Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Conservation & Maintenance

The acquisition of artwork carries with it the responsibility for and commitment to maintaining the condition in which it was meant to be enjoyed by the public. Conservation for a public agency or arts non-profit requires a team effort of knowledgeable administrators, conservators, and the cooperation of the County. Host agencies are responsible for ordinary maintenance of the artworks, following the protocols established by the artist. The Trust is responsible for capital maintenance and conservation of permanent artworks that have been formally accessioned into the Collection as well as the Works on Paper Collection. These projects are managed by the AHCMC Public Art Trust Manager and a team of conservators led by Howard Wellman.

In 2017, AHCMC prioritized assessing, maintaining, and conserving exterior sculptures in Montgomery County’ public art collection. The following conservation and maintenance processes were completed or initiated: 

Conservation of 4 Public Art Works 

  • The Juggler (1989, Silver Spring) by Marcia Billig - Woodside Urban Park 
  • Wind Harps (1992, Damascus) by Rodney Carroll - Damascus Recreation Park 
  • Starting a New Life (1989, Rockville) by Ken Lonn - Rockville Pre-Release Center 
  • Gateway of Esteem (1985, Kensington) by Lisa Kaslow - Crossway Community Center 

Maintenance/ Treatment of 4 Public Art Works 

  • Cousins (2007, Silver Spring) by Tom Block - Kennett St. Garage 
  • Bear and Club (1988, White Oak) by Azriel Arwet - MLK Recreational Park. 
  • Plunge (1992, Poolesville) by Azriel Arwet - Western County Swim Center 
  • The Lion (1989, Silver Spring) by Marcia Billig - Silver Spring Library. 

Condition Assessments of 6 Public Art Works

  • Animals of Forest Glen (2006, Silver Spring) by Raya Bodnarchuck - Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge 
  • Long Branch Village Project (2007, Silver Spring) by Byron G. Peck - Long Branch Community Center. 
  • Inner Light (1987, Sandy Spring) by Marcia Billig - Sandy Spring Museum 
  • The Commuter (1989, Wheaton) by Marcia Billig - Wheaton Metro Center. 
  • Made in the Shade (1989, Rockville) by Ann LaRose - Lake Needwood Visitors Center 
  • Bus Shelter Panels, (2003, Germantown) by Nikolai Pakhomov - Germantown Transit Ctr.

In general, conservation estimates range from $2,500 to $41,270. Following conservation, artworks should be regularly maintained, at least on a three year cycle, at an average cost of $1,000. Ideally one third of the 350 County-owned artworks should be maintained each year. 

To learn more about past conservation activities, check out the following articles:

 To report public art in need of conservation or maintenance, please email amina.cooper@creativemoco.com

 


 

Maintaining Montgomery County’s public art is an important responsibility of AHCMC. Each work of art is an investment. AHCMC’s maintenance program helps to protect the art and preserve it for the public’s enjoyment for years to come.

In response to concerns from the staff of the Montgomery County Department of Recreation, AHCMC undertook repair and restoration of “Inspiration,” a mixed media sculpture by artist Deirdre Saunder installed in 2005 at the Marilyn J. Praisner Community Recreation Center in Burtonsville. The maintenance fund used $3,800 for this project. Before and after photos, taken by the project’s installation craftsman Peter Tabri, are shown below.

Through collaboration among AHCMC, the Wheaton Redevelopment Program, the County Department of General Services, the County Department of Recreation, and the staff of Arts on the Block, a mosaic mural created by apprentice artists at Arts on the Block in 2007 has been preserved and relocated. The mural was moved from the front of the former site of the Gilchrist Center in Wheaton, and reinstalled on the wall of the Wheaton Pedestrian Pathway that connects Georgia Avenue with the shops and parking lot on Triangle Lane (see photo). The relocation of the mural means that “a beautiful piece of public art will be preserved for the Wheaton community’s continued enjoyment and appreciation,” according to Gregory Baker, Chair of the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory Committee. The maintenance fund for public art contributed $4,000 for this project.

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