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Arts Center still seeking ideas on Art Park design

Graphic by Karla Patch-Anderson / The Sun Arts Center Director Taylor Barnes provided the above images as some examples of inspiration for the Art Park’s new design. Some ideas for the park have been found online or from North Dakota State University architecture students, but many ideas have come from Jamestown community members.

The Jamestown Arts Center is still taking ideas for enhancing the Art Park.

With a $20,000 grant from Minneapolis-based Arts Midwest, the Arts Center is planning the project with the input of community members, engineering and design experts, and others, said Taylor Barnes, director of the Arts Center.

0 Talk about it

There have been several community meetings where people voiced thoughts on how the park could be renovated and how the space could be utilized, Barnes said.

“What we want from the community is program ideas, as well as design ideas,” Barnes said. “Programming interest will drive the design.”

The Arts Center has heard from about 200 community members at these meetings, Barnes said, but she’s still open to more ideas.

Input from many people has overlapped, Barnes said. Some common ideas for the Art Park are festivals, outdoor movies, a fountain and performances.

People also often ask about incorporating the park’s adjacent wall, which is owned by Redplum Media, into the design, and Barnes said she is in conversations with Redplum.

Although there may be some structures built in the park, such as seating or a stage, the park will remain an open, outdoor space.

Barnes said she wants the park to be “a gathering space.”

“(It would be) a space that feels comfortable for a few people or many,” she said.

Barnes said she’d like art elements of the park to incorporate traditional art of the region. For example, blacksmithing could be used for a fence, she said.

“It could show our heritage artistically, and move the community forward,” Barnes said.

People with ideas for the Arts Park can email

The Arts Center also plans on putting up posters around town, which will have space for people to write down their ideas about the park, Barnes said.

In addition to considering the program, community and art features of the park, practical aspects, like safety, are also part of the design plans.

Barnes said that Jamestown Police Chief Scott Edinger advised her to make sure the park had good lighting and clear sight-lines.

Barnes has also talked to engineers and North Dakota State University landscape architecture students for ideas and to discuss the feasibility of potential park design plans.

Conversation on the design ideas will continue through December, and Barnes said she plans on having a design completed by the end of 2013.

She hopes to have the park finished by the end of summer 2015, but that timeline will depend on funding.

The $20,000 grant from Arts Midwest goes toward planning the park, Barnes said. For the remaining cost, the Arts Center will seek foundation funding. Barnes said she’s already working on applying for more grants.

Overall, Barnes said, the Arts Park could boost the development of downtown Jamestown, by providing a community space.

“One of our goals in this process,” she said, “is to kind of illustrate how the arts serve a community in ways.”

Sun reporter Charly Haley can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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