New public art on display at Sebastopol’s library

By Katherine Minkiewicz-Martine, Staff Writer, SoCoNews, March 25, 2022

Artist Michael McGinnis and his sculpture "Grey Matter" (Photo by Rosalie Abbott)

There’s a new art installation at the front of the Sebastopol Regional Library, a 3D piece called “Gray Matter” by Sonoma County artist Michael McGinnis. The art piece celebrates the rational and the creative through a precise and complex swirl of metal.

McGinnis was voted as the winning finalist for the art installation three years ago by the Sebastopol Public Arts Committee (PAC).

“Composed of stainless steel, the work represents the mind. A library is a repository of ideas; a place for thoughts, expressions of creativity, a gathering of fact and collective knowledge and a bastion of freedom. It is a place to come to your own conclusions through informed discovery,” McGinnis said in a statement. “Gray Matter is about a positive future where the mind will overcome the madness.”

In 2018, the City of Sebastopol issued a request for art submissions and received 21 submissions. The PAC received the submissions and selected three finalists.

On Nov. 7, 2018, the PAC held a regular meeting and invited the finalists to present their models to the commission and answer questions.

The artists’ models were displayed at the Sebastopol Library in November 2018 to garner input from the community. At its Dec. 5, 2018 meeting, the PAC reviewed comments and voted for McGinnis and his work “Gray Matter.”

The $35,000 project was made possible with funds from the City of Sebastopol’s Art In-Lieu Fee Fund that is set aside for public art. The city requires that large development projects contribute a percentage of the overall project construction budget to enhance the visual appeal of the project and the city.

The art installation is now available for viewing at the library at 7140 Bodega Ave.

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