Beautification Awards Recognize Projects, Lupinacci, Smyth Announce $15,000 in New Funding
In late April the Town of Huntington completed installation of two new Public Art Projects on traffic signal cabinets in Huntington, the 24th and 25th in a series of such projects installed beginning in 2015, 20 of which were installed within the past 12 months. Just two weeks later on May 1st, these projects were collectively the impetus for the Huntington Public Art Advisory Committee's receipt of a Beautification Award, one of eleven such awards made by the Town Board & Beautification Council that evening.
"Thank you to Dr. Walter and thank you and congratulations to all the beautification award winners today," said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci at the May 1st Town Board Meeting.
Supervisor Lupinacci, President of the Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute, added: "The Traffic Signal Box Public Art Project is one of many expressions of the beautiful, diverse culture Huntington offers. Councilman Smyth, who serves as Vice President, and I met with the Board of Directors of the Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute a little bit earlier today and we were able to fund these initiatives with an additional $15,000 for this year."
The Huntington Cultural Affairs Institute, Inc. is a
non-profit educational corporation chartered in NYS. It was formed by the Town
of Huntington in 2002 primarily to secure and manage contributions from
non-Town sources in support of cultural programs and services benefiting the
residents of the Town. Because it was formed by and is affiliated with the
Town, its Board has overlap with Town leadership. However, the $15,000
allocated by the Institute for the Public Art Initiative are private funds, not taxpayer support.
"The money was sitting in the Town's 350th Anniversary celebration fund for 15 years after the anniversary passed so the Board voted unanimously to put these funds to good use in beautifying our Town," said Councilman Ed Smyth, who noted about the Traffic Signal Box art installations: "They are nice to look at."
The first five of these projects were designed by area artists in 2015 and installed on Town signal cabinets on both Wall Street and Gerard Street in Huntington Village late that year, supported in part by the Huntington Village Business Improvement District (BID). The enthusiastic public response to these initial five installations prompted the Public Art Advisory Committee to subsequently expand the program to include Town signal cabinets in Huntington Station and simultaneously seek approval from the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) for installation of projects on NYSDOT signal cabinets along Rt. 25A and Rt. 110. Both of these avenues of expansion came to fruition in 2017 with a second round of 10 new projects installed in both Huntington Village and Huntington Station. Five of these projects on Main Street (Rt. 25A) were the first installed on NYSDOT signal cabinets under new standards just released by this agency in August 2016.
With the growing presence of signal box projects in these two important pedestrian retail districts, positive feedback from the public continued to build. In response, the Committee quickly issued a new request for proposals (RFP) seeking additional design submissions from area artists that led to a third round of installations, most of which were completed in 2017 with the last two projects of this third round installed in late April 2018. In addition to being supported by Town funds budgeted for the Public Art Initiative, both the Huntington Village BID and the Huntington Station BID made generous sponsorship contributions toward projects within their respective districts.
Photographs of all 25 installations, along with additional information about each project and the artists who designed them, can be found on the Town’s online Public Art Inventory at www.HuntingtonNY.gov/TrafficSignalBoxes. Also available on this same webpage are downloadable maps of the locations of signal box projects in both Huntington Village (16 projects) and Huntington Station (9 projects).
The Beautification Council, a citizen’s advisory committee appointed by the Town Board, is chaired by Dr. William T. Walter. It includes Patricia Feder, Virginia Mueller, Sandy Prior, John Pryputniewicz, Judith Werber, and Barbara Wildfeir.
Huntington’s Public Art Advisory Committee is comprised of nine volunteers appointed by the Town Board to guide the planning and implementation of the Town’s Public Art Initiative. Current members include Committee Chair Janine Siefert, Bob Carter, Linda Furey, Mark McAteer, Ed McEvoy, James Metcalfe, Michele Peppers, Michael Schantz, and Caitlin Sempowich.
Committee Chair Janine Siefert, who accepted the Beautification Award on behalf of the Public Art Advisory Committee, remarked, “The Committee is honored to receive this award in recognition of the positive impact these artists’ creative designs have had on the community, enhancing the uniqueness and livability of two important pedestrian retail districts. In light of the new funding announced by Supervisor Lupinacci, the Committee will be issuing another RFP for additional Signal Box designs, and continuing planning of other public art projects.”
In the photos: Maps of Traffic Signal Box Art Installations for Huntington Village and Huntington Station, also found at www.HuntingtonNY.gov/TrafficSignalBoxes.