Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Milton looks at public art.

Local artist could create community pieces.

Courtesy Jonathan Copsey

March 18, 2014 MILTON, Ga. – Milton officials are dipping their toes into the city's first efforts at public art.

During their work session March 10, the mayor and City Council took a field trip to the shop of local blacksmith Michael Dillon.

Dillon, who lives on Birmingham Highway, was recently chosen to create a piece of metal art for the city of Duluth to be placed on a new roundabout.

"Reflecting the spirit of Duluth, Dillon's design lifts the labors of our past, sowing seeds of opportunity for today and carrying Duluth to greater heights for tomorrow," Duluth officials said in a press release about his art.

What piqued Milton's interest was that Dillon was chosen after a national search.

"We had to figure out who this guy was," said Milton City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. "He competed against the rest of the nation and won."

Late last year, Lagerbloom and the city asked Dillon to think up something that could be placed in Milton, specifically, at Bell Memorial Park. The park will undergo extensive renovations this year and half of next year. Included in those renovations is a roundabout in the heart of the park. Lagerbloom said it would be the perfect place for a piece of art.

"How cool would it be to have our first piece of public art displayed at the renovated Bell Park?" Lagerbloom asked.

The theme suggested was "victory" and sports.

Council saw Dillon's first ideas and seemed open to the concept, Lagerbloom said.

"It was a very good thing," said Councilmember Matt Kunz. "[Dillon] had a good rendition of [victory] that will be awesome when it's done."

Lagerbloom cautioned that the city has not decided whether to start a public art program; however, with the Bell Park renovations, forthcoming City Hall and a public safety building all in the works, the possibility is there.

Bell Memorial Park will close for the renovations Memorial Day and stay closed for one year.

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