Waupun Sculpture Tour program moving ahead in City Council

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WAUPUN — The Waupun City Council held the first reading of a new ordinance on public art in preparation for the upcoming Waupun Sculpture Tour program.

The ordinance draft was a total of 7 pages and was presented to the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting. This new ordinance will implement licenses and regulations on new public art installations, including sculptures, murals, mosaics, water features, and more.

Included in the ordinance are sections on purpose and intent, definitions, committee and review criteria, location criteria, program criteria, maintenance, applications, and revocation.

The ordinance was previously discussed at the Council Meeting on March 26, which was attended by the program’s local leader Jeni Maly. The City had discussed various regulations on public art placed in the city, as it could impact the property and quality-of-life values in the community. City staff also looked at other cities with similar ordinances, which included creating a public art committee or designating a nonprofit as the matter’s governing board.

“It is important to have an ordinance in place however you want to set the bar of how many positions to go through before approval is up to the council,” Maly said at the March meeting. “I would definitely recommend that it be presented to a public art committee and the council. If we all set criteria we all have a common goal for it will make the selection process easier.”

Alderman Dan Siebers asked Maly how many people are involved with the current nonprofit and how it runs. According to Maly, it is currently made up by herself, Jody Mallas, and Amy Moore, and their official mission statement is “To obtain sculptures and murals for the betterment of Waupun.” 

Mayor Bishop also complemented Maly’s work for the arts in Waupun, and for her work in bringing IceFest to Waupun in February. IceFest brought 50 ice sculptures to all around Waupun.

City Administrator Kathy Schlieve asked for feedback on the ordinance following the March meeting, and presented a completed draft at Tuesday’s meeting. The first reading was passed with the request of further feedback from the Council and the City Attorney. A full copy of the ordinance draft can be found in the agenda packet from the April 9 meeting.

According to Public Work Director Jeff Daane they will be setting up the sculpture pedestals prior to their arrival in June. They will be on public display for one year, where if the program continues Waupun will receive another set next year.

The sculpture tour program was announced last October by Jeni Maly when she brought in an individual involved with a similar program from Eau Claire.

Updated 6:23PM 4/10/24.