Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Input From Dorothy Baert
I agree we need a public art policy and also realize the question of the return of Weeping Cedar Woman is more complex than what is stated in the material submitted below. I offer these comments as some insight into the role of Public Art in the community realm.
There are always opinions and 'interest' groups in any undertaking of this kind; I remind your readers that there was also some discourse around the placing of the Tonquin Anchor on public property, though admittedly more muted than the current discussion. It is all a process but I will comment that acquiring public art in public space does not mean ignoring the more critical and also complex issues of sewage treatment, roads, water services and program delivery etc etc. It isn't an either/or proposition.
Through the RMI, we do have the benefit of resources that are equal to about 25% of the Districts total budget and while we are constrained as to how these monies are spent, it does give us options that can add to the quality of community life (mup extension, lighthouse trail, downtown vitalization, public washrooms etc). I disagree with you Ralph that it is all 'taxpayer' money but rather it is a user fee imposed on travellers from where ever they may call home. Travellers in this case are contributing to community improvements as a way of lessening their impact.
Sent from my iPad
Public art is not the grinding, arduous discovery of a common denominator that absolutely everyone will under- stand and endorse. It actually assists in identification of individuals and groups and what separates them, so that agreement on a common purpose is an impassioned deliberation rather than a thoughtless resignation.”
Phillips, Patricia C. “Public Constructions” In Mapping the Terrain; New Genre Public Art, edited by Suzanne Lacy, 69. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995.
Public art is a part of our public history, part of our evolving cul- ture and our collective memory.
It reflects and reveals our society and adds meaning to our cities. As artists respond to our times, they reflect their inner vision to the outside world, and they create a chronicle of our public experience.”
Adapted from Balkin Bach,Penny. Public Art in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992.
Public art can be more than amenity, entertainment, or ornamentation. It can be a very energetic investigation. Public art is not a discipline or pro- fession. It is an idea and way of think- ing about art. What makes it public
is that it is situated at the congested crossroads of aesthetics, public life, cultural ideas, and political issues. It is an art which is absolutely engaged with the world and this engagement often invokes spirited disagreement... Absolute consensus is not necessar- ily a happy state. A public art that excites the imaginative potential of many unique individuals in a variety of different ways, is, albeit, a little bit unruly. But a less cautious, less con- strained strategy may lead to the best in public art, as it has in all art.”
Phillips, Patricia C. quoted in Korza, Pam. “Evaluating Artistic Quality in the Public
Realm.” On View: Journal of Public Art and Design,