Public Defender’s Office offered a portion of its campus for the installation.

The Art Cart will go on the wide sidewalk between the public defender’s office – located in the remodeled former main library on Greene Street – and the defender’s office parking lot, according to the agenda item.

IN OTHER ACTION

Other business going before Augusta Commission committees Tuesday includes:

- The presentation of $22,000 raised by Fix Georgia Pets to spay and neuter pit bulls, bull mixes and bully breeds, to Augusta Animal Services

- Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle’s request to proclaim Augusta a “Purple Heart City,” to honor citizens wounded in combat and create an Augusta Commission on Veterans Affairs with seven members appointed by the mayor, mayor pro tem, commissioners and city administrator

- Commissioner Bill Fennoy’s request to rename the John C. Calhoun Expressway the “Trump-Calhoun Expressway.” Fennoy has previously pushed to remove Calhoun’s name due to the antebellum South Carolina statesman’s legacy as a defender of slavery, but no other commissioner has supported the effort

- A presentation by downtown property owner Bryan Halternman on downtown parking issues, requested by Fennoy

- Commissioner Sean Frantom’s request to draft amendments to the city code directed by the Golf Cart Task Force, which seeks to increase access by golf cars and electric vehicles to city rights of way

 

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