Supervisors extend deadline for Mooney Grove sculpture project


Artists have until Aug. 28 to submit proposal for Mooney Grove sculpture project to repurpose koi pond

By Nancy Vigran
Reporter for The Sun-Gazette

VISALIA – The Tulare County Board of Supervisors has extended their deadline for proposals from the art community. The board is looking for artistic help with a sculpture project to repurpose the currently non-functional foundation and koi pond in Mooney Grove Park, deemed the Lily Pond Project.

The extension from the end of June to Tuesday, August 28, was in part to allow those who have submitted a proposal to work further on completing it, said Ampelio Mejia Perez, general manager of the Arts Consortium, which is aiding with the proposal process. Artists are required to include a 1/12 scale 3-D model of their concept.

This, he said, is quite different, and much more difficult and time-consuming than a 2-D rendering of a proposed project. The stakes are, however, valuable. The top three entries will receive a $500 cash reward. The winner will earn a budget of $15,000 to complete the project – a $5,000 increase over the first call for proposals. And, he or she will receive continual recognition for their work on display at the park.

“There are a lot of sculptors, fountain artists, ceramicists and tombstone carvers in the local art community,” Perez said. “The general public just isn’t as familiar with their work, because there are very few places that can exhibit 3-D work.”

Perez hopes for a lot of entries. 

“It lends credibility to arts in the area,” he said, “and to show that people really care about the arts and local resources.”

The Board of Supervisors had actually come up with three options for the fountain and pond, said Brooke Sisk, assistant director of the general services agency. The Lily Pond Project was the middle option. The other ends of the spectrum included demolishing it, something they really did not want to do; or restoring it, which could end up being costly and requiring a lot of maintenance.

A committee from the Arts Consortium will narrow the field of entries to three, with input from two members of the Board, Supervisor Amy Shuklian, and Supervisor Pete Vander Poel. That announcement is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 10. It will be up to Shuklian and Vander Poel to make the final decision which is slated to be presented to the full board later that month for approval. It is expected the proposal winner will take three to four months to complete the project.

For proposal information, contact Ampelio Mejia Perez at the Arts Consortium, 559-802-3266.

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