Entries Tagged 'Arc of Dreams' ↓

Covering up the Bunker Ramp mistake with a mural is insulting

As a fine artist and graphic artist I have been asked to do some unusual projects. Most of the time, you are asked to sell something. I told a frequent SculptureWalk artist last year that was kind of the purpose of SW, to promote Downtown and sell more beer and pizza. He didn’t take kindly to my words. I’ve gotten to do some fun projects like creating logos and t-shirt art for Jazzfest or designing posters for ZombieWalk and the SF Roller Dollz. Most of the time, these projects are not only fun, but for the betterment of the community, then I read this;

Erica Beck, chief of staff in the mayor’s office, said the TenHaken administration is taking “more intentional focus” on culture and arts through all of downtown, including murals.

The south side of the city’s new parking ramp, which faces one of the busiest thoroughfares downtown and sits on the busiest corner in the neighborhood, is an ideal candidate for a mural, she said.

I have been very vocal for years that DTSF needs to implement a public art/mural program. I have even went so far to say that spending millions on one sculpture was shortsighted and the money could have been more wisely spent on implementing hundreds of small art projects and murals downtown. Where I draw the line is when government wants to use the talents of artists to essentially cover up a massive mistake. If we paint a mural on one the most incompetent decisions our city government has ever made, what kind of message are we sending to the public and artists? When government screws the pooch, we’ll just paint over it?

If the city chooses to spend a large chunk of money on a mural for the bunker ramp (something that could cost between $30-60K) we are sending the wrong message to taxpayers. What’s next? A mural on the Denty to cover up the bad siding?

I think we should leave the ugly Southside of the bunker ramp ‘as is’ for a constant reminder of how badly things can get when our supposed leaders are not paying attention. In fact, I think we should paint the names of the city councilors, mayors, and city employees responsible for this huge mistake.

A more appropriate solution would be a temporary large scale banner wrap, you could even make it cost neutral by selling advertising on it or to put out important public service announcements, historical images or even just artistic in nature. While they used to be quite expensive, they are very reasonable these days.

The Arc gets Arced tonight

Was the Arc of Dreams misplaced?

I will admit, I have looked at the Arc of Dreams several times at different angles from far away and up close. Depending on how you look at it you find something unique each time. It is quite the structure and engineering feat. But one of the things you will notice is that the only place you can really get a good view of the entire structure is from the North standing on the 6th street bridge or river greenway. You would also miss it if driving in a car over the bridge unless you happen to look over at it.

Some have questioned it’s location. First off, since it was privately funded they had to situate it on private property yet putting it in a public space. While the structure is mounted on private property, it crosses a public waterway.

As you can see below, most large sculptures, like the FLAMINGO in Chicago is placed in a large courtyard area so it can be viewed from 4 directions. I actually think a great place for the Arc would have been on North Minnesota Avenue coming into town from the airport, or others have suggested over the Levitt yard. Obviously the limitation was placing this on private property, but I think an easement could have been figured out.

It will be interesting to read reviews of it’s placement over the next couple of years.

Oh, the irony

A foot soldier sent me this photo he took today of the Arc of Dreams and the Crane over the bunker ramp debacle.

Dreams not realized?

Half a Dream

Arc of Dreams has arrived

I went over and snapped some pictures. It was interesting to watch them piece it together. While this will be a ‘neat’ sculpture, I still think that the $2.6 million spent on this project could have have been put to better use doing HUNDREDS of art and beautification projects all over Sioux Falls, hiring local contractors, landscapers, artists, artisans and craftsman. Instead we spent it on a fabrication shop in Colorado. At least the artist was from South Dakota. As I have stated in the past, this is just a monument to egos.

Did Arc of Dreams try to get money out of City?

Remember the promise Arc of Dreams made to the taxpayers of Sioux Falls? They would gift the structure to the city from private donations – NO PUBLIC MONEY.

Rumor has it that they asked the city for a $50K donation, and ‘MAY’ have been denied (at this point). I knew it would only be a matter of time when they asked the city to pony up.

Remember the project was ‘supposed’ to cost $1 Million and has skyrocketed to $2.4 million. The donation was to go towards transportation costs.

I still wonder if they will pay also to fix the sidewalk by the pedestrian bridge they crumbled while building the foundations?

Some may argue that maybe the city should put a little in. I would agree, IF this was a project that was vetted through the public, it was NOT. This was cooked up by a handful of elitists in Sioux Falls who needed to stroke their personal egos. They can pay for it.

As I have argued many times, if the city were to spend $2.4 million on DTSF public art, they could find a way to do hundreds of projects that employ local artists, craftsman and contractors.

I guess we will have to settle for the ‘Swords of Sioux Falls’.

Arc of Dreams behind schedule and $1.4 million over original budget

While this isn’t a bad thing or a surprise, projects like this take a lot of time and a lot of money when businessmen cook up public art projects;

Jeff Hansen, media relations director for the SculptureWalk organization behind the project, said this week the group has commitments from donors that get the project all the way to its $2.4 million fundraising goal. Earlier this year, the group said it still had about $600,000 left to go.

“This summer we had a long way to go yet,” Hansen said. “But we hit the $2.4 million level, which pays for everything — construction and installation and the plaza area.”

While I think this project being privately funded is awesome, I question a few things.

• How did the original pricetag of $1 million suddenly jump to $2.4? Even with the design change I find it extremely fascinating that a project can be this over budget.

• One of the main arguments supporting the project is to have a tourist attraction for downtown. Really? What about Falls Park? SculptureWalk? Statue of David? All the fantastic bars and restaurants?

Like I said, I think it is great that private business people in Sioux Falls want to fund this very expensive public art project. But I still think the money is being misguided.

Instead of building one gigantic structure that is a monument to WHAT? the money could have been spent on hundreds of smaller public art projects downtown employing dozens of local artists, landscape architects and construction workers beautifying all corners of downtown with mini gardens, murals, and permanent functional sculptures and art. Instead, Arc of Dreams will occupy an area already crowded with Roman like greenway pillars and steps.

It will in turn be a monument to itself and an incredible waste of private dollars on public art. But certainly NOT a surprise in good old Sioux Falls.

Mayor signed off on ‘Temporary’ Easement in October 2016 for Arc of Dreams

So I have been asking, but for some reason NO ONE would answer the direct question, “Who initially signed off on Arc of Dreams?”

I will say it again, I support the project, and by NO MEANS do I have a problem with Huether signing off on a temporary easement. So why all the secrecy? Why not just say that the mayor signed off on a temp easement? Even the email I got from a city director didn’t outline this.

I don’t know why this administration HATES transparency so much. This is Item#58, Resolution.

FULL DOC: temp-ease

UPDATE: Sioux Falls City Council will approve easement for Arc of Dreams ‘SOON’

I asked the city council on Tuesday night if there have been any permits approved for Arc of Dreams. After not hearing anything, I emailed them tonight the same question. One of the councilors responded that the council will be presented a public right of way easement soon to approve. Good to hear.

UPDATE: I also got this response from the city;

Mr. Ehrisman,

Thank you for your recent inquiry about the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture permitting process.  No permits have been issued at this time.

In your email, you were correct in that the sculpture is on private property and over public property. Therefore, a grant of easement by the City of Sioux Falls for the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture is currently in process.  The City Attorneys Office has drafted a resolution and associated easement documents for the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture.

On August 15, 2017, the “Arc of Dreams” sculpture was reviewed and recommended for placement approval during public meetings by both the Visual Arts Commission and the Parks and Recreation Board.  The proposed resolution is scheduled for public hearing consideration at the City Council’s regular Tuesday, September 19, 2017, meeting.  Pending adoption of the resolution, and receipt of project plan submittals for City review, then appropriate City permits will be determined and required.

It is anticipated that site construction will begin this fall, with sculpture installation completed by August 2018.  Associated installation and maintenance costs for this sculpture will be the responsibility of SculptureWalk, and not the City of Sioux Falls.

I hope this information helps with your inquiry.

Russ Sorenson• 9-08-2017

Urban Planner • City Of Sioux Falls

Sorry, but I still struggle with the concept that the fine individuals who run the very successful SculptureWalk program for our city would commission a now $1.6 million dollar sculpture before having at least a conditional or preliminary permit or permission from the city. Someone signed off on this a long time ago and now they are just going through the motions.

It reminds of the guy I saw once at the Board of Adjustments, he was requesting to build a bigger garage. His reasoning? Because his new truck didn’t fit in the old garage. He was denied.

PAVILION PLANNING TO REBUILD SCIENCE CENTER 4th FLOOR EXHIBITS

I found this interesting that this is going thru the city as an RFP. Or maybe this is how this has always been done?

A question that I was asked recently was if the Kirby family is still sponsoring the Kirby Science Center or if that was a one time gift? I have NO idea.

Also two long time directors have ‘LEFT’.

Darrin Smith seems to be shaking things up at the Pavilion and spending a lot of money. Not sure if this is a good thing or not?