Murals Proposed for Cathedral City Public Library Book Return Box

CATHEDRAL CITY — An estimated $1,800 will be spent to paint murals on the three Cathedral City Public Library Book Return and Media boxes located at the entrance of the library if the City Council approves.

The Public Arts Commission (PAC) is requesting City Council approval to commission Artist Gary High to paint the proposed murals at a combined cost not to exceed $1,800.

The Art in Public Places fund does not come from taxes.  When commercial or industrial development occurs in the city, the developer pays a fee equal to 1 percent of the value of the project. Developers also have the option of placing a piece of art in the city of a value equivalent to what the fee would have been, subject to the approval of the Arts Commission, according to City Manager Charlie McClendon.  Historically, most developers have chosen to pay the fee, instead of purchasing an art piece themselves. That is where the money in the fund has come from.

Residential development does not pay the Art in Public Places fee.

The Cathedral City Public Library campus is both an invaluable community asset and an opportunity to weave art into the fabric of everyday life, Economic Development Director Stone James states in a staff report, “Upon driving into the Library’s west parking lot entrance, visitors are confronted with three large mundane metal drop boxes. While serving an important purpose, these boxes are anything but architecturally appealing,” James writes,

Through the use of murals, local artist Gary High suggested transforming these boxes into interesting artifacts. These artifacts reflect some of the intellectual adventures waiting discovery within the walls of the Library.

Artist High is proposing to charge $600 per box for a total of $1,800. This includes preparing the boxes and coating the boxes with an anti-graffiti protective varnish. During the April 12, 2021 PAC meeting, the PAC voted to recommend this item to the City Council pending the final submission of the artwork.

During the May 10, 2021 PAC meeting, the PAC reviewed Artist High’s final submission and voted to recommend this item to the City Council. The final proposed artwork is attached.

The Art in Public Places fund has an available balance of $151,655.11 which may be used for the acquisition and installation of public art. An expenditure of $1,800 would leave a balance of $149,855.11.

Image Sources

  • Library mural: City of Cathedral City