First off, I’m not one to tell rich peeps how to spend their money. If they want to give to charity, I think that is great. I’m also one to NOT discourage giving money towards public art projects.
It seems lately though that people are questioning the whole point of ‘Arc of Dreams’ and mainly it’s location.
No criticism towards the artist, he does large, beautiful pieces across our state, including Dignity in Chamberlain. It’s his life and living. Also, no criticism towards those willing to help pay for this large scale commission . . .Â but . . . does it seem a bit shortsighted and lacking the vision of the whole picture of downtown’s artistic image?
Instead putting all of our eggs in one basket in one (overcrowded) area, why not spread the wealth around?
One of the main arguments made to put ‘Arc of Dreams’ downtown wasÂ for a neededÂ tourist attraction Downtown. Nevermind SculptureWalk, a replica of David, oh and that little cute waterfall at Falls Park.
But if we really wanted to bring ‘tourism’ downtown, why not invest that cool million used for ONE public art project to fund several projects that would be a combination public art/infrastructure?
During the downtown design meeting I attended one of the concerns people had about downtown was the dead zones, areas along Phillips Avenue and various side streets that have areas that have really nothing to look at while walking around downtown.
So what could WE have done with that million besides just building one large project?
First of all, I would use only local contractors and artists for these projects. Economic development starts at home.
Here is a brief list of what we could have done;
At approximately $20KÂ a piece we could have erected 50 permanent sculptures downtown in these dead zones. We could have also spent approximately $50K a pop forÂ 20 mini gardens/parks/benches in these areas. And if we really wanted to get a bang for our buck we could have commissioned 200 murals at $5K a piece to help beautify some of those drab building walls downtown.
There is probably a whole host of other things we could have spent the million on that would have really boosted visitors to our downtown.
Let me hear your ideas!