West Columbia asks for public input to transform ‘dumpster disaster’

A community enhancement project in West Columbia will require public input to get it to the finish line.

The West Columbia Beautification Foundation and city of West Columbia received a $25,000 Connected Communities Grant from the Central Carolina Community Foundation, and members want to use funds to beautify State and Meeting streets.

Public art imagined and created by locals will be added to the State Street scene. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Public art imagined and created by locals will be added to the State Street scene. (photo by Rachel Ham)

Foundation members specifically want to transform “a dumpster disaster into a community-designed interactive public art garden,” said Deputy City Administrator Brian Carter. The project will be in public parking area next to the 100 block of State Street and will form “Art On State.”

“(Art On State is) rooted in the idea that expression fosters community and engagement,” Carter said.

The overgrown area is highly visible to people shopping, dining or visiting the Riverwalk. Foundation members plan to erect a screened fence to hide the dumpsters while still allowing access for sanitation workers.

Residents are invited to submit their concepts and ideas for the art space. City officials will accept submission from the community, State Street business owners and the West Columbia Beautification Foundation before selecting an exhibit for Art On State

Anyone who has a viable idea and the ability to fabricate and install the public art may submit an application. Applications must be received before 5 p.m. Sept. 23.

A public meeting will be held Oct. 5 to review and discuss the submissions.  After officials review public input on the submissions, finalists will be presented to the West Columbia Beautification Foundation during its October meeting with the winning project presented to West Columbia City Council for approval in October.

Projects will be evaluated based on artistic merit and quality, intentionality of the artist, local significance, safety and durability, unrestricted public viewing and installation and maintenance of the work. More information and about the Art On State project and project applications can be found at www.westcolumbiasc.gov.

The West Columbia Beautification Foundation has another project in the works that people can participate in if they prefer.

Members are working to purchase enough trees to line the streets in the high-traffic areas of the city. People can purchase a tree from the registry for $200.

Donors who purchase a tree are invited to the “Tribute for Trees” Aug. 27 at City Hall from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. for music, food and drinks.

All donations are tax deductible. Businesses interested in sponsoring the event can call Carter at (803) 791-1880, ext. 601.

Categories: Lexington County