A recent assessment of all the works in Kettering’s CitySites public art collection found that overall, the artwork is in good condition. Robert Lodge, the owner of McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory in Oberlin, Ohio assessed the collection in the fall of 2017. McKay Lodge works with public art collections throughout the country, including the US federal government’s public artworks.
The assessment was the first in CitySites’ 18-year history. “It’s best practice for owning a collection,” said Kettering’s Cultural Arts Division Manager, Shayna McConville. “Since the artworks are assets to our city, they need to go through regular assessment like any other property the city might own. We expect our collection would meet standards like other public art collections around the country.”
Ascertaining the condition of the artwork wasn’t the only goal. Part of the
assessment was to give a roadmap for care of the collection moving forward. Some of the landscaping around certain artworks will be altered; CitySites is working closely with Parks Maintenance on this process. In addition, the Art in Public Places committee plans to recruit community volunteers to assist them with artwork maintenance.
Although maintaining works of art sounds difficult, for the volunteers, it won’t be. Anyone can learn the bronze waxing process, which is integral to preserving sculptures and plaques. Maintenance for most of these works is only required once per year, so the time committee members and volunteers spend on preservation will be fairly small.
“We want to have a collection that’s top notch and preserved for many generations,” McConville said.
Interested in learning more about the collection? Visit the CitySites webpage. If you’d like to become involved with artwork maintenance, please contact Rosewood Arts Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or 296-0294.