Three nationally renowned artists are in the running to create a sculpture in Waunakee, and CODAworx has been instrumental in finding them.
At the Nov. 9 Waunakee Rotary Club meeting, CODAworx co-founder and CEO Toni Sikes talked about the process used to find those three finalists.
The CODA of CODAworx is an acronym for Collaboration of Design and Art. The organization works with artists who do large scale commissions in places such as airports, hotels, plazas, parks and lobbies. Their work typically starts with an architect or developer, or a group of citizens or nonprofits.
CODAworx has a database of 17,000 artists, and they offer resources for those seeking large art installations. It also has images of the artists’ work on their websites for others to see, and does juried arts awards programs.
CODAworx started in 2012 and in 2013 kicked off its first major project in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where a Rotarian was looking for a large sculpture. From that project, CODAworx developed the RFP (request for proposal) toolkit.
“CODAworx works with groups to develop an RFP. Once it’s done, it gets blasted out. Interested artists apply online,”  Sikes said.
For the Waunakee project, 40 artists from all over the United States, including one from Spain, applied. That list was culled down to six and eventually to three. The six artists were interviewed via Skype then visited Waunakee during WaunaFest weekend to get a feel for the community and the people.
Once the finalists are narrowed down to three, they receive a stipend and provide a design for the project.
The Waunakee project, spearheaded by the Waunakee Area Public Arts Committee, is intended to celebrate education and will be located near the Waunakee High School entrance.
Michael Kalish, a Los Angeles artist specializing in large installations using found materials, is one of the finalists for the project. One example shown was a sculpture commissioned by the Mohammed Ali family of the boxer created from 1,300 used punching bags.
Another is Cecilia Lueza, a Florida artist specializing in large, colorful public art projects that have been done in the U.S., Europe and South America.
Gail Simpson and Aris Georgiades comprise the third finalist. That couple live in Wisconsin and teach at UW-Madison. Their works usually involve light.
The three artists now have until Nov. 24 to submit their design. The committee will meet the following week to select the finalist.
The finalist recommendation will go to the Waunakee school board for its decision the Dec. 11 meeting.
So far, the committee spearheading the Waunakee sculpture has raised $55,000 for the $100,000 project.
Other news:
–Emilie Potocki, an outbound exchange student, reported on her experience in Poland.
–A sign-up sheet will soon be circulated for greeters at the Rotary Lights display.
–A sign-up sheet was also circulated for those wishing to contribute cookies for the Santa visit at the Waunakee Village Center.
Guests: Emilie Potocki, guest of the club; Kevin Laffey, Mark Weller and Kathy Bartling, guests of Nick Mischler. Nick’s guests were also Toni Sikes, Sally Kraus, Stefanie O’Keefe and Mark Weller (paid for lunch).
Visiting Rotarians: Jenny Oleson, DeForest.
Birthdays: Nov. 17, Randy Herbrand; Nov. 25, Tyler Knowles.
Anniversaries: Nov. 22, Robert and Merrilee Sachtjen.
Greeters: Nov. 16, James Pingel and Robert Pulvermacher; Nov. 30, Corey Randl and Thomas Roepke.