Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille Friday announced prominent Philadelphia arts consultant Diane Dalto Woosnam will manage the public art project for the new family court building at 15th and Arch streets.
Dalto Woosnam accepted the appointment on February 20.
She will be joined by a committee of well-known members of Philadelphia’s art community to determine what artwork is suitable for a space filled with children and adults, many of whom are facing difficult situations.
“Diane Dalto Woosnam’s credentials and reputation speak for themselves, so her assistance in obtaining and placing public art in our new family court building will be extremely valuable,” Chief Justice Castille said. “To this point she has been helping us informally. Now her role is more clearly defined; she has a budget and has assembled a team of experts to help purchase and place artwork in a building where sad and tragic is the norm. This team’s efforts to make family court a more pleasant place for everyone will be welcome.”
“I am excited to be part of a project that will bring public art to the new family court building,” Dalto Woosnam said. “Our hope is to inspire and provide a welcoming environment for those who come through the doors of the courthouse - many of them families under great stress.
“Having worked with the chief justice since last fall exploring art options for the family court building, I am pleased that we are now to the point where a formal process is both timely and appropriate. During the process we will strive to balance budgetary constraints that come with all public projects with sound aesthetic decisions.”
Dalto Woosnam began informally working with a team from the Philadelphia courts in October 2013 to determine if it would be feasible to secure donated or loaned artwork on a long-term basis for the new building. At that time the budget was in flux, and she researched and reported that the plan for donated or loaned artwork was not feasible.
In early February the chief justice again approached Dalto Woosnam and suggested formalizing her role as the head of a committee that would both review options and search for art for the new building.
The three committee members have started meeting with family court judges for recommendations on spaces for artwork and will recommend appropriate works for those spaces.
“Public art is a long-term investment for the benefit of all visitors to family court,” Chief Justice Castille said.
Dalto Woosnam is the former director of the Philadelphia Office of Arts & Culture, which oversees the City Percent for Art program. She is widely credited with being a driving force behind the Avenue of the Arts development project. She also served as chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She serves on the boards of Arden Theatre Co., the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, Artspace, Inc. (MN), Indiana University Art Museum (IN), Lycoming College and the Director's Council of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology.
She serves on advisory committees for the Pennsylvania Ballet, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Mural Arts Program and the University of the Arts.
She is an Eisenhower Fellow and a Fellow of the Philadelphia College of Physicians. She is an outspoken advocate for the arts in the greater Philadelphia region.
Members of the public art project committee include:
— Allan Edmunds – is founder and executive director of the Brandywine Workshop. Edmunds, an educator for 28 years, has served on the Public Art Committee of the Redevelopment Authority, the state and federal governments and on artist fellowship panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and five states.
— Marsha Moss – is a public art curator and consultant, director of Sculpture Outdoors and founder/director of the Artfront Partnership. Moss has consulted on public art for the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, SEPTA Art in Transit Program and the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center among others.— Lee Stoetzel – is director of the West Collection in Oaks, PA. Stoetzel has assisted in the acquisition of 3,000 works of art by 700 emerging artists and helped develop programs at SEI Investment Company including a youth mentorship program, educational outreach to public schools and an international acquisition open call.