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Conference Call, Helena, Montana
December 2, 2002

Call to Order

Chairman Jack Lepley called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

Participating Commission Members: Homer Staves, Jack Lepley, Kathy Doeden, Doug Monger, Darrell Martin, Wyman McDonald, Arnie Olsen, Darrell Kipp and Tootie Rasmussen. Commissioners Absent: Betty Stone, Hal Stearns, Betsy Baumgart.

Staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright.

Clint Blackwood stated the purpose for the conference call, which was to discuss the pros and cons of the Legacy Committee’s consideration of an art project in the Senate Chambers in the state Capitol.

Arnie Olsen provided background information on the Legacy Committee’s October 31, 2002, meeting. (Meeting minutes were provided to the Commission prior to this conference call.)


Mr. Olsen reported on contacting Senator Grimes following the October meeting. He said Senator Grimes planned to introduce generic legislation allowing for placement of artwork in the Senate Chambers. This generic bill allows for the Commission to proceed and partner with the Senate on artwork for the Chambers. Senator Grimes also requested the establishment of an advisory committee.


The Commission discussed funding alternatives for the project. Mr. Lepley proposed the sale of 50 smaller limited and numbered editions of the original artwork and estimated the price at $2,500 to $3,000 each, which would raise $125,000 to $150,000. He estimated the cost of the original artwork at $150,000 to $200,000. Mr. Olsen said private donations could also be solicited and suggested making it clear that the project would be privately funded. He said the Senate would also share in the fundraising effort and reported that Senator Grimes was obtaining letters of support from ex-senate members.

Artist Selection

Mr. Olsen suggested utilizing the same process used in selecting the artist who created the Mansfield statue for the Capitol. A short list of artists would be compiled and proposals would be solicited from them. The top three artists would be invited to interview with the Advisory Committee.

Back-Up Locations & Plans

In the event that the Senate chose to not partner with the Commission on the bas relief artwork, Mr. Monger suggested an alternate location in the Old Supreme Court Chambers and Mr. Olsen noted that the west concrete wall of the Society’s building was also open.

Advisory Committee

Mr. Olsen said Senator Grimes requested the establishment of an Advisory Committee, possibly comprised of ex-senators, the Commission’s Legacy Committee, as well as representatives from the Society and Dept. of Administration.

Senator Grimes’ bill draft #835 would be coordinated with a bill draft #717 by Rep. Larry Jent, who is a member of the Capitol Arts Committee. Rep. Jent’s bill deals with guidelines for the placement and naming of artwork in the Capitol. This legislation was necessary for the re-introduction of all artwork into the Capitol following the renovation.

Motion to Proceed

Mr. Staves made a motion to proceed, with the caveat that there would be no capital expense to the Commission. Mr. Monger seconded.

Mr. Blackwood asked for clarification that the stipulation of “no capital expense” referred to both the Commission’s budget and funds raised by the Legacy Campaign. Mr. Staves stated that was his intent, but said this could be revisited later.

Mr. Lepley called for the question and the motion passed on unanimous vote.

Next Steps

Mr. Olsen agreed to contact Senator Grimes and report on the Commission’s motion to proceed and report back to the Legacy Committee.

Commissioners were asked to provide contact information on potential artists to Clint Blackwood. Once an Advisory Committee is named he agreed to pass on the information.



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