Two pieces of public art to be located at new Portsmouth garage
By KIMBERLEY HAAS
Union Leader Correspondent
April 23. 2018 9:03PM
An artist's rendering of Portsmouth's Foundry Place Garage. (COURTESY)
PORTSMOUTH — Two public art projects have been approved for Portsmouth’s new Foundry Place Garage.
Nancy Pearson, a city councilor and project planning committee co-chair, said they sat down with the six finalists after they were chosen earlier this year and selected the two proposals because they had much in common.
“We ended up selecting the two we felt had the best relationship to each other,” Pearson said Monday.
Pearson said the projects also reflect the work that was done in the Deer Street area as the city grew.
“These works of art honor the people who built Portsmouth,” Pearson said.
The “Etched Glass Concept” is an etched glass mural on the focal tower of the building, influenced by the image of hard-working fabricators.
Artist Seth Palmiter explained last week that etched glass lasts a long time with little maintenance and provides “surprises around every corner” as the light changes throughout the day.
“I enjoy using glass in situations like this because it captures a lot of light,” Palmiter told the city council.
Fifty to sixty percent of the tower glass will used for his creation, Palmiter said.
This work will cost $40,000, Pearson said.
The “Hammer Concept” includes 9-foot-tall hammer heads, a 6-foot-wide metal wheel and railroad tracks.
Artist Terrence Parker told the council his sculpture was designed to capture the emotions of people who lived in the neighborhood and worked in the factories.
“This is a real tribute to the work experience and the act of labor, especially the unseen acts of labor that go into any project that moves this city and our culture forward,” Parker said.
The work will cost $89,900, Pearson said.
Groundbreaking for the 600-space public parking garage was held in September. Due to the fact that the municipal project costs at least $2 million, 1 percent of the cost up to a maximum of $150,000 must be used for public art, under Portsmouth’s Percent for Art ordinance.
Officials are expecting the garage will be finished in mid-October. Right now, they are working on the foundation and should begin building in May.