ITHACA, N.Y. –– The City of Ithaca Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Commission is asking members of the public for feedback regarding a potential sculpture designated for Cass Park. The proposed sculpture by artist Patricia Vader would go in a spot near the inlet.

Artist’s mockup of the proposed piece ‘Sky Ride’.

Public comments will be heard following a presentation about the new kinetic sculpture on Zoom next week, June 14. The meeting is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. with Tom Knipe, Ithaca’s deputy director for Economic Development, and Megan Barber, executive director of the Community Arts Partnership providing the background presentation on the project. 

The Community Arts Partnership (CAP) and City of Ithaca Department of Planning & Development have collaborated with a project steering committee comprised of community members with an interest and background in public art/or transportation on the development of the public sculpture project. Vader’s work will be intentional –– the project drivers have envisioned and commissioned a “community-built kinetic sculpture utilizing re-used materials and communicating an inclusive and exciting vision for bicycle transportation in Ithaca.”

Additional goals for the sculpture are that it appeal to an audience that is diverse in age, income, cultural background, and artistic appreciation; that the artwork be fabricated to withstand the upstate New York weather, be low maintenance, safe, theft and damage resistant; and that it ‘spark joy’ in the viewer and express the artists’ aesthetic sensibility.  

Vader was a clear choice to carry out this vision –– she has an extensive background in creating similar sculptures in other communities. Examples of the artist’s work may be found on her website.

Ithaca Common Council has requested that the Commission solicit public comment at their June meeting prior to Council voting on the proposal in July. Additional project background materials may be found on the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Commission website here.

And as City Hall remains closed to the public, there are two options to participate in this meeting:  

1.   Submit comments by using this online form, or via email no later than 4 p.m. on the day of the meeting (contact below).  

2.   Register to speak at the meeting via the link on the Commission page under “Register to Speak at a Meeting via Zoom”. Registration will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the day of the meeting, Monday, June 14.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at