By Janee Law
Huntington officials have selected the artist for a public art project at the future home of Sweet Hollow Park in Melville.
The town board approved a resolution on Nov. 5authorizing Supervisor Frank Petrone to execute an agreement with Suzanne Lee, of Portland, Oregon, to design, fabricate and install the $75,000-$85,000 project at an 8-acre municipal park at the intersection of intersection of Round Swamp and Old Country roads in Melville, which is set to be constructed next spring and include a multi-ability playground, tennis courts, bocce courts, game tables, covered areas, a path for walking, running and bicycling, benches and picnic tables.
The art project will be paid through the town’s Environmental Open Space and Parks Improvement fund, $20,000 of which is in the 2015 capital budget.
Beatrice Colon of New York City was selected as the backup artist.
Lee was chosen by a panel that reviewed 13 submissions. The panel was chaired by Bob Carter and included the chair of the Public Art Advisory Committee, Janine Seifert, committee member Michelle Peppers and the town’s Open Space Coordinator Margo Miles. Also in the panel were four community representatives: Alyssa Taff, David Kaston, Ellen Einhorn and Michael Petruzelli.
“We’re trying to get a combination of the whole history [of the property], going back in time,” said Taff, president of the Civic Association of Sweet Hollow Inc, who was on the panel. This includes the history of Native Americans, colonial settlers and Hindu residents.
“[Lee’s] talents were such that she could tell the story a little better through her artwork,” said Taff, adding that the panel liked the design of Lee’s work, which was more definitive and more expressive.
Working primarily in metal and glass, Lee makes public art and does a lot of laser-cut metal.
“It’s a product that’s hard and permanent but it looks lacey and vulnerable,” she said. Since the park itself is not yet built, Lee said she hasn’t seen any plans for the project and won’t know until she visits the site.
“What we’re excited about is that this park will be multigenerational,” Taff said. “What’s planned for it is things for all ages and it should be a beautiful resource for the community. We’re excited to get it going.”