SLAM art committee announces selection of public artwork for new building

The Percent for Art advisory committee for the new State Library, Archives and Museum building has announced the artists selected to create public artwork as part of the construction project. The three artists who have been selected are Walter Gordinier of Portland, Ore.; Evon Zerbetz of Ketchikan; and Martin Shelton of Bellingham, Wash., formerly of Juneau.


The Percent for Art advisory committee selected the artists through an open call in coordination with the Alaska State Council on the Arts, working in conjunction with ECI Hyer Architects; the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums; and the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities.

Gordinier will create exterior artwork for the SLAM building plaza, a series of large, interior cast glass sculptures for the atrium lobby. Shelton will create a series of nine hand-built benches made from Pacific yew wood, which will be placed on the mezzanine and second floor. And Zerbetz, best known for her printmaking, will create a piece called “We are Written Between the Layers of the Earth,” crafted from glass and wood, to be placed between the reading room and reference room.

Advisory committee member Kes Woodward, a highly regarded Alaskan artist and art historian, said in a release that the selection process was exciting and rewarding.

“I have been a part of more than three dozen Percent for Art selection committees in the four decades since the inception of this program in Alaska, and have never worked with a committee as uniformly excited about a project as this one, or one which worked so closely with the artists who applied and those who were selected,” Woodward said.

“We as a committee feel that the artwork will not only enhance and work with this remarkable facility, but will have a significant, positive impact on the look and feel of the entire downtown Juneau area. This building and its complementary artwork are something the people of Juneau and all Alaskans will be proud to call their own.”

The total planned budget for the development, fabrication and installation of the artwork is about $1,000,000, which is 1 percent of the building construction costs.

Completion date for the SLAM project is the spring of 2016.

Alaska State Council on the Arts oversees the state’s Percent for Art Program, passed into law in 1975.

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