The City of Eugene is proud to announce Sean Healy and Joe Thurston of Healy Thurston LLC as the winning artists for Eugene City Hall's percent for art project. Eugene's percent for art policy sets aside no less than 1% of the construction funds of larger building projects for the acquisition of public-facing artwork. The policy was adopted by City Council in 1981 with the statement that "Visual arts contribute to and provide experiences which enrich and better our social and physical environment."
The public art goals for the City Hall project are to generate outstanding new outdoor work which is appropriate for the urban scale of the project and multifaceted. Healy Thurston will be working closely with the project team to develop the specific artwork. The artwork will strive to support the public nature of City Hall's civic space by:
• Fostering connections between people
• Encouraging play and togetherness
• Initiating conversation and promoting a productive dialogue
Healy Thurston describe their vision for the project: "We strive for an affecting first impression of our pieces, even by the casual passerby, but upon closer inspection, we want the work to contain layers of meaning, fine-crafted details, and ultimately, depth. We want the viewer to want to come back, to seek the particulars that reveal themselves slowly. Work at this civic scale must be equally intriguing during the day and night, it must engage and delight from every angle, and it must exist in harmony with the ethos of the building as well as the ethos of the community at large."
Healy Thurston stood out as exceptional among a pool of 22 artists and artist teams who applied for the project via a request for qualifications. As award-winning public artists, they are well suited for this challenge. They bring a robust public art portfolio including local projects commissioned by the State of Oregon on the University of Oregon Campus for the Student Recreation Center, Lawrence Hall, and Lillis Business Complex. Their work in Lillis won an American's for the Arts Best of 2014 Public Art Award. The General Service Administrations also commissioned Healy Thurston for artwork titled, "Jury Pool" in the Wayne L. Morse Federal Courthouse.
The team was selected by the Eugene City Hall Percent for Art Committee, which includes:
• Jill Hartz, Director, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
• Kate Ali, Artist, Art Instructor and Oregon Arts Commission South Region Public Art Coordinator
• Ellen Tykeson, Artist and Art Instructor
• Courtney Stubbert, Artist and City of Eugene Public Art Committee member
• Marina Hajek, Artist
• Carlos Choto, resident with a demonstrated interest in art
• Mike Penwell, City Hall Project Manager, City of Eugene Facilities Division
• Kaarin Knudson, Design and Project Manager, Rowell Brokaw Architects
• Isaac Marquez, Public Art Manager, City of Eugene Cultural Services
Healy Thurston will begin work on the City Hall commission in mid to late April 2016. More information about their artistic practice can be seen at http://www.healythurston.com/. Periodic updates about the project are available at https://www.eugene-or.gov/731/Art-in-Public-Places.