Ontario Approves Public Art Program, Adds Fees to Major Industrial and Commercial Projects – Daily Bulletin

Ontario residents will see more public art appear in front of new office buildings, warehouses and shopping malls in the coming years.

Indeed, Ontario City Council this week unanimously approved at first reading a new public art program in which builders of large-scale developments will be required to install artwork or pay a royalty to a public art fund.

A second and final vote on the ordinance is scheduled for the May 17 council meeting. The program would come into effect 30 days after final approval.

  • A mural at the Cocina Mexicana de Gloria at 401 N. Euclid Ave. is an example of public art. (Photo courtesy of City of Ontario)

  • This bronze bust of George Chaffey was sculpted by George...

    This bronze bust of George Chaffey was sculpted by George and David Svenson and is in the Ontario Civic Centre. (Photo courtesy of City of Ontario)

  • The Moment, by Dan Romero, is held at the Conservation Park in...

    The Moment, by Dan Romero, is held at Conservation Park in Ontario, 303 E. B St. (Photo courtesy City of Ontario)

“We have had public arts programs in the city, but this new policy creates fees for new commercial and industrial developments or tenant improvements,” explained Helen McAlary, executive director of community life and culture at the city on Thursday, May 5.

“People can make art on site at their location or pay a replacement fee to create public art projects around the city,” she explained. “Using the fees, we would develop public art projects throughout the city. He could go anywhere.

The ordinance approved by council on Tuesday May 3 creates a public art program by requiring new commercial and industrial developments worth $5 million or more to include works of art worth $1 % of total project, otherwise developer would pay $10,000 in public art. Funds. Developers who make improvements to existing commercial or industrial buildings worth $500,000 or more must also install a public art display or contribute $5,000 to the fund.

Replacement fees can be used for a wide range of public art, from murals, sculptures, fountains and street art to live music, theater and festival performances, McAlary said.

In December 2016, the city launched a first public art program which resulted in art in many public places, such as City Hall, the Ovitt Family Community Library, the Anthony Munoz Community Center, the Ontario Museum of Art and History and the Chaffey Community Museum. of art.

An inventory of the city’s public art includes 83 installations, including the bronze bust of the city’s founder, George Chaffey, by George and David Svenson, in front of City Hall at 225 E. B St. The list is included in the website Ontarioarts.org by clicking on the “Public Art” tab.

The new program will increase public art in private places. Some private spaces today have public art, including the Azure Hotel & Suites (elephant statues) and the Element Hotel (Burrowing Owl).

It also places the program within the city’s municipal code. Decisions on the type of art installations and their location will be made by a strengthened Public Art Advisory Committee. Now with three members, it would grow to five.

The committee would be made up of: one person from the Chaffey Museum of Art; one from Heritage Ontario; one of the city’s history and art museum. City Council would appoint two new members drawn from historic preservation advocacy groups, arts educators, artists, performers, professional artists, college-level art students, architects, landscape architects and other design professionals.

“When the RFP (RFP) goes out to artists, the committee would also be involved in reviewing the suggested artist,” McAlary said.

According to the ordinance, murals would have to be approved by the committee using a design checklist. Instead of paying the higher “signage fee” to the planning department, the mural permit fee would be lowered to $100, McAlary said.

“It provides guidance to the city for the murals we would commission with this public art fee,” McAlary said.

Ontario Mayor Paul Leon added at the May 3 meeting, “We’re setting in motion how to deal with this kind of artwork.

Kayleen C. Rice