ECA Art News Briefs

AHCMC and StonebridgeCarras Announce Selection of Master Artist for Wheaton Redevelopment Project

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) is pleased to announce the selection of award-winning artist Norie Sato for the new Wheaton Town Square and County office building in the Wheaton Triangle. StonebridgeCarras, developer of the project on behalf of Montgomery County, has contracted Sato to create a concept for public art that integrates local artists and arts organizations into the process.

“StonebridgeCarras is excited about the selection of Norie Sato as the Artist for the Wheaton redevelopment.  We look forward to working with Norie as the art is realized and enhances this important civic project,” says Jane Galbraith Mahaffie of StonebridgeCarras. The Town Square portion of the project will include Sato’s commissioned artwork, as well as pedestrian spaces, an amphitheater, a water feature, and a stage for performances.

AHCMC, on behalf of the Montgomery County Public Art Trust, will partner with
StonebridgeCarras and Sato by providing funding support and assisting Ms. Sato in her outreach to local artists and arts organizations. “Norie Sato is a visionary artist with tremendous expertise in public art master planning,” says Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council. “We are thrilled to work with our incredible partners and Wheaton’s rich artistic community on what is certain to be a landmark public art project for Wheaton.”

As the County’s designated local arts agency and public art policymaker, AHCMC has been engaged in the development of urban design and creative placemaking projects for Wheaton since its designation as an Arts and Entertainment District in 2006. In October 2014, AHCMC announced the availability of the Wheaton Cultural Grants, a new competitive grant category that provides funding of up to $10,000 to support artists, scholars, and cultural nonprofits with proposals for creative and cultural projects for Wheaton. These grants were funded by a $90,000 appropriation by Montgomery County Government in both FY15 and FY16. AHCMC was also recently awarded a $50,000 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts to support creative placemaking activities in the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District, up for redesignation this year.

Wheaton’s Regional Services Center Director Luisa Montero-Diaz believes the new redevelopment and creative projects will benefit the Wheaton Arts & Entertainment District, creating more opportunities for Wheaton’s artists and cultural groups. “Norie comes to us with a proven capacity to work in tandem with local artists and arts organizations which is critical in capturing and building upon the authenticity and vibrancy of Wheaton.”

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(via AHCMC. Photo courtesy of AHCMC.)