The Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday unanimously approved five new members of the county’s Art in Public Places committee. The program uses public funds of at least 1 percent of construction costs to acquire and install art work in public buildings.
The five new members, nominated by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III (D) are:
— Dena Crosson, of Riverdale Park, an art historian, and appraiser, who has taught at the University of Maryland;
— Rhonda Dallas, of Oxon Hill, Director of the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council.
— Tewodross Melchishua, of District Heights, a filmmaker and associate professor and program coordinator of the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Visual Communication & Digital Media Arts at Bowie State University;
— Alec Simpson, of the District of Columbia, acting County-Wide Arts Coordinator, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. and an adjunct professor at George Mason University; and
— LaVonn Thomas, of Upper Marlboro, chief of the division of community affairs in Baker’s office of community relations.
Members of the committee are volunteers and serve three-year terms. Two others will be nominated soon to fill the remaining seats. The committee oversees efforts to install art in public places and can suggest art work.
Samantha Vernon, a graduate of Suitland High School and Cooper Union in New York, is an artist and Baker’s liaison to the panel. She heads the county’s Art in Public Places program.
Vernon said she recommended the committee members based on their expertise, professional experience, connection to the arts community and personal investment in the arts.