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Roundabout cows get nod


Of the Keizertimes

A proposal to put recycled metal cow sculptures in the roundabout at Chemawa Road Northeast and Verda Lane Northeast received tentative approval at a Keizer Public Arts Committee KPAC meeting in December.

Members of the committee addressed the proposal for a second time on Dec. 20.

A few months ago, KPAC members approached Keizer artist Ric Smith with a request to work up a proposal for sculptures of cows to be placed in the roundabout and he turned in a bid calling for $2,000 in materials and supplies and $7,500 in labor, but he would donate half of the latter amount to the project for a total cost of $5,750. That amount is more than the Arts Commission has on-hand – about $530 that has to last through June 2017 – so fundraising would be required.

Smith is the artist behind the Iron Glory flag in front of Copper Creek Mercantile and he also donated sign work to the Big Toy at Keizer Rapids Park last year.

Members of KPAC initially balked at the idea of cows in the roundabout out of fear of rubbing salt in a wound opened when the cow pasture southwest of the intersection was rezoned to make way for apartments. However, a Keizertimes poll saw the cow idea stampede to the top of short list of alternatives.

Lore Christopher, Keizer’s former mayor and a member of KPAC, said there’s potential for securing a grant from a local business with some modification to the plans.

“The grant is contingent on there being a public education piece, so I am planning on meeting with Ric to find out if there is a way for us to invite schools for field trips to his studio and make kids part of the design process,” Christopher said.

A day after the meeting, Christopher said her talk with Smith went well, but any immediate progress would likely hinge on obtaining a grant.