Proposed sculpture park receives support from Bee Cave City Council

With the aim of bringing some soul to the city, Bee Cave City Council voiced initial backing for creating a sculpture park.

Former Councilman Chad Bockius, the founder and director of the Bee Cave Arts Foundation, gave a presentation about the proposed sculpture park to Bee Cave City Council on Oct. 9. The Bee Cave Arts Foundation is responsible for The Benches of Bee Cave, which placed seven artistic benches throughout the city, and Bockius said a sculpture park is the foundation's next goal.

"As a city councilman and as a city, I felt like we had spent a tremendous amount of time on the infrastructure of the city, and I believe we have done great work here," Bockius told the council. "I really wanted to do something that would help the soul of this city."

Given the large scope of the project, Bockius said the City of Bee Cave would have to help make the sculpture park a reality. Council members expressed support for the sculpture park and discussed potential sources of funding for the project.

"As our economy gets healthier and healthier with time, we are going to be able to devote more and more to those kinds of things that will really make us special," Councilwoman Zelda Auslander said.

A hotel tax, development tax, economic development board funds or fundraising are possible funding options for the sculpture park, Bockius said.

The sculpture park would be built in phases, and there is no estimated price tag yet, he said.

Council members and Bockius agreed that the municipal complex park, which is behind what used to be City Hall and is now the Bee Cave police station, could be a good location for the sculpture park. Given its proximity to the police station, there would always be security nearby, Mayor Caroline Murphy said.

Bockius said the purpose of the Oct. 9 presentation to City Council was to gauge city support for the project, which seemed to be there. The BCAF will now work on getting together a more detailed business plan.

"This is an evolutionary project, one that we should plan for the long term," he said. "We should not be thinking this is something that needs to be done in six to nine months."

The Benches of Bee Cave

The Bee Cave Arts Foundation established itself with The Benches of Bee Cave program.

The program has put seven uniquely crafted benches in places that have a high volume of foot traffic. The most recent bench was sponsored by Lake Travis Fire and Rescue and placed in front of Whole Foods Market, 12601 Hill Country Blvd., Bee Cave.

"The program has done phenomenally well," BCAF Director Chad Bockius said.

Mayor Pro Tem Jack McCool said he was skeptical of the foundation and the bench program when it was announced in 2009 but said his doubts have been proven wrong.

"I know nothing about art, but I appreciate the fact that thousands of people do," McCool said. "It's a great opportunity for the city."

The BCAF is accepting designs and sponsors for future benches, Bockius said. For more information, visit www.beecavearts.org/ BeeCaveArtsSite/Benches.html.