Marco Arts Advisory Board moving on creating midtown insignia

Roger LaLonde/Staff
Ellen Keery, member of the Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee, studies the palm frond art above the Bald Eagle Drive street sign as the committee discussed creating an insignia that could go on street signs and used for other purposes in the Midtown District. With her are Craig Gruesel, commitee member, right, and Joe Irvin, zoning administrator in the city's Community Affaies Department. He is working with the committee to come up with an insignia that exemplifies the Island.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Roger LaLonde/Staff Ellen Keery, member of the Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee, studies the palm frond art above the Bald Eagle Drive street sign as the committee discussed creating an insignia that could go on street signs and used for other purposes in the Midtown District. With her are Craig Gruesel, commitee member, right, and Joe Irvin, zoning administrator in the city's Community Affaies Department. He is working with the committee to come up with an insignia that exemplifies the Island.

The Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee heard positives on the creation of a Midtown District insignia for street signs, while a not-so-positive discussion was held on the "Architects of Air," a special four-day event to draw people to the Island.

Committee member Nora Joel made a palm frond as a suggestion to place on streets signs, designating the Midtown District. It would set on the top of street signs in the district.

The district covers an area from Rose Marina to Hartley Avenue, along Bald Eagle Drive and from the Esplanade to Rose Court, along Collier Boulevard. In those boundaries are Veterans' Community Park, Town Center Mall, Island Plaza, strip malls, condominiums, restaurants and marinas.

Joe Irvin, zoning administrator in the City's Community Affairs Department, indicated that signage and banners were part of a two-year program. The second phase would be some form of branding on landscaping, gateway signage, benches, even waste receptacles.

There also was some discussion on colors used to set aside separate areas, such as for merchants, recreation and arts. In the end it was determined that it would be better to keep the same design throughout the Midtown District.

Good news was that the City Council has funds in the next budget for the first phase, according to Laura Litzen, city clerk. The Council was having budget meetings on Monday and Tuesday and still in the budget was $26,000 for the project.

Committee Chairwoman Jo-Ann Sanborn continued her hopes for "Architects of Air," but it seems the wind has nearly gone out of the project.

"Architects of Air," a traveling show that has appeared worldwide, consists of luminary sculptures the audience can walk through. Sanborn brought the idea to the committee earlier this year.

The committee has not been able to get enough sponsors to bring the show to Marco Island. Sanborn said there was two sponsors, reportedly at $5,000 each, but another $15,000 was needed. Lee County Electric Cooperative had been contacted, more than once, but has declined, Litzen said.

At one point Litzen said LCEC was offered $4 of the $5 ticket charge.

The Arts Advisory Committee was inclined to set aside the event, however Sanborn urged the committee to stay the course until Sept. 1, the original deadline date to determine if the show could go on. The committee relented, giving the project until its Sept. 12 meeting.

It also tabled action on selecting the new chairman and vice chairman for the committee and consideration of a cultural calendar.

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