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Designer Selected for PSAD Interactive Art Park
By WestKyStar & PSAD Staff
PADUCAH - West Kentucky Community and Technical College's interactive art park for its Paducah School of Art and Design (PSAD) moves to the next step with the recent selection of the artist who will design the park.

Landscape architect Jessica Canfield of Manhattan, Kansas, was selected from three finalists' presentations to create the art park to be located on PSAD's campus fronting Martin Luther King Boulevard in downtown Paducah.

Canfield's selection, through a national Request for Qualifications (RFQ), came after extensive consideration on the project, including community input from listening sessions held at the PSAD in April 2019.

The sessions helped steer the development of the interactive art park by guiding the artists' proposals to ensure each reflected the community's culture, history and vision for a regional amenity that continues the focus of establishing Paducah as an arts and cultural community and destination.

"Among other factors driving the selection of Jessica's design was a greater use of landscape materials serving to address the need for shaded areas and privacy for the neighboring property," said Paul Aho, PSAD director. "Her design, titled "The Community Canvas," also includes a sequence of arched mirrored elements through which visitors may walk and experience what I suspect will be a cinema-like effect of reflective surfaces and open landscape between. Further activating this sculptural element is a mixture of LED lighting to create a highly visible landmark at night and a sparkling spatial display showcased during the daytime."

Canfield was selected by a committee representing WKCTC, the City of Paducah, community members, regional artists, construction project managers, the Paducah Junior College Board of Trustees and WKCTC Board of Directors. This group also interacted with the artists to communicate the vision of the interactive art park, ensuring the proposals would be relevant and meaningful to the region and the park's users.

A graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Design, Canfield is a design professional with extensive work experience who has received a plethora of design awards for her work. Her designs focus on improving the social dimensions and environmental performance of urban public spaces. She also serves as an associate professor of landscape architecture at Kansas State University.

Canfield said as part of her philosophy, "As designers/landscape architects it is our passion and joy to create places that help shape memories, enrich people's lives, and contribute to an improved environment."

David Heflin, WKCTC vice president of academic affairs, said this philosophy fits the idea of the interactive art park perfectly.
"Jessica's design for the interactive art park is inspiring," Heflin said, "and reflects a true understanding of what our community is hoping to achieve with this project."

The art park design competition was funded through an Our Town Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and is being matched through funds from Paducah Junior College, Inc. (PJC), the foundation that supports WKCTC. This is the second Our Town grant awarded to institutions in Paducah in as many years, and funding for the design process for the project was awarded to WKCTC in partnership with the City of Paducah.

Submissions of qualifications for the proposals were received from across the county and represented many artists and artist teams with extensive experience, as well as those seeking to build upon their work in the realm of public art. In addition to Canfield's winning proposal, the other finalist proposals were submitted by Matthew Geller of New York and Blessing Hancock of Tucson.

WKCTC's Paducah School of Art and Design offers an associate in fine arts degree in visual art, an associate in applied science degree, and certificate programs in visual communication: multimedia, as well as studio art classes for students of all levels and disciplines. Classes are offered on WKCTC's campus, at 905 Harrison Street, and at 919 Madison Street.

For more information about PSAD, call 270-534.3901.

Published 08:25 PM, Saturday Jun. 22, 2019
Updated 08:25 PM, Saturday Jun. 22, 2019

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