The Roanoke City Council approved the city’s public art master plan at their April 25 meeting.

The overview: According to city documents, the public art master plan is a tool the Roanoke Art & History Trail Committee will use in an effort to cultivate and develop a comprehensive culture of art while honoring the history and enriching the community of Roanoke and its visitors.

The master plan is based upon short-, medium- and long-term objectives. According to Communications & Public Engagement Officer Diane Rice, short-term projects are funded from the city’s Type A Economic & Industrial Development Corporation as part of the fiscal year 2023-24 budget process.

“The Type A board will meet on Aug. 6 to discuss the short-term project proposals,” Rice said. “Between now and the Aug. 6 meeting, city staff is working with the art and history committee to gather, collect and present a detailed plan for the board to consider.”

The specifics: According to Rice, some of the ideas for short-term projects include:
  • A selfie station project as the creation and installation of interactive murals or structures encouraging visitors on Oak Street to take a selfie and share it on social media as a way to celebrate the small town charm and big city heart of Roanoke
  • A community art space project as the installation of gallery-style hardware, pedestals and other display cases in public spaces—currently City Hall and the library are being considered—to temporarily exhibit the work of local artists. The hope is this project will beautify public spaces, increase awareness of local art and culture and provide opportunities for local artists to sell their work.
Rice stated that medium-term projects include pocket parks, interactive kids parks, art benches and roundabout statues while long-term projects include entrance signage and a civic center.

In case you missed it: Beyond those initiatives, Rice said that a top priority for the art and history committee is the design, creation and installation of a historic map of Oak Street.

“The committee is working with the Coppell-based company Kaser Design to use interpretive design techniques to create an artistic map identifying 15 historical sites on Oak Street,” Rice said. “The map aims to pay tribute to the city or Roanoke's intertwined history with Texas railroads, and showcase the charming mixture of the old and the new in the city.”

According to Rice, the committee met with Kaser Design on May 17 for a workshop session and will present design plans to the City Council for approval when they are finished.