YORK, PA (January 2016)—Ophelia M. Chambliss has been selected by a committee of city stakeholders to complete a conceptual art and design plan for the greening of Lafayette Plaza. The commission of an artist for this project was made possible by a contribution from Buchart Horn, Inc.
The Master Site Development Plan for Lafayette Plaza is one piece of a larger planning process that will serve to reimagine the northern core of the downtown, the area bounded by George Street, Market Street and the Codorus Creek.
Chambliss is tasked with participating in the designing of Lafayette Plaza in a way that best serves the public, accommodates all forms of transportation and makes the most of opportunities to protect the watershed. To that end, Chambliss will create renderings to demonstrate how arts and culture can be incorporated in conceptual designs for Lafayette Plaza, potentially in ways that would be integral to stormwater mitigation measures. Additionally, she will make a presentation on how arts and culture can be advanced in stages as part of project development.
Work on the project will continue into the fall of 2016.
Chambliss is a successful fine artist and lecturer, hailing from Chicago but now calling York home. Her work has been exhibited in a number of solo shows, group shows and several distinguished juried shows.
Chambliss holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and Sciences and a Master’s degree in Communications from Penn State University. She combines her visual communication with verbal and written communication to tell the story behind her work in lectures and presentations that build an appreciation for cultural understanding.
Most of her recent work has been in the realm of public art and murals, and she has an appreciation for the community contribution, visual language messaging and the challenge of scale. Chambliss enjoys working with youth—especially those in marginalized communities—and helping them to experience success in things that they create with their own hands and finding creative means of expression. She also works within the realm of public spaces and big picture art, with an emphasis on public interaction.
In October of 2014, the City of York was successful in receiving a planning grant from the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. Through this grant and matching funds raised from more than a dozen local donors, the City and its partners just began a planning process that will serve to reimagine the northern core of the downtown (the area bounded by George Street, Market Street, and the Codorus Creek) as ground zero for our community’s efforts to improve multimodal connectivity, stormwater mitigation, and recreational opportunities. Included in that planning scope of work is the development of a City of York Green Action Plan as well as the conceptual design of the extension of the Heritage Rail Trail through the downtown, plans for strengthening two east-west corridors as multimodal connectors, a feasibility study of a green road through the Northwest Triangle, two City tree analyses, and a master site development plan for Lafayette Plaza. Technical work is already underway on these efforts and conceptual design work is slated to begin in January and February of 2016.