Village Enhancement Committee proposes public art project

KINGFIELD — The Village Enhancement Committee chair Marie Daigle called the Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022, meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. After approving the minutes, the committee moved on to a full agenda.


In discussing a possible location along the Rt. 27 entrance to Kingfield for an event amphitheater, it was pointed out that a variance would be needed. This idea, which Travis Targett, Kingfield’s wastewater superintendent, first mentioned, was tabled for the next meeting when the committee hopes that Targett will attend.

Utility boxes as public art venues

Pictured are the back and front of one of two electric utility boxes that support the new streetlights in Kingfield. The boxes are being considered as possible public art venues. (Sue Davis photos)

Committee members Todd Towle and Katherine Donnelly presented their findings in seeking artists to paint the utility boxes. In coverage by News Center Maine, muralist and utility box painter Jared Goulette spoke of the value in turning these eyesores into public art that residents as well as visitors could enjoy, showing investment in the community, adding value by turning an eyesore into art. Grant money is covering Goulette’s work on 13 of the nearly 2,000 boxes in Portland.

The committee discussed submission guidelines, from supplies, estimated hours to complete a box, deadline for completion, etc. Estimating work on each box to take 20 hours at a proposed hourly rate of $30-35, the committee decided on rounding the cost per box at $1,000 to include money for supplies. Donnelly will put out calls through Upcountry Artists, the Irregular and Facebook forums and subsequently accept submissions. Requirements include resident Maine artists only, submitting five to ten pieces of their own work and a proposed design. The committee will include the size of the box and a link to the utility box manufacturer.

The timeline is to bring the proposal to the Kingfield Select Board at their Tuesday, Jan. 17 board meeting, then announce the project with a deadline of the March 9 VEC meeting. The committee will review the selections at that meeting to determine their choice, which they will take to the April 13 Select Board meeting for final approval. Work can begin as early as May 1 to be completed no later than Friday, July 15, before Kingfield Festival Days.

Welcome to Kingfield signs

Sam Monahan at Signworks reported that the signs for the east and west entrances to Kingfield are complete except for bars on the sides. They should be ready to be picked up next week.

Riverside project

Committee member Sue Davis reported that Emily Hastings of Main-Land had requested information about the granite steps being donated by Dan Davis. Sue Davis provided photographs, which satisfied Hastings’ request. Lead committee member on the project Jan Royall noted that Dan Davis plans to keep certain pieces of the granite and she will check further with him. Hastings will be working on the project shortly and will meet the proposed deadline of a month to return the plan to the committee in time for its Thursday, Jan. 12 meeting.

Bulletin board

Committee member Ashley Hopwood Farrar reported her conversation with Sam Monahan at Signworks. He estimated the cost of a sign would be in the range of $750-$1,000 and recommended purchasing it online was the most economical. The committee will resume this conversation at the Jan. 12 meeting. The meeting then adjourned.


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