City Council Special Meeting

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Meeting Date: 04/18/2022  
Contact: Kathy Jones, Community Relations Manager/PIO

Presentation and discussion regarding the City Hall Public Art Mural project and the artist and concept selection approved by the DeSoto Arts Commission
In January 2021, the City of DeSoto adopted its first Cultural Plan. One of the key strategies detailed in the plan is to establish a process for implementing an Art in Public Places program. This idea recognizes the importance of providing residents and visitors access to quality artistic experiences in the public sphere. Future artworks could function to bring attention to prevailing social issues, elevate public interest, and create a sense of pride for the City.

The City’s inaugural public art project will be to create a landmark destination with a highly visible mural. The overall nature of the work should convey a celebration of culture and cultural dignity. The artwork concept should present a general uplifting of humanity while representing ideals of community and traditional values. The mural is imagined as a picture perfect moment (i.e. a postcard from DeSoto). Interested artists were encouraged to create work in a realistic style that could also incorporate aspects of surrealism and abstraction.

The City issued the Request for Qualifications for the City Hall Mural Public Art Project on November 22, 2021. Notice of the public art opportunity was posted through traditional methods as well as through social media channels and the Arts Commission's website. Invitations were sent to more than 50 potential respondents and organizations. The City received 10 submissions.
The Artists Selection Panel consisted of three highly recognized arts professionals residing in Dallas County. This panel reviewed all responsive submissions, and three were short-listed as the highest ranked artists who were invited to interview on March 17. The short-listed artists were asked to present a conceptual design consisting of the following:
  • Conceptual narrative
  • Two-dimensional scaled design
  • Budget
  • Timeline

The three artists presentations were scored by the Review Panel using a rubric with these categories:
  • Cultural, education, or artistic merit of the concept
  • Feasibility of concept/technical skill/ease of maintenance (budget, timeline, materials)
  • Suitability, scale, and relationship to the site
  • Vision, creativity, and presentation of the proposal (originality and authenticity)
  • Detailed relatability and positive disposition of the artist

JD Moore is a DFW metro-based professional artist who creates artwork for private commissions and public projects and is the approved artist for this project. The panel found his concept to have the most authentic and artistic solution with continuing opportunities for discovery and education for the public. His creative and proficient knowledge of developing a highly original and site-specific artwork was demonstrated in his ability to communicate an appropriate and detailed project for the site while also presenting a beautiful design that stands to achieve a timeless visual landmark. The City's Public Art Consultant, Constance White, presented the findings of the Review Panel to the DeSoto Arts Commission at their April 4, 2022 meeting. The DeSoto Arts Commission accepted the recommendation from the Review Panel by unanimous vote of all seven Commission members. Copies of the final report from the Review Panel and JD Moore's presentation are attached.
The budget for the City Hall Public Art Mural project is $30,000, budgeted for in the Hotel Occupancy Tax Fund. This amount is inclusive of all project costs including artists' fees and expenses, taxes, travel, shipping and crating, insurance, design, fabrication, installation/execution, and transporting of any materials and supplies related to creating the artwork for the project site.
The Review Panel recommended that the City of DeSoto Public Art Mural Project be awarded to JD Moore. Per the City's Cultural Arts Master Plan, the Arts Commission approved the recommendation at their April 4, 2022 meeting. This Work Session agenda item is being presented to the City Council for informational and feedback purposes only. No City Council approval is necessary to move forward with the artist selected by the Arts Commission. 
Mural Project Recommendation Presentation
Review Panel Evaluation
Proposal by JD Moore


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