Cuyahoga Falls City Council approves mayor's choices for public art board

Five appointments made; two more on the way

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Kelli Crawford-Smith, director of Director of Neighborhood Excellence, Communications, and Community Outreach for the city of Cuyahoga Falls, discusses the plans for more public art. This painting, which depicts the Cuyahoga River fire of 1969, was created by Bolich Middle School 8th grade students enrolled in the Explorations in Art program, is displayed at City Hall. City Council late last month approved the mayor's appointments to the city's first public art board

CUYAHOGA FALLS — City Council recently approved the mayor's selections for the newly formed public art board in conjunction with a public art initiative.

Council on Sept. 28 unanimously backed Mayor Don Walters' appointments of C. Arthur Croyle, Tom Sullivan, Danielle Dieterich, Molly Hartong and Rick Krochka.

"This is exciting tonight because this is our first art board that will be installed," said Walters. "I think they'll do a phenomenal job."

To set a pattern of term staggering, Croyle and Hartong will serve two-year terms, while Sullivan, Dieterich and Krochka will serve five-year terms. After that, each term on the board will have a six-year duration.

"It's an excellent choice of people," said Council President Mike Brillhart (D-5).

Council member Russ Balthis (D-At Large) added it was "so great to have people step up" to give guidance on public art in the city.

CIty spokesperson Kelli Crawford-Smith said two more appointments will be made to the public art board, one by council and one by either the Design & Historic Review Board or the planning commission. She said those selections are anticipated to happen by the end of the month.

Council in December 2019 approved a public art master plan, which laid out a vision for installing public art throughout the city.

The city used a $50,000 Community Development Block Grant to pay consultant Todd Bressi to develop the plan.

Council in July approved the creation of a public art board. The planning commission in May and council in July approved text amendments to the development code that will help facilitate installation of public art. Crawford-Smith said some of the revisions were regulations for murals, as well as allowances for public art in both new developments and public rights of way. Definitions for art work, artist, public art and mural were also implemented into the development code.

Planning Director Fred Guerra said other code changes backed by council included allowing public art to be installed on the medians of streets such as Broad Boulevard, and allowing art to be incorporated into fencing.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.