If you squint your eyes a little bit, it kind of looks like a Trojan Horse
I will admit, I was skeptical when the organizers of this project said they would raise all the money privately (I still am a little).
The project is being funded by private donors, with a goal of $1.25 Million. Schiller says they are at $1.17 Million right now.
It’s not that I don’t think the money is here in our community, it’s just that taxpayers have been down this road before. I have pressured Sculpture Walk organizers over the years to become more independent, they have been listening. There is also the logistics of the project. Talking to engineers and others in the art world who have been around large sculpture projects before I have a couple of concerns.
1. Since the large structure does not connect in the middle, there could be issues with it’s weight when it comes to high winds and counter balance.
2. The quartzite that has to be drilled through in order to create that counter balance could become very costly.
I have put city officials on notice that if any trouble arises and we the taxpayers have to chip in, that they proceed with caution. Think Trojan horse. While this is a great gift to the city, remember since it is sitting on city property, we have a great responsibility to maintain it. Where will that money come from? The sky? It would be like your dying uncle giving you his classic Ferrari.
We took a gift from Mr. Fawick back in the early 70’s and the city has been reluctant many times to keep him around, even throwing David in a storage lot for several years because they didn’t have the money to put him back up. I would be curious what the city is budgeting each year for maintenance of such a large piece of public art?
I also take issue with this statement;
Supporters have high hopes this new, massive piece of artwork will bring more than just tourists to the downtown area.
“The new awareness will truly advance economic development, workforce development in so many ways for so many years,” said Schiller.
Um . . . how will it do that? Sure it will promote more tourism to downtown, but we already have a great tourist attraction downtown, and it’s not Minerva’s or the Statue of David (Though he is my favorite DT).
When I watch press conferences like this, I often shake my head when our city leaders make ridiculous statements like this.
But at the end of day, I do Thank You . . . kind of.
I believe now is the correct strategic moment to consider renewed formal leadership for the Sioux Falls Arts Council, a position that has been covered in a transitional capacity for the past two years.
It’s actually been in a transitional period for over a decade. The Pavilion’s plan to kill the Sioux Empire Arts Council was successful, the problem was the Pavilion had no backup plan, and the mastermind of it all ran back to Brookings to do another job he wasn’t qualified for, well at least he isn’t damaging Norman Rockwell prints anymore.
It only took this letter writer one year working at the Pavilion to figure out it’s façade (it took me 4 years);
The Washington Pavilion has not, and does not look to be, a leader in concepts like larger community cultural issues, creative placemaking and community vibrancy.
That is because the Pavilion is there to protect itself, that’s why they dismantled a great FREE community arts program (SEAC) and renamed it, only further destroying what was a good organization to begin with. But hey, now we will have a butcher shop museum at Falls Park to replace it. At least now we all will know where milk and sausage comes from.
I have been suggesting for years it is time for the city to put out bids for a new Pavilion management contract. Others have even suggested that the entities in the building should be split up (separate the performance and entertainment halls from the arts center and science center). I don’t know what the solution is, but one thing is for certain, there needs to be a true leader to take the bull by the horns.
*For the record, I don’t know the author of this letter, and have never spoken with him.
I decided for some reason a 2,000 mile road trip was a good idea. I hit the Black Hills, Devil’s Tower (a must see) and Yellowstone (2 days) and finished in the Midwest’s capital of beer (Ft. Collins) before heading home. I am relaxed and ready to get back at it. I recommend to anyone spending 6 days by yourself, it will set your mind free.
Just been doing some light posting over the past week, because I didn’t want to spend all my time fiddling with my blog while on a 2,000 mile road trip. Many more pictures to come! I picked up ‘Gee Willikers’ in Cody, WY (above).
Charles Luden sent me these cool photos today, thought I would share;
I shot these in 1974 in Denver at a small club named Ebbets Field. Tom Waits opened for Roger McGuinn. It was a great show. Roger’s 1st solo LP and Tom’s 2nd LP were recently released. A priceless event. – C.L.
UPDATE: After a little research of my own, it seems just regular South Dakota weather could have easily corroded this piece and the welds, if it is made from a mild steel. It seems not much research was done on the piece (materials) before it was installed, which is unfortunate. But I do agree that it could possibly be reinforced at the foundry, but it won’t be cheap.
A steel sculpture of a woman is gone from Lyon Park.
Her hopeful silhouette – leaning forward, one arm raised to the sky – was removed in favor of government prudence.
City officials hired a company to examine the piece and determine upkeep expenses. It’s a practice City Hall plans to move forward with each time it adds to its portfolio, Planning Director Mike Cooper said.
“Now that our inventory of public art has expanded significantly over the years, the investment is pretty substantial,” Cooper said.
The sculpture at Lyon Park, “Effortlessly Buoyant” by Indiana-based artist Gregory Mendez, was removed this week after it spent more than year looking out over the intersection of 14th Street and Phillips Avenue.
While I am all for the city investing in public art, I wondered when the ‘maintenance and cleaning’ budget started how long they would be willing to fund it. Could our city be so broke that now they can’t even come up with the money? Funny how we have the money to build a pool that will have a $1.5 million dollar operating budget each year (and we still have to pay a fee to use it) and $500K for a private tennis club with the mayor’s name plastered on it, but somehow we are coming short on the public art budget.
But there is probably a bigger issue here not mentioned in the story;
Steel in the sculpture suffered “extensive corrosion,” according to findings from the Los Angeles-based company hired to analyze the piece. The group, RLA Conservation of Art and Architecture, recommended against accepting the artwork.
City officials first hired RLA in 2013 to help maintain its existing pieces of art, including the deteriorating youth mosaic wall along the river downtown. City leaders have since committed thousands of dollars to fix the wall, a collaborative effort from hundreds of Sioux Falls children.
Ironically the damage to the wall and the sculpture might have been caused by the city and not natural things like rain, snow and ice. People working on the mosaic have told me that most of the damage caused to the wall is the result of the chemicals the city uses on the streets during the winter. I can’t image how much has been sprayed on that sculpture over the past winter from 14th street. The chemicals are highly corrosive. Residents complain yearly about what it does to the city’s boulevards. These chemicals eat away at things like steel and ceramics. So did the city actually damage it’s own piece of art? Would be interesting to see the piece up close.
There is a solution, let’s hope the city has a change of heart;
But when it comes to “Effortlessly Buoyant,” Clark was disappointed. The sculpture was a good fit for the park, and cleaning up is as simple as bringing it to a foundry, he said.
It seems a protective coating could be an easy fix.
In her own respects looking like Billy Holiday and sounding like Nina Simone and Amy Winehouse doesn’t hurt. She did a cover of Missippi God Damn and a montage of Bob Marley, truly a beautiful voice. Andra is going places.