Interest in Andy Jendrejewski's proposed public art project has increased since a Nov. 13, 2019, Sun-Commercial article announced the idea, with volunteers stepping forward to help and even one property owner making a pitch to be first in line to receive one of the sculptures.
And that's all to the good as Jendrejewski, his wife, Amy DeLap, and members of the Northwest Territory Art Guild prepare an application for an Indiana Arts Council grant for $5,000 to help fund the project.
But, as Jendrejewski explained to members of the city council on Monday night, in the art world there's always that need for a patron, and in this case he was asking for their help with an appropriation of $2,000 from the promotional fund, which was ultimately granted.
Jendrejewski said to make the “strongest case possible” for the grant, the group needed to have at least $2,000 on hand when the application was submitted.
As a not-for-profit organization, the art guild will serve as the official applicant for the state grant, with Jendrejewski acting as a its representative, he explained, adding that all the downtown galleries, including he and DeLap's own, Art Space Vincennes, 521 Main St., are involved.
The plan calls for soliciting works from sculptors throughout the state (and, eventually, regionally and perhaps even nationally if all goes well) willing to lend the group their works for display over a two-year period.
First there would be two sites, located somewhere downtown, with the goal of expanding to as many as 10 locations, Jendrejewski said.
The works would be on display for two years then rotate out, to be replaced by two more.
Those submitting a work for consideration would pay a non-refundable fee of $40, money the group would use to help defray the cost of having the sculptures shipped to Vincennes.
There would be start-up costs, hence the application for the $5,000 state grant and the $2,000 from the city.
The goal of the outdoor, public displays is, in part, to interest more local residents in art.
Jendrejewski said art “can be a little intimidating, especially if it is abstract,” and having it seen in an outdoor, public setting could relieve some of that fright.
Plus, the outdoor art could reach those who don't frequent a gallery, perhaps peeking their interest to come inside.
Jendrejewski said March 5 is the deadline to submit the grant application.
Council members were in favor of supporting the project, though there were questions.
Ryan Lough asked about insurance: who would pay to insure the works against damages, and what liabilities would the city have if one were to be damaged?
Jendrejewski said possibly some of the money the group was trying to raise could be set aide to pay for insurance coverage.
City attorney Dave Roellgen said there should be an agreement that would include “hold harmless” language absolving the city of any liability for a work's being damaged — or for a work itself causing injury or damage by falling on someone or something.
“Things happen,” he said.
Any works located on private properties would be outside the city's responsibility, Roellgen explained. “That would be up to the artist, the property owner and your organization,” he said to Jendrejewski.
Jendrejewski said should the organization fail to get the grant the project would be “scaled down,” though he was confident in some way it would be carried forward.