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Report of the Public Art Review Committee

Proposed Donation of Public Sculpture by Rick Silverman


December 8, 2015
Background
Earlier this year the Ipswich Board of Selectmen received a proposal from resident Richard
Silverman to fund and install a public sculpture on the lower North Green. In accordance with its
policy, Guidelines for Accepting Public Art (Appendix 1), the Selectmen referred the proposal to the
Public Art Review Committee (Committee)* for its review and recommendation.
In April, the Committee submitted a report to the Selectmen which conditionally supported the
installation of a public sculpture on the lower North Green. After the Selectmen heard testimony at
their May 4th public hearing, the town manager asked the Committee to consider alternative locations
for the public art, sites that had been mentioned during the public hearing or which might possess the
attributes sought by the donor: Sallys Pond and Memorial Green on South Main Street; the
Downtown Riverwalk; a slightly different location on the lower North Green; and the South Green.
Based on its analysis and a site visit to each of the potential sites, the Committee submitted a
supplemental report (Appendix 2) which concluded that besides the lower North Green, two other
town properties would be potentially suitable as a location for the sculpture: Memorial Green and
the South Green. After receiving the Committees supplemental report, the Selectmen visited each of
these sites. At their meeting of October 5, 2015, after discussing each location, the Selectmen
expressed a preference for the South Green site (see Appendix 3 for exact proposed location), and
then voted unanimously to hold a public hearing regarding the potential installation of a public
sculpture at the South Green. The hearing has been scheduled for the evening of December 14, 2015.

Initial Findings
Considering the seven criteria outlined in the Guidelines for Accepting Public Art (Guidelines) and
listed below, the Committee makes the following findings:

(1) Artistic excellence/quality of artwork and craftsmanship

very high standard of craftsmanship

sculpture is appealing, interesting, and hopeful

_____________________________________________________________________________
*The Committee is comprised of Jeff Putur, Director of Cemetery and Parks; Kristina Brendel, Ipswich
Cultural Commission; Paula Jones, Shade and Beautification Committee; John Fiske, Chairman,
Historical Commission; Barbara Monahan, local artist/Ipswich Garden Club member; and Glenn Gibbs,
Director of Planning and Development.

(2) Relationship of artwork to site

location provides good visibility to both motorists and pedestrians and ample space
to surround sculpture with natural environment

sculpture provides a good energy and enhances its surroundings

sculpture creates an identifying landmark on an important entry road to town

(3) Maintenance provisions

sculpture does not require routine maintenance

(4) Adherence to master plans

consistent with towns long-term planning documents

(5) Durability

excellent, as bronze does not rust

sculptor will make most accessible branches strong to minimize possibility of


breakage

upper portion of statue could be damaged if subjected to aggressive vandalism

(6) Public safety and the degree of public contact

sculpture is in visible and accessible location

design of tree trunk should prevent children and others from climbing it

(7) Responsibility of ownership/ maintenance

Town would own and be responsible for maintenance of the sculpture

maintenance should be minimal due to durability of material

Input from Abutters and Town Officials/Boards


On October 19, the Planning Director received a forwarded email from Gail Anderson of 37
County Street, in which she expressed concern about a private memorial being placed on
public land. Her email was submitted to the Committee for its consideration.
On November 17, the chair of the Ipswich Historical Commission transmitted a letter to the
Planning Director requesting that he send a site plan and detailed information about the exact
proposed location of the sculpture so that the Commission could consider it in the context of the
South Greens cultural history.
On November 23, the Planning Director notified residents and owners of property on County
Road, as well as Police Chief Paul Nikas, Recreation & Culture Director Kerrie Bates, Building
Inspector Anthony Torra, the Planning Board, and the Historical Commission of the proposal to
install a public sculpture on the South Green, and asked for their input. The Committees
notification provided the website address at which a copy of its 11/20/15 preliminary draft
report, as well as the Guidelines and all earlier reports, can be viewed and downloaded.
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The Committee received three comments from this notification: Daniel Stendahl of 76 County
Road expressed the opinion that the proposed sculpture might be visually distracting to passersby
and thus could worsen the safety of motorists travelling through the intersection; Laura Gresh of
72 County Road asked why the Design Review Board and the Architectural Preservation District
Commission had not been consulted; and Police Chief Paul Nikas stated that The location and
design of this Sculpture should prevent most concerns for vandalism. The sculptures base is
very robust and the branches are sturdy making any impact damage unlikely. Additionally, the
location is highly visible from the roadway and area houses. This makes it an unlikely target for
vandalism as well. The only concern I can see would be from graffiti, but again, the high
visibility of the location would tend to minimize that risk. As stated in your report, the trunks
design will minimize the ability to climb the sculpture, thus minimizing a risk of injury by fall.
So while no area or design is impervious to vandalism or hazards, this combination seems to
minimize the risks. You can add my support for this sculpture at this location from a Public
Safety standpoint.

Committee Review of Public Comment


The Committee met on December 2nd to review a preliminary draft report and the abovedescribed public comments relative to the installation of a public sculpture on the South Green.
Discussion focused on the Historical Commissions letter, and the three comments received from
resident owners, two from the abutting neighborhood and the other from a nearby neighborhood.
Each of the comments or concerns is listed below, followed by the Committees response.
Concern: The South Green, or any other town-owned parkland, is not an appropriate
place for a sculpture commemorating a private individual.
Response: This concern was raised when the sculpture was first proposed for the lower North
Green. As noted in its April 2, 2015 report, Committee members concluded that while it was
inaccurate to characterize the sculpture as a private memorial, (The initial proposal stated that
the sculpture was meant to be a public piece of art that inspires and unifies the community),
many might view it as such if Robin Silvermans name is on the plaque, and no reference is
made to a group or community. Further, the Committee agreed that private memorials to
individuals on public spaces are generally not appropriate. (An exception is a memorial bench,
which the Selectmen allow on certain public spaces pursuant to a separate policy.)
For this reason, the Committee did not approve of Rick Silvermans initial proposal to place a
plaque on the sculpture which included the name of his late wife. The Committee did conclude,
however, that commemorating a group of persons who made notable contributions to the
community is entirely appropriate. Silvermans current proposal is to fund a sculpture to
commemorate the artist community in Ipswich by placing a plaque at the foot of the sculpture
that includes its title, High Spirits, and the following text: In commemoration of the artists of
Ipswich, living and dead, whose works have given beauty, inspiration, and hope, not just to our
community, but to the world-at-large.
Thus, there is no longer any basis for identifying the proposed sculpture as a private memorial,
because the clearly stated purpose of the sculpture, as stated on the proposed plaque, is as a
public commemoration of the unnamed artists who have made, or continue to make, significant
contributions to the life and community of Ipswich and to the larger world.
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Concern: The proposed sculpture might be visually distracting to passersby and thus
could worsen the safety of persons travelling through the intersection of County and
Argilla Roads.
Response: The proposed location of the sculpture is about 100 feet south of the County and
Argilla Road intersection, and would be setback about 35 feet from the edge of the street. The
sculpture will be in the shape of a tree, made of bronze, and will have a naturalistic appearance
(see attachment). It does not contain elements such as flashing lights, moving parts, water spray,
etc., that are clear visual distractions. It will certainly be no more noticeable, and perhaps less so,
than the American Dog sculpture that was on the Green for six weeks last summer. As far as we
know, there is no evidence that the presence of that sculpture adversely affected the safety of
motorists, pedestrians, or bicyclists travelling through the County and Argilla Road intersection.
Further, when the Committee informed the Police Chief of this concern, he replied that he did not
consider it as an issue.
Comment: The Historical Commission, as noted in Section 10.5 of the Ipswich Town
Administrative Manual, is responsible for advising on policies and legislation concerning
the preservation, protection and development of historical or archaeological assets in the
Town. Since the South Green is one of those assets, the Commission should be consulted
regarding this request.
Response: Agreed. The Chairman of the Historical Commission, John Fiske, is a member of the
Public Art Review Committee. Once the Committee turned its attention to the South Green as a
potential location for the public sculpture proposed by Rick Silverman, Fiske has given monthly
updates to the Commission, and until recently, advised the Committee that the Commission did
not have any specific concerns or comments about this proposal. On November 17, the Planning
Office received a letter from the Historical Commission which included the above comment,
along with a request for a site plan showing the proposed location. The Planning Director
provided the requested plan and indicated that the Committee would welcome any input from the
Commission. The Commission has scheduled a meeting prior to the Selectmens upcoming
public hearing to discuss what if any comments it will make at the hearing.
Concern: Given the historic nature of the site, why did the Public Art Review Committee
not consult the Design Review Board (DRB) or the Architectural Preservation District
Commission (APDC)?
Response: The Committee is open to comment from any individual or entity, including the DRB
or APDC. In considering the historic nature of the South Green as a proposed public art site, the
Committee chose to consult with the Historical Commission, which as noted above, is the entity
responsible for the preservation, protection and development of historical assets in the
Town. Although the DRBs and the APDCs work involves preserving historic resources, their
specific authority is limited to buildings of architectural or historic interest.

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Conclusion
This report is being submitted to the Selectmen on this 8th day of December, 2015, in
compliance with Section D.3 of the Selectmens Guidelines for Accepting Public Art. The report
is also posted on the Town website for review by the public and other parties of interest.
The Selectmens next step, as described in that same section, is to hold a public hearing to take
public comment on the proposed art work. The Committee understands that the Selectmen have
already scheduled the public hearing, to be held at on Monday, December 14, 2015 at 8 pm.
Following the presentation of the proposal by the Committee, the Board shall review the
application based on the following criteria:

Does the proposed public art satisfy the Guidelines, and will it be a valued addition to the art
collection of the Town?

Is the proposed art durable, sturdy, and safe?

What costs, if any, will the Town incur to maintain this piece of art, and can the donor pay
all the costs of fabrication, delivery, installation, and maintenance?

Is the proposed site appropriate and consistent with Town plans?

Will the gift of art enhance the public space upon which it will be situated?

Once the Board has taken public testimony and reviewed the application pursuant to the above
criteria, it may approve (as is, or with modifications and/or conditions), disapprove, or return it
to the donor, Town Manager or Committee with specific questions or requests for modification.
To accept a donation of public art for a specific park, open space, or right-of-way (ROW), the
Board must find that the donated art:
a. Enhances the park, open space, or ROW;
b. Does not interfere with the current or intended use of the park, open space, or ROW; and
c. Does not require the relocation of other equipment or infrastructure to accommodate the
public art donation.
If a public art element is approved by the Board, Town staff will work with the donor to develop
a Donation Agreement relative to its installation, placement and maintenance. Once all parties
have agreed to the language of the contract, it will be signed by the Donor, the Artist, and, on
behalf of the Town, the Town Manager.
Respectfully submitted by:

Public Art Review Committee


Jeff Putur, Director of Cemetery and Parks
Kristina Brendel, Ipswich Cultural Commission
Paula Jones, Shade and Beautification Committee
John Fiske, Chairman, Historical Commission
Barbara Monahan, local artist/Ipswich Garden Club member
Glenn Gibbs, Director of Planning and Development
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Ipswich Board of Selectmen


Policy Directive #______
Date Adopted: July 21, 2014
Policy Title/Subject: Guidelines for Accepting Public Art
A. INTRODUCTION
This policy directive establishes guidelines for the Town of Ipswichs acceptance of public art. The
Guidelines for Accepting Public Art ("Guidelines") are necessary to ensure that art installations
complement and respect the character of the Town of Ipswich (Town), are appropriate to its setting,
history, and traditions, and do not impose upon the Town unexpected or unsupportable burdens, such
as a frequent need for maintenance and repair, or high, ongoing security costs. The Guidelines
describe the standards and procedures for reviewing and approving public art proposals for
installation on Town-owned land.
The formal review process for proposed donations of public art can take several months. Until the
process is complete, neither donors nor the Town should formally commission any work or make any
binding commitments, financial or otherwise, that assume acceptance of a work of art by the Town
for installation at a particular site.
B. PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purposes of the Guidelines for Accepting Public Art are to: (1) establish standards and procedures
for the selection, installation and care of public art on Town-owned land, including parks, open
spaces and public rights-of-way; and (2) provide a mechanism for public input and participation in the
decision process.
Art work subject to the Guidelines includes, but is not necessarily limited to, sculptures, bronzes,
paintings, and mosaics.
C. PUBLIC ART STANDARDS
1. Standard of Quality: Public art installations shall be of high quality in: style, appearance,
durability, and ease of maintenance.
2. Standards of Appropriateness and Legality: Public art elements and/or any associated
donation acknowledgements should reflect the character of the Town and be appropriate for a
general audience of all ages. Consistent with state law, the following public art shall not be
accepted:
a. Public art elements that, within the meeting of Mass General Laws, Chapter 55, promote
political fundraising or promote or oppose a matter placed, or to be placed, before voters at
the polls, or otherwise promote a political campaign purpose;
b. Public art elements that endorse religion or any particular religion, or that oppose religion or
any particular religion; and
c. Public art elements that, by their nature or manner of installation, substantially change the
character of intended use of a park or facility.

3. Installation: Installation of donated public art elements, including any donor acknowledgement
or memorial plaques, will be completed by Town personnel or a contractor approved by the
Town, as determined by the Town. The installation will be scheduled at a time and date
determined by the Town, so as not to unnecessarily interfere with routine park maintenance
activities or events.
4. Ownership: Unless a special condition to the contrary is expressly requested by the donor,
accepted by the Board, and memorialized in the donor agreement, all art installations become
property of the Town.
5. Repair: The Town has an interest in ensuring that public art elements remain in good repair. As
such, the Town will accept a donation only after it has determined that parts and materials are
readily available. Donated public art elements must be of high quality to ensure a long life and
resistance to the elements, wear and tear, or acts of vandalism.
6. Costs of Installation and Maintenance: Unless the Board votes otherwise, the donor is
responsible for the full cost of the public arts purchase, installation, and maintenance, including
repair parts and materials, during the expected life cycle (as described in the donor contract) of
the donated public art. Accordingly, the Town expects, and may require, donors to contribute
funds into a special account for maintenance, repairs, and upkeep of donated art, in an amount
sufficient to cover the costs of the anticipated on-going maintenance during its life cycle.
At the end of the life-cycle term, the Town may give the donor the option to extend the life of the
public art by funding its replacement or by providing additional repairs/upgrades that would
extend the life-cycle of the original donation. The Town reserves the right to seek a new donor
for the public art at the end of the established life cycle if the original donor cannot be located or
chooses not to renew the donation. The Town also reserves the right to accept a new donation if
it determines that such action is in the public interest, especially those who use and enjoy the
public space within which the public art is located.
7. Removal/Relocation: The Town landscape is an evolving, active environment, and public art
elements may, over time, interfere with site safety, maintenance or construction activities. As
such, the Town reserves the right to alter, relocate or remove a donated art piece. If the Town
determines that a major alteration or removal is necessary or appropriate, the Town will attempt
to contact donors/artists for consultation, and allow the donor ninety (90) days to either remove
and reclaim the piece or pay for its removal. In certain circumstances, such as safety or
emergency situations, the Town may opt to take action prior to notification. The donor is
responsible for providing the Town with current contact information for purposes of such
notification.
D. REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC ART
The Board of Selectmen (Board), with the assistance of the Superintendent of the Cemetery and
Parks Department and a review committee as set forth below, will review all proposed donations of
public art to be located in Town parks and open spaces. All donations of public art are subject to
final approval by the Board. Prior to accepting a donation of public art, the Board shall conduct the
following process:
1. Public Art Review Committee: For proposed permanent art installations, the Board shall
appoint a Public Art Review Committee (PARC) to review the art proposal through a public
meeting process. The PARC shall consist of seven voting members. If achievable, at least one
member should be selected from the Cultural Commission, one from the Shade and Beautification
Committee, and two from the art community. The Superintendent of the Cemetery and Parks
Department and the Planning & Development Director shall also be members of the PARC.
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In its review of proposed public art, the PARC shall consider the following:
a. Artistic excellence/quality of artwork and craftsmanship;
b. Relationship of artwork to site;
c. Maintenance provisions;
d. Adherence to master plans;
e. Durability, public safety and the degree of public contact; and
f.

Responsibility of ownership/maintenance.

As part of its review, the PARC shall seek input from a variety of sources, including the Chief of
Police, Director of Recreation & Culture, the Planning Board, Building Inspector, and project
abutters. The PARC may also ask art professionals or other specialists to serve in an advisory
capacity to review public proposals. After completing its review, the PARC shall submit a written
recommendation to the Board.
2. Application: The prospective donor shall contact the Town Managers Office to determine
whether a site is available for displaying donated public art. If there is potential availability, the
donor shall submit a written proposal to the Town Manager describing the proposed public art
donation and its desired location. Completed proposals, once reviewed by the Town Managers
Office and the Planning & Development Director, will be forwarded to the PARC for review and
recommendation.
3. Review Process: Donors are encouraged to discuss tentative proposals and art ideas with the
Town prior to beginning the formal review process, and before spending significant funds on
developing a detailed proposal. Proposals need not be completed for this initial review to take
place. Donors shall submit their completed, formal applications to the Town Managers Office,
which will determine if a location is available and the application is complete. If yes, the proposal
will be referred to the PARC, which will ask the prospective donor to provide the following
information:
a. Information about the work(s) of art, including materials, concept and purpose, as well as the
artists biography (i.e., portfolio, brochures, or samples of similar work, so that the PARC can
understand the style and technique of the artist). If the proposed art element has already been
created, the donor shall indicate the date it was created, as well as its history (e.g., why it was
created? Has it previously been publicly displayed? Has it won awards or critical notice? Are
there previous owners of significance? What place and significance does the art have in the
overall portfolio of the artist?);
b. A site plan showing the proposed location of the public art element, and how it relates to its
surrounding environment.
c. Photographs of the art or, if it is not yet fabricated, an illustration. If the piece is a sculpture
meant to be viewed in the round, photographs or illustrations from more than one perspective
are desirable.
d. Information about the donor(s), association with the Town (if any), and why the particular
piece of art is being offered;
e. Any technical issues related to materials, maintenance and care, repairs, and installation
needs such as hanging arrangements, bases, pedestals, or footings;
f.

Any environmental conditions (excessive shade, sunlight, or moisture) that might affect the
art or recommendations on its site location;
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After the PARC has completed its review and consultation with the donor, it shall prepare a staff
report and present recommendations to the Board.
As part of its review process, the Board shall hold a public hearing, at which time the public can
comment on the proposed art work.
Following the donors presentation of the proposal, the Board will review the application based
on the following criteria:

Does the proposed public art satisfy the Guidelines, and will it be a valued addition to the art
collection of the Town? High quality art that will have an enduring impact and works of art
that highlight the traditions, character, and landscape of the Town is particularly sought and
encouraged.

Is the proposed art durable, sturdy, and safe? The Town does not have funds allocated to
repair extensive weather damage, deterioration, or vandalism to art pieces. If a proposed art
gift seems especially susceptible to any of these conditions, it may be declined. Works of art
with moving parts will be carefully evaluated for their potential for breakage and future needs
for repair.

What costs, if any, will the Town incur to maintain this piece of art, and can the donor pay all
the costs of fabrication, delivery, installation, and maintenance? This is an important
consideration since the Town does not have funding set aside to purchase or maintain art, or
to subsidize art installations.

Is the proposed site appropriate and consistent with Town plans? Art pieces must be
carefully sited to minimize safety concerns and avoid conflicts with underground utility lines,
circulation by vehicles and pedestrians, and access by the general public, including those with
disabilities. The PARC will discuss these issues with the donor during its review process.

Will the gift of art enhance the public space upon which it will be situated? The Board
welcomes art works that will contribute to the Towns landscape, especially portions of the
landscape that have been previously overlooked. The PARC can advise on locations where
art would be appropriate but may not have been considered by the donors.

Once the Board has taken public testimony and reviewed the application pursuant to the above
criteria, it may approve (as is, or with modifications and/or conditions), disapprove, or return it to
the donor, Town Manager and/or the PARC with specific questions or requests for modification.
To accept a donation of public art for a specific park, open space, or right-of-way (ROW), the
Board must find that the donated art:
a. Enhances the park, open space, or ROW;
b. Does not interfere with the current or intended use of the park, open space, or ROW; and
c. Does not require the relocation of other equipment or infrastructure to accommodate the
public art donation.
If a public art element is approved by the Board, Town staff will work with the donor to develop a donor
contract (a sample of which is provided as Attachment A) relative to its installation, placement and
maintenance. Once both parties have agreed to the language of the contract, it will be signed by the donor
and, on behalf of the Town, the Town Manager.
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Attachment A
Sample Donor Agreement
DONATION AGREEMENT
between
THE TOWN OF IPSWICH, MASSACHUSETTS
and
(DONOR/ARTIST)
For
(TITLE OF WORK)
This Donation Agreement (Agreement) is made and entered into this ___ day of _________,
20__, by and between the TOWN OF IPSWICH, MASSACHUSETTS (Town) and
_______________________ ("Donor/Artist").
Whereas, the Ipswich Board of Selectmen (Board) has approved the donation of public art by
____________________; and
Whereas, ______________ is willing to furnish such art work on the terms set forth below;
NOW, THEREFORE, the parties agree as follows:
1. The Donor/Artist agrees to donate to the Town ___(Title of Work)___ (art work) in
substantially the same form as presented to, and accepted by, the Board, more particularly
described in Exhibit A, attached hereto and incorporated herein by this reference.
2. The art work shall be fully completed and installed at ______________ (Site) on or before
___________ by __________________.
3. The Donor/Artist accepts responsibility for the full cost of the public arts purchase,
installation, and maintenance, including repair parts and materials, during the art works
expected life cycle, which is ________ years, and further agrees to contribute $___________
to a special account to accommodate the art works life-cycle maintenance.
4. The Donor/Artist agrees to sign a Visual Artists Rights Act Waiver in substantially the form
attached hereto as Exhibit A., and upon the completion and installation of the art work, all
rights, interests and title to the art work shall automatically transfer to the Town.
OR
4. The Artist retains all rights to the art work under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, 17
U.S.C. sec. 101 et seq., as amended, and all other rights in and to art work except ownership and
possession, except as limited by the following:
a. In view of the intention that the project in its final dimensions shall be unique, the
Artist shall not make additional exact reproductions of the final art work, nor shall the
Artist grant permission to others to do so except with the Towns written permission.
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b. The Artist grants to the Town and its assigns an irrevocable license to make twodimensional reproductions of the project for non-commercial purposes, including, but
not limited to, reproductions used in advertising, brochures, media publicity and
catalogues or other similar publications, provided that these rights are exercised in a
tasteful and professional manner and not to market goods or services. All
reproductions by the Town shall contain a credit to artist and a copyright notice.
c. The Town is not responsible for any third party infringement of Donor/Artists
copyright or for protecting the intellectual property rights of the artist.
d. The Artist shall use its best efforts to give credit reading substantially as
___(title)____, an original work owned and commissioned by the Town, in any
public showing under artists control of reproductions of the art work.
e. The Town reserves the right to relocate the art work from the initial installation site if
such decision is deemed appropriate and warranted in the future in the Towns sole
discretion.
f. The Artist hereby acknowledges that the Town may deaccession the art work at any
time in accordance with the Selectmens Policy Directive.
5. The Donor/Artist represents and warrants that (i) the art work is solely the result of Artist and
creative efforts of Artist; (ii) except as otherwise disclosed in writing to the Town, the art
work is unique and original and does not infringe upon any copyright; (iii) the art work has
not been accepted for sale elsewhere; and (iv) the project is free and clear of any liens from
any source whatever.
6. Either party may terminate this Agreement in the event of a material breach of its conditions
by the other by providing the breaching party with a notice of termination at least ten days in
advance of the termination date. The termination notice shall specify in reasonable detail
how the agreement has been breached. As of the date of termination, both Artists and the
Towns obligation under this agreement shall cease and Artist shall vacate the work site and
turn over possession of the artwork site to the Town.
7. The Donor/Artist is not a partner, joint venture, or employee of the Town and the only
relationship between Artist and the Town is that of an independent contractor. Donor/Artist
is not entitled to workers compensation benefits from the Town and the Donor/Artist is
obligated to pay federal and state income tax on all monies earned under this Contract.
8. This Agreement shall be binding upon, and shall insure to the benefit of, the parties hereto,
and their successors and assigns.

__
Ipswich Town Manager

Date

___________________
Donor/Artist

___________
Date

Exhibit A
VISUAL ARTISTS RIGHTS ACT WAIVER
To the extent the uses or removal of the art work under this Agreement affect any rights
the Artist may have under the provisions of federal or state law, including the 1990
Visual Artists Rights Act, the Artist hereby knowingly waives any rights of preservation
of the art work provided by those laws.

____________________

___________________________

Date

Signature

Supplemental Report of the Public Art Review Committee


Proposed Donation of Public Sculpture by Rick Silverman
August 25, 2015
Introduction
On April 28, 2015, the Public Art Review Committee (Committee) submitted a report to the Board of
Selectmen regarding Richard Silvermans proposal to fund and install a public sculpture on the easterly
and southern-most green space on North Main Street. On May 4th, in accordance with its Guidelines for
Accepting Public Art, the Selectmen held a public hearing to take comment on the Committees
recommendations. At the hearings conclusion, the Selectmen requested that a site visit be scheduled for
the benefit of the Selectmen, the Committee, appropriate town staff, the donor and his sculptor, and other
interested parties. One stated objective for the visit was to consider whether placing the sculpture further
down the slope at the lower Green might address some of the concerns raised at the public hearing.
Although Mr. Silverman indicated at the hearing that he was not inclined to consider an alternative
location for his art donation, he subsequently informed the Committee that he would be willing to do so.
Town Manager Robin Crosbie then asked the Committee to look at several alternative locations that had
either been mentioned during the Selectmens hearing or that might possess the attributes being sought by
the donor. The Committee reviewed the following potential alternative locations for the public sculpture:
o

Sallys Pond, South Main Street

Memorial Green, South Main Street

South Village Green, County Road

Downtown Riverwalk, Ipswich River, off Union Street

North Green, mid-portion of easterly & southern-most green space, North Main Street

Review Process
On July 21st the Committee met to review the five alternative locations in accordance with the
Selectmens public art policy. The analysis included an identification of the advantages and disadvantages
of each site, as well as a Committee visit to each.
Findings
Based on its analysis, as presented on page 2, the Committee concluded that two other town properties
would be suitable as a location for the sculpture: South Village Green, and Memorial Green, provided
that the proposed art is situated as shown on the appended maps. The Committee does not cite a
preference for one of these sites over the other. Rick Silverman prefers the South Village Green
location, but has indicated his willingness to consider both the South Village Green and the Memorial
Green as alternative sites for his proposed sculpture.
The Committee remains of the opinion that the optimal site for the sculpture is the location on the North
Green initially proposed by Mr. Silverman (see Appendix 3). Mr. Silverman, on the other hand, has
indicated that he would be equally satisfied with either the initial North Green location or the South
Village Green alternative.

Table 1: Potential Alternative Locations for Public Sculpture


Location 1: Sallys Pond, South Main Street
Advantages:

*Reasonably central location


*Ample space to surround sculpture with natural environment

Disadvantages:

*Land is privately held (Ipswich Museum)


*Soil too soft to support sculpture
*Not particularly accessible for foot traffic

Suitability of Site: 1.5

(on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest)

Location 2: Memorial Green, South Main Street


Advantages:

*Central location
*Good visibility
*Good pedestrian access
*Established gathering place

Disadvantages:

*Potential conflict with veterans memorials


*Potential conflict with activities on the Green

Suitability of Site: 4
Location 3: South Village Green, County Road
Advantages:

*Reasonably central location


*Good visibility
*Ample space to surround sculpture with natural environment
*Precedent for public donation on the South Green
*Sculpture would likely increase use of Green

Disadvantages:

*light foot traffic


*high level of noise
*Potential conflict with Olde Ipswich Days

Suitability of Site: 4
Location 4: Downtown Riverwalk
Advantages:

*Central location
*Would enhance Riverwalk experience

*Only suitable location may not be able to support sculptures weight


*Mounting on Riverwalk poses technical & aesthetic challenges
*Would require reconfiguration of benches/planters
Suitability of Site: 2.5
Disadvantages:

Location 5: Mid-Portion of Lower Eastern North Green


Advantages:

*Central location
*Good visibility
*Elevation above Market Square enhances effect of the sculpture

Disadvantages:

*Placing sculpture below ledge reduces visual effect


*Potential conflict with sand filter
*Faces opposition based on perceived incompatibility w/ Green

Suitability of Site: 3
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Recommendations
The Committee recommends that the planned site visit to the North Green be expanded to include the
Memorial Green and South Village Green locations. If the sense of the Board of Selectmen after that visit
and any subsequent discussion is that it would prefer the sculpture to be situated at either of the
alternative locations, then the Board should schedule another public hearing to take comment on the
suitability of one or both of those sites.
If the Board of Selectmen ultimately supports the installation of the public sculpture at one or both of the
alternative locations supported by the Committee, it should, before voting formally to accept the public
art, request the Committee to recommend any additional terms or conditions of approval that are
necessary and appropriate for the site in question.
Summary
After comparing the proposal for a public sculpture on the North Green with five other alternative sites in
the town center, including another potential location on the lower North Green, the Committee concludes
that the optimal site for the sculpture is on the North Green, at the location proposed by Mr. Silverman.
The Committee also finds, however, that two other specific locations, one on the South Village Green and
the other on the Memorial Green, would be suitable sites on which to install the proposed sculpture. As
noted in the Findings, Mr. Silverman, after reviewing all six of the locations considered by the
Committee, is equally satisfied with the North Green and the South Village Green locations.

Respectfully submitted by:

Public Art Review Committee


Jeff Putur, Director of Cemetery and Parks
Kristina Brendel, Ipswich Cultural Commission
Paula Jones, Shade and Beautification Committee
John Fiske, Chairman, Historical Commission
Barbara Monahan, local artist/Ipswich Garden Club member
Glenn Gibbs, Director of Planning and Development

August 25, 2015

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Appendix 1
Map Showing Potential Location of Public Sculpture
South Village Green

Appendix 2
Map Showing Potential Location of Public Sculpture
Memorial Green

Appendix 3
Map Showing Proposed Location of Public Sculpture
North Green

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