Public Arts Commission
- 5 p.m., 2nd Tuesday of every month
- Fife City Hall
5411 23rd Street E
Fife, WA 98424
- Puyallup Meeting Room
Please email the Arts Commission to confirm meeting schedules or to ask any questions.
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
- Marshall Kalerak, Business Community Member
- Mizu Sugimura, Resident
- Please note: several additional seats are open at this time.
The Fife Public Art Program was established in 2011 as a visible way to enhance the quality of life for our residents and support tourism and economic vitality. The City of Fife recognizes that support for artists and arts organizations, development and stewardship of public art, arts education, and cultural development are public necessities and essential for the continuing growth and development of Fife’s citizens, economy, and quality of life.
Read the ordinance passed by the Fife City Council establishing the Fife Public Arts Commission at this link.
The mission of the Fife Public Arts Commission (FPAC) is to identify and actively encourage the development and sustainability of the arts in the City by serving as the City’s primary resource in matters of public art and culture.
CONNECTING WITH ART: GET TO KNOW ARTS COMMMISSIONER MIZU SUGIMURA
Mizu Sugimura has always believed art is an important connection that unites a community, its creativity and imagination. “I’m a visual artist. I like ideas. I’m particularly interested in how art helps us look at our world,” said Sugimura.
Sugimura is a third-generation American of Japanese descent and an artist with an interest in paper collage, painting, printmaking and fabric arts. Her artwork has appeared across the state and abroad, in juried shows and private collections. Her art explores the intersection of personal, family and community issues and how they intersect with history and individuals today. Sugimura has worked as a teaching artist with children and adults at diverse venues such as the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma and Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum.
“When I moved to Fife 10 years ago, I wanted to connect with my new community. I didn’t know anyone in town,” she said. “When I read an article in the local newspaper that the City of Fife was recruiting qualified applicants to join something called the Fife Public Arts Commission, I was curious and applied.”
Created by ordinance in 2011, the Fife Public Arts Commission provided Sugimura with an entry point to help her learn about the long-standing ties and binding connections in Fife. Sugimura was appointed to be among the first group of commissioners, who were charged with advising the Fife City Council on matters related to public art, to champion art in public spaces, to encourage visitors to Fife and support local artists.
“It’s been great to see the commission built from the ground floor.” she said. “I love the way art can speak to us as a city.” She served two consecutive terms on the commission, took a few years off and returned in late 2019 for a third term.
In the early years, the commission undertook a lofty mission: To select, acquire and position artwork in public places throughout the city. Ten years later, visitors and residents alike can view those pieces, such as “The Throne,” a sculpture at Fountain Memorial Park by Nicky Faklenhayn and “Wheels of Progress,” a recycled metal sculpture by Eric Holdener, at the outside entrance to the Fife History Museum in Dacca Park. Fun fact: Holdener’s grandfather farmed in Fife for many years.
Today’s Fife Public Arts Commissioners are working to create a care plan for the city’s public art pieces, which are beginning to show their age. Commissioners are in the final stages of awarding a contract to wrap two utility boxes with special covers designed by local artists that reflect the city’s shared culture and history.
Sugimura has a request: Come join or network with us. Several open seats are ready to be filled by new commissioners. Or, simply attend a meeting, contribute an idea for an art project or discuss a future collaboration. “Whether you are a new arrival to the city, a long-term resident, from another part of the country or another culture, sharing a desire to make the city a stronger community over the arts is informative and bonding,” Sugimura said. Want to join the commission? Click here to apply!
HAVE YOU SEEN THE CITY'S NEWEST PUBLIC ART PIECES?
The Fife Public Arts Commission has a legacy of championing art in public spaces and the commission’s latest project is about as visible as it gets in Fife. The city’s two newest art pieces - art-wrapped utility boxes - are located along the city’s busiest corridors at the corner of Valley Avenue East and 54th Avenue East and Pacific Highway East and Willow Road East.
Last year, Fife Public Arts Commission members asked local artists to submit designs to wrap those two utility boxes. The commission selected the artwork from more than a dozen artist submissions. The wraps were installed in May 2021 when the weather was above safe temperatures for applying the artwork.
The wraps carry the themes of Fife’s history and Fife’s legacy as a center for industry and transportation. The wrap at 54th Avenue East and Valley Avenue East features vivid origami shapes, a nod to Fife’s history as a magnet for Japanese immigrants. The artist is Camilla Prosser.
The theme of the wrap installed at the corner of Pacific Highway East and Willow Road East is a car-themed motif by artist Carolyn Burt. Be sure to drive by and take a look! Arts Commissioners Mizu Sugimura and Marshall Kalerak are eager to get started on the next call for artists for wrapping additional city-owned utility boxes. Want to help champion public art in Fife? Open seats are now available on the arts commission. Joining is as easy as filling out an application here!
NEW CALL FOR ARTISTS
The Fife Public Arts Commission invites local artists of all ages to submit artwork for the commission's next phase of the utility box art wrap project. Submissions will be accepted through Dec. 31, 2021. Click here for details for submitting your artwork for consideration by the Fife Public Arts Commission.