LEWISTON — Six new pieces of public art will be installed downtown in 2022, after city officials accepted the proposals last week.

The works by six artists are part of the city’s Choice Neighborhoods initiative in the 12-block Tree Streets neighborhood, where they are destined for vacant lots and community gathering spaces downtown.

The City Council voted unanimously last week to sign off on the proposals, which are considered a diverse mix of sculptures that can provide a sense of place and identity to the neighborhood, as the larger redevelopment effort takes shape.

Each installation has a budget of $35,000, for a total project cost of $210,000. The project was funded by an initial $1 million grant Lewiston received as it was gearing up to apply for the larger $30 million Choice Neighborhoods redevelopment grant.

Artwork titled “Nailed It” done by William Josiah Glover Jr. will be one of six for the Tree Streets neighborhood in downtown Lewiston in 2022. The piece also includes a series of oversized “nails” in the ground that double as seats. Submitted photo

According to Misty Parker, economic development manager, the initial funding was meant to jump-start neighborhood improvements. While delayed due to COVID, the art projects will tie in with the new athletic field and sledding hill at the former Hudson Bus property.

Two of the installations — a large wooden sculpture by artist Jim Creighton and large stone pieces by Jesse Salisbury that invite sitting and climbing — are planned for separate sections of the complex.


Others are recommended for parcels on Pine and Bartlett streets and another in Kennedy Park.

The “Lewiston at Play” artwork series by James Meyer for the Tree Streets neighborhood in Lewiston will feature steel sculptures similar to this one. Submitted photo

A memo from Parker said that while locations are recommended, the final locations are “dependent on environmental review, installation feasibility and site constraints.”

The city’s Public Works Department will approve the methods and materials prior to installation and upon completion, a memorandum of understanding will be created for each piece “to insure an appropriate budget for ongoing maintenance, repair, decommissioning or replacement plans.”

Beckie Conrad, co-chairwoman of the public art working group, which conducted the call for artists, said it’s “gratifying to see the growing support for public art as part of many local community and economic development projects.”

“The Choice Neighborhoods grant commissions in particular support the very purpose of public art to express community values, enhance our environment, transform a landscape, heighten our awareness, or question our assumptions,” she said Monday.

Conrad said downtown residents met with several of the artists who applied and shared what they hoped to see in their neighborhood and that the selection committee was, “grateful that the artists’ proposals responded to the community’s values and ideas.”


A rock sculpture by artist Jesse Salisbury, which invites people to sit or climb, would be placed on a triangle-shaped parcel overlooking the new Hudson Bus athletic fields in Lewiston. It’s one of six artworks planned for the Tree Streets neighborhood. Submitted art

“Adding six major pieces in one year is going to make a tremendous impact in the area to support the goals of the (transformation plan) to use art for wayfinding, to create gateways and to increase pride and stewardship by activating vacant lots,” she said.

The sculptures will be owned by the city and could be moved if needed, which Conrad said could help to, “accommodate infill development, which shows how creativity can work hand in hand with community planning.”

For Lewiston, the installations are just the latest in a string of notable works coming online in the past few years and follows a trend by officials in recognizing art as a potential driver of economic development.

During the same meeting last week, officials approved $2 million toward Museum L-A’s capital campaign toward a $17 million museum at the city’s waterfront.

Art installations like Arlin Graff’s zebra mural, Charlie Hewitt’s “Hopeful” sign, and Andy Rosen’s “Ledgers” next to Baxter Brewing have been added since 2018. Across the river, Auburn has also approved three projects, including one from Hewitt.

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