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City council discusses art donation policy

A Lloydminster man is hoping to see more pieces of art displayed in city facilities and in other parts of the city.

Local artist Mick Classen presented a rough framework of an art donation policy to council which he hopes will be a starting point for an official one. Classen met with Mayor Gerald Aalbers and City Manager Dion Pollard earlier in the year to discuss donating pieces to the city and the group decided a policy was needed before accepting any artworks.

The framework outlined some recommendations including having setting up a committee with representatives from the art community, the city and educational institutions to evaluate the artworks. They would consider the artistic merit of the piece and ensure it was safe to place in the community, meaning it was not overly graphic or did not represent any kinds of discrimination.

Councillor Jason Whiting thanks Classen for his drive, but says the city will need to dive deeper on other factors such as looking at piece longevity, safety and the city’s liabilities.

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“I think it brought to light some of the things we could have in place to allow for future donations when they come up or when we do need or want a piece of artwork or sculpture out in the public what do we need before accepting them.”

Classen hoped a policy could be made by February 2021, but Aalbers says the timeline is a challenge as the department needed to oversee the creation of the policy has their hands full at the moment.

Executive Director of Operations Don Stang notes city staff are currently preparing items at the Lloydminster Cultural and Science Centre for the move to their new location as well as decommissioning the Imhoff Art Collection. The Director for Culture and Recreation is also busy allocating city resources through the ever-changing situation surrounding COVID-19.

“Our city administration has looked at and has been working on it, but the LCSC has occupied a great deal of time for our team,” Aalbers says. “They’re going to be there for a little bit longer, but we’ll ensure administration gets to it. It’s just a matter of when.”

He adds city administration will look at policies in other cities and surrounding municipalities to help build their own.

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