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Putting it all together

Bremerton Chief of Police Craig Rodgers instructs city workers where he would like the new art piece to be facing at the new station on Burwell. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton Chief of Police Craig Rodgers instructs city workers where he would like the new art piece to be facing at the new station on Burwell.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

By CHARLES MELTON

Editor

It wasn’t exactly the Mona Lisa or a Picasso original, but the initial placement of a sculpture by Kingston artist James Kelsey at the Bremerton Police Department headquarters on Feb. 28 was historic nonetheless.

The project is the first funded by the city’s 1 percent for the arts program.

“After more than a year in the works it was exciting to see this project take shape,” Bremerton Arts Commission chairman Steve Priest said.

The final placement of the main sculpture would not have been possible without this trial run, Priest said.

“We actually thought the sculpture would sit in the center of the courtyard and when it was placed there we realized it didn’t work well in the center,” he said. “So we were able to move it into a location that worked best in regards to creating a balanced space with the building, flag pole and courtyard.”

Contrary to what some people might believe the artwork in the Norm Dicks Government Center wasn’t funded by the city, but rather the county’s 1 percent for the arts program, he said.

“If not for the city of Bremerton passing the 1 percent for the Arts ordinance in 2005, there wouldn’t be an arts commission, and we wouldn’t be doing this project or any future projects in the city, so it’s very exciting,” he said.

It is important for the community to see the city investing in a quality of life that everyone who lives and works here can take pride in and enjoy, he said.

“The police facility is just the start, we have plans to incorporate public art in all of the city’s sub area plans and city centers,” he said. “As the city works to improve all the areas of our city the arts commission will work to enhance those areas with public art.”

Those projects would be impossible to fund without the 1 percent for the arts ordinance, which sets one percent of the city’s capital improvement project funds aside for public art, he said.

“At this point private development isn’t directly affected by Bremerton’s 1 percent for the arts program, so I wouldn’t say there is any monetary incentive related to the arts commission,” he said. “However as a whole the city is looking for quality development. Through the sub area planning process, design standards and a city that is rich in public art, a high standard is being set.”

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