Pleasant Ridge takes next step in public art process

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published January 23, 2024

Shutterstock image


PLEASANT RIDGE — The Pleasant Ridge City Commission approved a contract for a public art framework plan to help establish public art in the city.

At its Jan. 9 meeting, the commission approved a contract for $13,000 to Nunez Design to help engage the community as it rolls out and builds its public art program.

“We have a good vision for where it is that we want to end up and what we want to do rather than attacking this or trying to do this in a piecemeal fashion,” City Manager James Breuckman said.

The addition of public art has been discussed in Pleasant Ridge for some time, and Breuckman stated that Nunez Design will be a big help in leading the city through this process, as its principal, Ralph Nunez, has been involved with projects in the city for some time.

“Ralph designed the patio area behind the Community Center. That was one of the catalysts that kind of got that area going, and then the Big Room project came after that. So then the permeability with the garage doors we added between the two spaces flowed out of that,” he said.

Commissioner Katy Schmier said there won’t be a learning curve due to Nunez’s past work in the city.

“They have such a familiarity with the community and sort of who we are as a city and what our location is all about because one of the biggest transformational things was everything that happened over at Gainsboro (Park, which was reconstructed in 2016), and I know while Nunez was not the ultimate planner, they definitely weighed in early with ideas that, you know, worked along that path literally,” she said.

In terms of when Pleasant Ridge can get everything going, Breuckman said the city likely is looking at a May or June time frame.

“Being a charette process, we want to make sure that we can be in the space, and a lot of the focus is going to be the Woodward greenbelt area, in addition to all the other parts of town that you know have potential for public art, but this will be kind of the epicenter of it,” he said. “So we want to make sure that we can be in this space and it’s important that we can be outside. So we don’t want to kick this off too early and start fighting the weather.”

Breuckman said in an email that no locations have been chosen for public art yet.

“We will be first creating a public art plan with the Pleasant Ridge community this year,” he stated. “Once we have the plan in place we will start to implement public art. It will likely be late summer or fall when the plan is complete and we can start to decide on our next steps. In the meantime, the Arts Council is in the planning stages for hosting events to connect with our local community of artists, designers and creatives.”