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my guess is the public has opinions on the subject of public art that fall somewhere between the yay and nay sides profiled on your letters page.
If the city wants to cultivate the arts tourist through public art, it has to significantly raise the bar in the international recognition/reputation status of the artists they commission. This will, in turn, increase the quality of public art work, and the probability tourists would come here to see specific public artworks.
the two letters of Feb. However, Vans Orange Sneakers
Letter to the Editor Posted Feb 23, 2012
The success of the open air skating rink has nothing to do with the Bear sculpture and everything to do with a new public opportunity to participate in a social and personally engaging and fun activity.
Both of these options are needed and would put in a more attractive position to attract people to visit, move here, and want to continue to live here.
Vernon has made a concerted effort to deface most of its downtown buildings with murals, and prominent among these buildings are, or better yet were, stately examples of late 19th and early 20th Murals might be important to small town Chemainus, Vernon, and Leavenworth, Wash., but would do well to find other civic models for ideas about public art programming.
Alternatively, the city could dedicate its annual public art funding dollars, say over five years, toward an expansion of the Art Gallery, or underwrite a new artist run gallery.
So a question I have is: why would the public art committee want to put a mural on the side of the H2O Centre?
If, for example, was to invest, along with industry partners, in expansion of the cultural sector through funding another artist run gallery, building and program expansion of the KAG, and/or development of artists' live work loft residences, then Vans Beige Shoes maybe the downtown would take on the vibrant and liberal minded environment young people, people of all ages, clearly want.
this instance, I agree with Blaine Ans' suggestion that the city simply plant some trees in front of the wall.
Our neighbour to the north has adopted the mural esthetic so it's plain to see where that approach can take you.
I'm certain the public art committee has good intentions and wants to support the arts, but let's be realistic: The Sails sculpture at City Park, the Bear across from City Hall, or the briefcase toting man at Queensway bus terminal aren't attracting arts tourism dollars, rather they are public art pieces tourists and residents encounter in their movement about the city.
The west facing wall at H2O is at present a perfectly clean, unadorned, attractive facade so why cover it with some "artistic impression" of who knows what?
In response to Mbt Black Womens
Tacky mural won't bring arts tourists
In Vans Boots Black
There will always be some disgruntled taxpayers who don't support public art, no matter what kind of art or expenditures are made, but the bottom line has to be the kind, quality, cost and location of public art the city "invests" in.
Recently publicized research from a UBC Okanagan graduate student revealed survey respondents expressing concerns about lack of job opportunities, high cost of living and that was "conservative" and "not forward thinking."
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