Sunday, May 19, 2013
PORTLAND — A caribou and a mountain lion may soon take up residence on the Eastern Promenade.
This manipulated photo suggests what sculptures of a caribou and mountain lion would look like on Portland’s Eastern Prom. Public comments on a request to place the artwork will be taken Wednesday.
Frances Buerkens Photography and Marketing
The Friends of the Eastern Promenade is seeking permission from the city to allow a temporary installation for two pieces of art by New York artist Wendy Klemperer, whose work is currently on display at the Portland International Jetport.
The installation would be just down the hill from the parking area along Cutter Street. The sculptures are currently on display at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, according to the Friend's president, Diane Davison.
"The request is that they would be on display -- and available for purchase -- for a one-year period," Davison said in an email. "If approved, the sculptures would most likely arrive at the end of October as they are dismantled from the College of the Atlantic."
Klemperer's work has also been displayed at Maine Audubon and at Maine Botanical Gardens. She uses materials scavenged from scrap yards and construction sites, such as shaped steel and metal rebar rendered from concrete, according to her website.
Last year, Yarmouth resident William Hamill donated several of Klemperer's creations to the Portland Jetport. A porcupine, wolf and several deer now grace the grassy knolls along the access road from Congress Street.
The Friends of Eastern Promenade would cover the insurance cost of the installation on the Eastern Prom and receive a portion of the proceeds from any sale of the art, Davison said.
The park is located in a historic district so the request, which has been endorsed by the city's Parks Division, will go before the city's Historic Preservation Board on Wednesday. Public comment will be taken at the 5 p.m. meeting in room 209 at City Hall.
In a memo to the board, Historic Preservation Program Manager Deborah Andrews said details about the size and scale of the sculptures would be available at the meeting.
Previous placement of monuments on the prom prompted the creation of a master plan, which was adopted in 2004 by the City Council.
"In the absence of a plan, some of these memorials materially impacted the pastoral character of the promenade and some siting solutions were felt to be inappropriate," Andrews wrote in her memo.
The request should be reviewed like any other memorial, she said, since it could set a precedent for future installations, whether temporary or permanent.
"As with memorials, the overarching goal should be to preserve the overall design intent of the Eastern Promenade," Andrews wrote.
Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at: