James Martin, an independent consultant and curator, writer and educator, has been hired by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, to serve as its public art administrator. The position has been vacant since April 2018.
Martin's appointment fills a crucial need, coming just as questions and tensions mount over the most expensive public art project in the city's history: a new $1.5 billion single terminal project at Kansas City International Airport budgets $5.6 million for art as part of the city's longstanding One Percent for Art program.
More than a handful of public art projects are also in the pipeline.
"Kansas City has had such a long commitment to public art," Martin told KCUR. "You know, we've had a great run, and I'm just thrilled to be able to continue that tradition and contribute my part."