HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston Arts Alliance official has resigned amid a dispute over planned artwork for a convention center.
The Houston First Corporation wants a piece of artwork for a new lobby being built at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Houston Arts Alliance was managing the process on behalf of Houston First to choose an artist.
A five-member selection panel, organized by the alliance, picked Ed Wilson’s plan to build a hanging stainless steel sculpture of about 60 by 30 feet. Wilson said he learned last week the alliance’s civic art committee withdrew his commission for the $830,000 project amid concerns over the selection process.
“It seemed very irregular and very political,” Wilson told the Houston Chronicle.
Matthew Lennon, the alliance’s civic art and design director, resigned Saturday, saying he objected to how Wilson, alliance staff and the selection panel’s professionals were treated.
The civic art committee “is seeking to reject Ed Wilson of a fairly won commission,” Lennon said. “It feels like CAC doesn’t think locals are good enough, despite the mayor’s mandate to hire locals first.”
Alliance executive director Jonathon Glus said Wilson’s commission isn’t dead, but is still in the review process.
“This is a highly visible, important commission. We need to make sure it’s right,” Glus said. “The civic art committee asked at the last meeting to slow it down so they could make sure it’s the right piece and that we’ve got all the right policies and procedures in place.”
Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com
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