Percent for Art: Molly Bowden Neighborhood Policing Center Public Comment

PUBLIC INVITED TO SUBMIT COMMENTS THROUGH JANUARY 10, 2019Columbia Police Department Molly Bowden Neighborhood Policing Center
The Commission on Cultural Affairs and its Standing Committee on Public Art are seeking public input on a site-specific design proposed for artwork at the  opens in a new windowMolly Bowden Neighborhood Policing Center, located on the south side of International Drive in the Auburn Hills Subdivision. The project is being undertaken as part of the city’s Percent for Art Program.

Public input will play an important role the Standing Committee on Public Art’s recommendation to the Commission on Cultural Affairs before being forwarded to the City Council for final approval. Those interested in providing input are encouraged to review the design and leave feedback with the form below. 

Missouri artist Beth Nybeck was selected as the artist finalist for the Molly Bowden Neighborhood Policing Center Percent for Art project. She has spent time getting familiar with the design of the facility, the neighborhood, and has visited with community representatives to understand the space and areas in the building best suited for artwork.

Review the  opens in a new windowfull design proposal hereopens PDF file  (PDF) 



Working Title: Indivisible

Artist Statement:

The Police Force plays a special and specific role within our community. They protect and serve, so that we can maintain life, peace and growth. Much of my art is inspired by the natural world. I found an element within the natural world I consider to be similar in functionality to the police force. It served as my inspiration for this proposal.

The tiger lily seedpod (above), is a structure that forms around the seeds of the tiger lily plant. This protective layer offers the seeds shelter from birds and insects that might eat them. The skeletal structure offers the seeds light and air. The seeds will rot within a tight, confined space without ventilation. Over the winter and spring months, the seedpod gets thinner, until eventually it breaks open spilling the seeds onto the ground. The seeds will find their way into the soil to grow new life. The seedpods aren’t a sure guarantee against nasty storms or the peskiest of birds, but they do their best to ensure some of the seeds sprout into beautiful, bright plants in the spring.

I felt the seedpod was a beautiful metaphor for the role the police force plays within our communities. They do their best to protect our future and allowing life to flourish, while maintaining transparency and dialogue. The seedpod structure is also symbolic of community and family. A network that works together in collaboration to help bring about a stronger and more brilliant future. I’ve created a geometric sculpture of a seedpod. The design is made up of eighty-one panels that have openings cut into the sides, allowing light and air to pass through the artwork. Nestled inside of the seedpod is a stand-alone seed.

This sculpture includes an element of community engagement. This artwork is spirited around hope for the future. It would be my intention to ask community members and CPD to answer the prompt: “Tell me about a future you hope for”. I would take their responses and have them cut into the solid panels on the interior seed. I want the community’s words to be offered up as seeds for our future. The seed will be painted white to stand out from the seedpod and illuminated at night to show the cut-out words from the surface.

Inspiration: tiger lily seedpod 
lily seed

Artwork Details:

Material: Aluminum (interior seed painted white)
Installation: Concrete Slab, approximately 8ft diameter circle with embedded lighting elements
Location: Northwest corner of the building (to the right as you enter in the main entrance)
Scale: 10’ x 10’ x 9’ (HWD)


various views of the art

**Please note, the interior seed will not be painted blue. I have shown it in blue to best help distinguish the difference between the exterior structure and interior. The seed is proposed to be painted white, while the exterior is the natural silver finish of aluminum.

The center seed, stands at 5ft tall and the tallest seedpod frame stands at 10ft.


seed close upHand written message.

As I’ve mentioned above, the sculpture contains a seed centered on the inside of the sculpture (see image on the right). In the previous renderings, I’ve shown it in blue to make it easier to see. The seed will be the keeper of the dreams submitted from the community members.

I intend on taking the written responses from the community and having them cut out of the solid panel surface of the seed. In the image below, I have given an example of a past project of mine that has handwritten message cut out of the surface. The sculpture is entitled “Seeker,” and is located in Kansas City.

The seed will be illuminated from the inside and allow light to shine forth from the words on the surface. The seed surface on the interior will have a distinct difference from the exterior pod skeleton. I am proposing the seed to be painted white.


Proposed location