Creative County Initiative - Public Art Application
The Switch Rideable Artscape
The Switch Rideable ArtScape
AWARDED! AUGUST 2018
Please describe the project that will be funded through this grant. Please be specific in describing the project components: who will be doing what activity; where will the activities take place; what will be visible and where; what are dimensions and materials of key project elements; how can participants interact with the project? If the project is a phased project, please describe the anticipated phases and identify which phase(s) this grant would support.
The Switch Rideable ArtScape is proposed as a permanent mixed-media sculpted hardscape, made of
poured concrete, sculpted metal, and organic materials, to be installed at Bialek Park near its frontage on
Linebrook Road, a highly visible location in the town center. The 8,000 sq. ft. hardscape will serve as public
performance platform, an outdoor art studio and gallery, and a rideable concrete canvas for boarders and
skaters of all ages and abilities.
Above ground, vertical elements will present: some will see a stage and seating, others a form in which to
move. The art-scape will provide surface for murals and mosaics, while pedestals will host sculptures on a rotating basis, or provide platform for Spoken Word.
At night, solar-powered, low-voltage LED lights will wash concrete surfaces with color, reflecting sunset.
The project will be developed by our partners in three phases, each involving the construction of about
one-third of the 8,000 square foot hardscape, as shown on Sheet 4, "Park Conceptual Plans." The requested funds from ECCF will support the material components for Phase I of The Switch, and, if funds remain, for Phase II. The plan is to grow The Switch organically, as funds permit. Phase one will sow the seed, set the standard, issue the challenge and the creatives will respond, with music and movement and memes, telling stories in shape and color, with humor and laughter, forming friendships, becoming community. The Switch is a formal embrace of a longstanding DIY skatepark at the back of Bialek, where young people have shaped constructs for movement from a multitude of materials. Boarders calculate momentum and trajectory, perfecting balance, grace and style, while musicians play and painters paint. The Switch will harness this creative expression, providing center stage.
Note about name: "The Switch" is a triple-entendré in that it:
(2) is a nickname for Ipswich; and
(3) in skateboard slang, means riding backwards.
Project Goals and Anticipated Outcomes*
Please describe the goals of this project and the specific plan for achieving these goals. What are the anticipated outcomes? What will have changed once the project is complete? How could this project impact the quality of life of Essex County artists, designers, residents and visitors?
The goal of The Switch is to create a center for creative expression, while transforming a cohort of 20
something entrepreneurs into engaged, empowered civic contributors. We expect The Switch will appeal
across cultural divides, drawing residents, visitors, artists, athletes, performers and spectators from across Essex County.
Our design/build process will be straight-up old-school mentoring, passing skills from one to the next,
young and old working side-by-side in common cause, building community, growing competency, providing all with a well-deserved dose of pride.
Beyond the build, the spirit of the project is to provide a platform, setting a standard of excellence against
which one can aspire. Good natured camaraderie will prod participants toward their highest and best
We aim to arc three arrows into time: PERSISTENT, IMMEDIATE and IMMORTAL.
PERSISTENT: The Switch installation will be enduring, reliable, fixed, stayed; a concrete canvas
established to challenge and incite creativity, whose life cycle may be more fleeting, ephemeral. Elements will come and go: sculpture, murals, mosaics may persist for a year or more while chalk works will last but a day or two. We'll be ‘switching-it-up in ol'Ipswich", providing fresh canvas where we can create and recreate!
ECCF Creative County funding will allow us to build this tool, phase one; then, together, we will venture
into the ever-present now.
IMMEDIATE: Where things happen, movement, music… The Switch will be a living thing, animated by
those who engage.
IMMORTAL: Yes, we will immortalize the magic, because we can. Digital devices in our pockets empower
the artist in all to capture, interpret and share. Use of hashtag: #SwitchGallery will auto-curate a
virtual/digital showcase for collateral creativity sparked by the construct across social media platforms;
Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, ect...
Those who dance are considered insane by those who can’t hear the music ~ Nietzsche
What needs of the community will have been met through this project?
What communities, community groups, and individuals will be served by this project and what impact will the project have on those specific groups?
How do you plan to include new and diverse communities in your project?
A rideable hardscape has long been identified as an unmet social, cultural, and recreational need in
Ipswich and Essex County at large. (IHS Student Survey '15, Bialek Park Survey '17) The Switch will meet this need, as well as adding to an emerging portfolio of sculpted works in Ipswich; as an in-town echo to The Trustees (TTOR) recent installation of “Tunnel Teller” at Castle Hill, and a complement to a Chris Williams sculpture, "High Spirits", recently installed on the Town's North Green.
Besides geographic communities served, The Switch will provide a canvas for a kaleidoscope of cultural
communities, among them thespians, poets, dancers and musicians, who will recognize the construct as
performance platform, and painters and sculptors who will see an outdoor gallery. Parkour enthusiasts will
join boarders, bikes and trikes, alongside inline skaters & scooters. Very Venn.
Novelty seekers will come; we expect many will return again and again.
Numbers Served? Möbius Loop ∞
If your project would benefit from a consultant (public art, creative placemaking, other) to succeed, please identify the type of consultant(s) required and your expectations for their work.
We will engage 3 consultants in the development of The Switch Rideable Artscape:
Tom DuPere, foreman Artisan SkateParks LLC, also sculptor and painter.
2) Daniel Bates, architect @ The Bates Design Collaboration, whose skills include photography,
cartography, 3D digital design, and archiving.
3) Barbara Monahan, an organic landscape designer and member of the Town's Public Art and Shade and Beautification Committees.
- Tom Dupree will serve both as advisor to the design process and as the construction supervisor.
- Dan Bates will document and map ideas, as well as archive process.
Barbara Monahan will advise when and where living materials are integrated into design.
All of these services will be provided pro bono.
We love to pay the creatives but in this case, professionals are ready, willing & able to donate time, talent
& craftsmanship, virtually doubling dollars donated. Goodwill, vision, dedication; in these we are rich, what we need are truckloads of concrete, rebar & fill.
How will you know that the project has succeeded?
What are your measurements for success?
What will have changed as a result of the project?
Increased vitality at Bialek Park will be our measure of success. Given the high visibility of the location it
will be plain to see.
In recent years Bialek Park has suffered from changing use patterns, inadequate investment and neglect.
We anticipate that The Switch will help reverse the park’s decline. Despite the down-turn Bialek playground and athletic fields are well utilized. The Switch will invigorate a neglected area while welcoming center stage a disenfranchised and at-risk sector of the population!
Further, we hope that the aesthetic standard set by The Switch will inform future park development
plans; that beauty and grace will carry as much sway as safety and maintenance considerations.
#TheSwitch online virtual gallery will serve as a success metric while chronicling the various visual
epochs as they come and go. Use of hashtag "#SwitchGallery" will be encouraged across platforms allowing virtual galleries to curate themselves on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and FaceBook.
Please provide a project timeline including planning, design, implementation, and evaluation.
Phase One Project Timeline:
- Engineer and install in-ground storm-water drainage
- Plan community outreach/engagement strategy
- Initiate community engagement/design sessions
- Solicit/commission first rotation of art works
- Continue Phase I fundraising by reaching out to civic/institutional/business sponsors
- Design the form, sculptural elements, and lighting components of The Switch
- Estimate and prioritize various components for Phase I inclusion
- Finalize budget and scope of Phase I
- Build, Pour, Install!
- If funds remain from CCI grant, build and pour for Phase II hardscape component
- Grand Opening The Switch Rideable ArtScape
- Digital Debut of the #SwitchGallery for public contribution and enjoyment
- Program and Promote.
- Continue Fundraising for next phase
- Submit Assessment Outcomes to ECCF (With HUGE Thanks!)
Winter 2019 & New Year 2020
No Looking Back
Please describe how your project will be sustained over time. Who/what entity will assume responsibility for ownership, maintenance, and liability? How will a sustainment plan be managed and funded?
The Town of Ipswich, municipal partner, fiscal agent and the owner of Bialek Park, site location, will
insure and maintain the Rideable ArtScape under the care, custody and control of Cemetery & Parks.
The Recreation & Culture Department will program and promote happenings, as well as operate, curate
and promote The virtual #SwitchGallery across digital platforms.
The Switch Board will continue to fundraise and organize work parties to install new elements and curate
works-of-art to be displayed on a revolving basis.
Ipswich has a motto, “Bridging History,” it speaks of the Town's intent to bridge between past and
present, residents and tourists, young and old.
TheSwitch Ridable Artscape is a contemporary bridge across time, between generations, a bridge out of
the ordinary and into the extraordinary.
The Switch, as story, will go down in our community anthology as a try-umph!
History is in-the-making here in Essex County!
Revolution comes round and around again.
Please provide the name, address, and tax status of each participating nonprofit, municipal/public, and
business/corporate partner to the project.
Lead Arts Non-profit:
Thaddeus (TJ) Sadowski, President
Sculpture In Open Spaces (501c3)
6 Birch Lane
Ipswich, MA 01938
Municipal Partner & Fiscal Agent:
Kerrie Bates, Director of Recreation & Culture, Town Liaison
Town of Ipswich (Municipal Non-Profit)
25 Greet Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
Alex Pechillis and Luke Butler, co-owners
Full Circle Independent Builders LLC
15 Newmarch Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
Phil Todisco Glass, Sole Proprietor (SP)
35 Newmarch Street
Ipswich, MA 01938
The Switch Board: The 11 member Board of Directors coalesced in order to manifest The Switch.
(Backstory told, graphic-novel-style in attached document.)
In addition to Partners & Consultants listed above, Directors include:
- Steph Lavita, of The New England Federation For Female Boarders
- Nate Newton: strategist, fundraiser, music promoter and member of the Bialek Park Planning
- Emily Getchell, Arts educator, muralist, and project muse.
Role of each project partner*
Please describe how each project partner will participate in the planning, design, funding, and/or implementation of the project.
Sculpture in Open Spaces, TJ Sadowski; Design/Build, Sculptor
Town of Ipswich: will support project in a variety of ways, including in-kind construction services and
Full Circle Independent Builders LLC, Co-owners Alex Pechillis & Luke Butler; Design/Build
Phil Todisco Glass, Phil Todisco; Design/Build, Mosaic Artist
Kerrie Bates & Emily Getchell; Grant Writing & Fundraising
All of the services provided by project partners will be donated.
Project design will result from process, public input synthesized into form by the experienced
SwitchBoard & our expert consultant team.
We are a hands-on, all-in, hardworking group, with a shared vision.
The project is attracting makers, who take pride in our work & share an old-world commitment to
Our aspiration is joyful & generous, akin to The Creative County Initiative that sparked us into becoming.
This board is ready, willing & able to give.