Chapter 2.47


Article I. Arts Commission

2.47.010    Purpose.

2.47.020    Membership.

2.47.030    Appearance restrictions.

Article II. Selection and Display Standards

2.47.033    Guidelines.

2.47.036    Criteria.

2.47.040    Display of art in public places.

2.47.050    Ownership.

2.47.060    Exemptions.

Article III. Funding, Capital Acquisitions

2.47.070    Policy.

2.47.080    Definitions.

2.47.090    Municipal construction appropriations.

2.47.100    Town park property appropriations.

2.47.110    Fund created.

2.47.120    Unexpended funds.

Article I. Arts Commission

2.47.010 Purpose.

The La Conner arts commission, hereafter referred to as “LCAC,” shall support artistic creation, education, participation, innovation, and partnerships, which showcase La Conner as a center for display, discussion, and exchange of ideas about the arts, to heighten our residents’ and visitors’ awareness of the central role of contemporary art in our dynamic society through the acquisition of visual art and support for the literary and performing arts, and to act as a center for display, discussion, and exchange of ideas on issues in contemporary art from our region. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 813 § 1, 2001.]

2.47.020 Membership.

(1) The La Conner arts commission shall be comprised of a diverse group of active people with knowledge of the visual, literary, and performing arts. This diversity shall be in age, background, and gender. These individuals shall be dedicated to active participation towards the mission and purpose of the La Conner arts commission. It shall be a “working” commission.

(2) The La Conner Arts Commission shall consist of five voting members, plus one La Conner High School nonvoting student member who shall reside in the La Conner school district, plus one nonvoting town council member who will act as liaison. The La Conner High School nonvoting student member will be appointed at the end of his or her junior year and serve for one year. The mayor shall consider the advice of the La Conner High School principal in making the high school member appointment. Voting members must reside or work within the La Conner school district. The mayor of La Conner shall appoint each commissioner; each voting commissioner shall serve a three-year term and may be reappointed by the mayor for a second three-year term. A total of two consecutive three-year terms shall be the maximum served by any commissioner.

(3) In making appointments, the mayor should consider the following criteria:

(a) Broad cultural perspective;

(b) Commitment to the importance of public art in the community;

(c) Experience in collaborative decision making and consensus building;

(d) Willingness to represent the commission in public;

(e) Ability to deal with conflict; and

(f) Ability to assess the overall needs of the La Conner community.

(4) Initial Commission Terms. Commissioners will be appointed to three-year terms, effective January 1st of each year, on a rotational basis. For the initial commission, two members will be appointed for a one-year term, two members will be appointed for a two-year term and three members will be appointed for a three-year term. Commissioners will serve without compensation.

(5) New commissioners appointed to replace members who do not fulfill their full term shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term and be eligible for a full term (three years), should the mayor choose to reappoint the “new commissioner” at the end of the partial term.

(6) Commissioners must be available to attend monthly meetings on a regular basis. Three absences in a row, without special exception approved by the commission, will constitute abandonment of the commission by the member, and the mayor shall appoint a new commissioner.

(7) Meeting Procedures – Election of Officers. The LCAC shall establish its own procedures and may appoint task forces to make recommendations and report to the commission. [Ord. 1005 § 1, 2008; Ord. 945 § 1, 2005; Ord. 902 § 1, 2004; Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 813 § 1, 2001.]

2.47.030 Appearance restrictions.

While serving as a commissioner, and for one year thereafter, commissioners may not apply for a project administered and/or funded by the La Conner arts commission, or be hired as a paid consultant with funds from the public art fund. The restrictions also extend to immediate family members and business partners of acting commissioners. Specific exceptions to this guideline are to be made on a case-by-case basis, by majority vote of the town council. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 813 § 1, 2001.]

Article II. Selection and Display Standards

2.47.033 Guidelines.

The commission shall adopt guidelines:

(1) To identify suitable art objects for town buildings, public and private properties;

(2) To facilitate the preservation of art objects and artifacts that may be displayed in public places;

(3) To prescribe a method or methods for competitive selection of art objects for public display;

(4) To prescribe procedures for the selection, acquisition and display of art in public places; and

(5) To set forth organizational policies and procedures for the commission to operate within and to address any other matter appropriate to the administration of this chapter. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003.]

2.47.036 Criteria.

In performing its duties with respect to art in public places, the commission shall give special attention to the following matters:

(1) Professional Eligibility. Artists shall be selected on the basis of their qualifications, as demonstrated by their past work and/or education, the appropriateness of their proposal for the particular project and the probability of its successful completion, as determined by the commission and town council.

(2) Conceptual compatibility of the design with the immediate environment of the site;

(3) Appropriateness of the design to the function of the site;

(4) Compatibility of the design and location with a unified design character or historical character of the site;

(5) Creation of an internal sense of order and a desirable environment for the general community by the design and location of the work of art;

(6) Preservation and integration of natural features for the project;

(7) Appropriateness of the materials, textures, colors, and design to the expression of the design concept; and

(8) Representation of a broad variety of tastes within the community and the provision of a balanced inventory of art in public places to ensure a variety of style, design and media throughout the community. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003.]

2.47.040 Display of art in public places.

(1) Works of art selected and implemented pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may be placed in, on, or about any public place or by agreement with the owner thereof, any private property with substantial public exposure in and around the town of La Conner. The commission may also loan works of art owned by the town for exhibition elsewhere, upon such terms and conditions as deemed necessary. Town officials responsible for the design and construction of public improvements in the town shall make appropriate space available for the placement of works of art, in consultation with the commission. The commission shall advise the department responsible for the particular public improvement of the commission’s decision regarding the design, execution and placement of works of art in connection with such a project. For any proposed works of art requiring an extraordinary operation or maintenance expense, the commission shall obtain prior written approval of the department head responsible for such operation or maintenance before approving the same.

(2) All art on loan shall receive the prior review and approval of the arts commission. Prior to installation, the placement of art shall receive the final approval from the mayor with the concurrence from the public works director. The parks commission shall be consulted prior to the installation of art if the art is to be located in a town-owned park, open space or along the waterfront. None shall be removed, altered or changed without the prior review and approval of the arts commission, unless deemed necessary by the public works director.

(3) No work of art financed or installed either wholly or in part with town funds or with grants procured by the town shall be installed on privately owned property without a written agreement between the town and the owner specifying the proprietary interests in the work of art, and specifying other provisions deemed necessary or desirable by the town attorney. In addition, such written agreements shall specify that the private property owner shall assure:

(a) That the installation of the work of art will be done in a manner which will protect the work of art and the public;

(b) That the work of art will be maintained in good condition; and

(c) That insurance and indemnification will be provided as is appropriate.

(4) Installation, maintenance, alteration, refinishing and moving of art in public places shall be done in consultation with the artist whenever feasible. The artist shall be responsible for the actual installation of the art piece.

(5) The commission shall maintain a detailed record of all art in public places, including site drawings, photographs, designs, names of artists, and names of architects whenever feasible. The commission shall attempt to give appropriate recognition to the artists and publicity and promotion regarding art in public places. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003.]

2.47.050 Ownership.

All works of art acquired pursuant to this chapter shall be acquired in the name of, and title shall be held by, the town of La Conner. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003.]

2.47.060 Exemptions.

The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:

(1) All works of art in the collections of, or on display at, or under the auspices of any museum, library, commercial gallery or establishment, private collections; and

(2) All works of art on display in private town offices or other areas of town-owned facilities, which are not generally frequented by the public. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003.]

Article III. Funding, Capital Acquisitions

2.47.070 Policy.

A policy is established to provide funding for works of art in public places of the town of La Conner and participation in art events. Works of art purchased with these funds will become part of the town art collection. [Ord. 1019 § 1, 2009; Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 799, 2001. Formerly 2.47.040.]

2.47.080 Definitions.

“Art fund” means a special purpose interest-bearing town fund into which shall be deposited all art funding authorized by this article together with other moneys as the town council shall authorize for works of art.

“Cost” of a municipal construction project means only the town-funded portion of a municipal construction project; provided, that “cost” shall not include the cost of real property acquisition, equipment or furnishings.

“Municipal construction project” means any project paid for wholly or in part by the town of La Conner to construct or remodel any building, decorative or commemorative structure, park, street, sidewalk, parking facility or utility, or any substantial portion thereof within the limits of the town of La Conner. Municipal construction projects shall not include routine maintenance, the repair of existing public facilities or the replacement of fixtures in such facilities.

“Public art” means the capital acquisitions of works of art by the town of La Conner. [Ord. 976 § 1, 2006; Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 799, 2001. Formerly 2.47.050.]

2.47.090 Municipal construction appropriations.

All authorizations and/or appropriations for municipal construction projects shall, whenever legally permitted, include an amount equal to not less than one percent of the total project cost. All town departments shall report through the annual budget process an amount equal to one percent of the cost of the town’s estimated portion of municipal construction projects. The town’s contributions made pursuant to this section shall be funded from the fund in which the municipal construction project originated.

The funds authorized and/or appropriated pursuant to this section shall be transferred and held in the Public Art Fund 405 upon award of the project bid. These appropriations are to be used for the selection, acquisition and/or installation of works of art which are suitable and appropriate to be placed in, on or about town public facilities. In the event any law, rule or regulation establishing a source of funds for a particular project, including but not limited to grants, loans or assistance from federal, state or other governmental units, prohibits, limits or excludes art and art works as a proper expenditure, then the amount of funds from such source shall be excluded in computing the one percent amount of the total project cost. [Ord. 1028 § 1, 2009; Ord. 976 § 1, 2006; Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 799(A), 2001. Formerly 2.47.060.]

2.47.100 Town park property appropriations.

Any appropriations from leases of designated town park property shall set aside five percent of the total lease amount, to be used for the selection, acquisition and/or installation of works of art to be placed in, on, or about town public facilities, which are suitable and appropriate. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 799(B), 2001. Formerly 2.47.070.]

2.47.110 Fund created.

For accounting purposes a new municipal arts fund is established. All funds authorized and/or appropriated pursuant to this section shall be maintained in the municipal arts fund. The town council, in the annual budget, shall determine the amount to be allocated for participation in art events (i.e., Art’s Alive), and the selection, acquisition and/or installation of individual works of art to be placed on or about public facilities and public areas, the amount to be allocated for the operations of the arts commission and the amount to be allocated for other public performances or artistic endeavors supported by the arts commission. Any expenditures made by the arts commission shall follow a majority vote of the arts commission authorizing such expenditure, consistent with the adopted budget of the town. In addition to the funding mechanisms in LCMC 2.47.090 and 2.47.100, the La Conner arts commission may solicit the contribution of funds through private donations to the town, which will be allocated to the arts fund, or through fundraising opportunities so long as no expenditures of town funds are made therefor unless part of the arts commission approved budget or as authorized by the mayor. [Ord. 1019 § 2, 2009; Ord. 902 § 2, 2003; Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 799(C), 2001. Formerly 2.47.080.]

2.47.120 Unexpended funds.

Funds authorized and/or appropriated pursuant to this article for a municipal construction project but not expended on any such project shall be placed and retained in the town of La Conner municipal arts fund. If for any reason any transfer to such fund shall be contrary to law or prohibited by any rule or regulation governing such funds, then any such unspent or residual sum authorized and/or appropriated as a part of such construction project may be expended for any like or similar public purpose or purposes relating to the selection, acquisition and/or installation of works of art. [Ord. 876 § 1, 2003; Ord. 799(D), 2001. Formerly 2.47.090.]