Is It Art?
Just having a neat idea wasn't enough, explains art commission member John Kotarski--the task force was looking for artists with experience working on major construction projects. "If they didn't connect the dots for us [between smaller portfolio pieces and large-scale public art], we couldn't figure it out." Artists also were dropped if "the work they did--mural or skyscraper--did not seem to fit the bill."
Based on their resumes and past work, the final four were selected before they'd even set foot in Ann Arbor.
In February, the city sent each of the finalists--Widgery, Alkanoglu, Sheila Klein, and Matt Passmore--a check for $3,000 to cover the cost of their proposal and two trips to Ann Arbor. They first saw the bridge on a cold day in April.
"I piled them all in a van; I gave them the nickel tour," says Miller from his front porch off Liberty Street. "I drove them east to west, north to south.