Arts and Culture

Mayor Greg Fischer on Tuesday announced the names of seven experts and community leaders who will serve on his new Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee.

Originally announced in December, the committee is charged with developing a set of principles for evaluating Louisville’s existing public art and monuments.

The members include Tricia Burke, Carolle Jones Clay, Dr. Dewey Clayton, Ashley Haynes, Dr. Tom Owen, Chris Reitz and Cathy Shannon. Reitz and Shannon will also represent the Commission on Public Art.

Committee members represent a range of disciplines and perspectives, including art, history, community building, business and political science.

The group will work through June on a few different tasks, including: looking at strategies other cities have employed, developing ways to receive public input, gathering and reviewing historical research.

Ultimately, the committee will produce a report that outlines principles which will be used to decide whether to alter, preserve or remove public art and monuments that may be interpreted as honoring bigotry, racism and slavery.

According to a release from the mayor’s office, the committee will produce a set of guidelines that are “comprehensive, rather than specific to current controversies.”

But currently, much of the discussion in Louisville has centered on the John B. Castleman statue in Cherokee Triangle.

Castleman served in the Confederate Army, which has caused many to advocate for the statue’s removal. Others have argued that the monument is an integral part of the neighborhood landscape and cite Castleman’s work with Louisville’s city parks.

After the Castleman statue was vandalized in August, Fischer started a review process of the city’s 400 pieces of public art — the Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee is a direct extension of this review.

The Committee’s first meeting will be from 5-6:30 p.m. Feb. 7 in the auditorium of the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. It is open to the public.

Ashlie Stevens is WFPL's Arts & Culture Reporter.