Maintaining Montgomery County’s public art is an important responsibility of AHCMC. Each work of art is an investment. AHCMC’s maintenance program helps to protect the art and preserve it for the public’s enjoyment for years to come.
The acquisition of artwork carries with it the responsibility for and commitment to maintaining the condition in which it was meant to be enjoyed by the public. Conservation for a public agency or arts non-profit requires a team effort of knowledgeable administrators, conservators, and the cooperation of the County. Host agencies are responsible for ordinary maintenance of the artworks, following the protocols established by the artist. The Trust is responsible for capital maintenance and conservation of permanent artworks that have been formally accessioned into the Collection as well as the Works on Paper Collection. These projects are managed by the AHCMC Public Art Trust Manager and a team of conservators led by Howard Wellman.
In 2017, AHCMC prioritized assessing, maintaining, and conserving exterior sculptures in Montgomery County’s public art collection. The following conservation and maintenance processes were completed or initiated:
Conservation of 4 Public Art Works
- The Juggler (1989, Silver Spring) by Marcia Billig – Woodside Urban Park
- Wind Harps (1992, Damascus) by Rodney Carroll – Damascus Recreation Park
- Starting a New Life (1989, Rockville) by Ken Lonn – Rockville Pre-Release Center
- Gateway of Esteem (1985, Kensington) by Lisa Kaslow – Crossway Community Center
Maintenance/ Treatment of 4 Public Art Works
- Cousins (2007, Silver Spring) by Tom Block – Kennett St. Garage
- Bear and Club (1988, White Oak) by Azriel Arwet – MLK Recreational Park.
- Plunge (1992, Poolesville) by Azriel Arwet – Western County Swim Center
- The Lion (1989, Silver Spring) by Marcia Billig – Silver Spring Library.
Condition Assessments of 6 Public Art Works
- Animals of Forest Glen (2006, Silver Spring) by Raya Bodnarchuck – Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge
- Long Branch Village Project (2007, Silver Spring) by Byron G. Peck – Long Branch Community Center.
- Inner Light (1987, Sandy Spring) by Marcia Billig – Sandy Spring Museum
- The Commuter (1989, Wheaton) by Marcia Billig – Wheaton Metro Center.
- Made in the Shade (1989, Rockville) by Ann LaRose – Lake Needwood Visitors Center
- Bus Shelter Panels, (2003, Germantown) by Nikolai Pakhomov – Germantown Transit Ctr.
In general, conservation estimates range from $2,500 to $41,270. Following conservation, artworks should be regularly maintained, at least on a three year cycle, at an average cost of $1,000. Ideally one third of the 350 County-owned artworks should be maintained each year.
To learn more about past conservation activities, check out the following articles:
- Deferring maintenance of public art year after year is not economical.
- Notes from the Field: Flower Avenue Urban Park
- Notes from the Field: Sligo-Dennis Avenue Local Park
- Public Art Conservation: Alba Rosa
To report public art in need of conservation or maintenance, please email email@example.com.
Public Art Trust Steering Committee
- Eleanor Choi, Chair – Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County
- Robin Riley – Department of Recreation
- Patricia Shepherd – Department of Transportation
- Greg Ossont – Department of General Services
- Hamid Omidvar – Department of General Services
- Greg Wims – Upcounty Regional Center
- Claudia Rousseau – Montgomery College
- Melissa Williams – Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission
- Nick Holdzcom – Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission
- Patricia McManus – Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission – Parks
- Seth Fariano – Montgomery County Public Schools
- Shelly Williams – City of Gaithersburg
- Betty Wisda – City of Rockville