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.


#1 #WhatWouldBlackSheepCoffeeDo? on 07.30.19 at 12:56 pm

Hey, not only does the PTH Administration steal ideas from “‘Extremely’ Stable Genius,” when it comes to the general fund versus the entertainment fund:

but now they still ideas from “Fleet Farmer,” too ……#GoFigure:

(“What the hell do those boys and girls at City Hall do all day? Do they just sit around and read this blog?”)

(“I think we should create the first Corn Wall Bunker Ramp on the southside of it, and then turn it into a tourist trap like they do in that other South Dakota town”…(“Yah, and maybe “Free Ice Water” would help, too.”))

(“Say, who is this “‘E’SG” guy anyhow?”….(“I don’t know, but he sounds like a real fleet farmer to me.”))

#2 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 07.30.19 at 1:19 pm

Uh, he meant, “Fleet Taco.” 🙁

#3 Deep Thoughts by "'E'SG" on 07.30.19 at 5:07 pm

Actually, I think this mural idea is a great idea. Because I was always wondering when “Boom Town” was going to begin to collapse. Perhaps, the Copper Lounge tragedy was merely an omen of things to come, huh?

Fore, (fore?) I truly believe the Bunker Ramp is now symbolic of a coming of an end to things for this town and a mural on its southside would be – in so many ways – fitting. Because it truly would be like seeing “the writing on the wall.”

And, no wonder we now have Arcs for us to dream from, for once we were the doers, but now we are merely dreamers.

(“You should see the Arcs at night. There’re beautiful..”(“Yeah, but my paycheck ain’t.”))

(“What do you mean that Sioux Falls is ‘collapsing?'” ….Heck Avera is building an other falls at 69th and Louise”….(“That is so cool, but what does it have to do with good health care?”))

#4 Erica on 07.30.19 at 9:17 pm

Seems like fraud waste and abuse to me. City keeps raising everyones taxes yet keeps wasting it on non-priorities. They made this mess of the parking lot (that really isnt needed ) and is a slap to citizens face to blow more $ on it.

When is last time this city had an independent audit completed?

#5 D@ily Spin on 07.30.19 at 9:56 pm

City ordinance doesn’t allow murals. There was the case of the mural advertising a used baby clothes thrift store. Zoning cowboys drove it out of business. Leave the parking ramp. It’s the most prominent impractical sculpture downtown. It’s a perfect example of why we need a new charter and new city leaders.

#6 D@ily Spin on 07.30.19 at 10:10 pm

Rapid City has Dinosaur Park. Sioux Falls has a cubic dinosaur downtown. Rapid City has an alley of murals that is a tourist draw. Sioux Falls has yellow tape around stoplights.

#7 A Proud Non Gun Owner on 07.30.19 at 10:16 pm

But if we did an independent audit, it would most likely be done by the spouse of a city employee …. #ThatIsHowThisTownWorks….

(“I still want to know: Who audits the auditors?”)

#8 anominous on 07.31.19 at 9:02 am

How about some Nike-sized murals of the RS-5?

#9 City Council: Don't Raise My Property Taxes on 07.31.19 at 9:48 am

If you can vote to build a parking ramp we do not need,

also knowing that we have 38% in reserves equating to 169m, then in September, I expect you all to vote ‘NO’ to raising my property taxes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#10 ramp it up on 07.31.19 at 10:18 am

how about a sort of hollywood squares of stupidity? 9 faces including huether (in the middle square of course), ketchum, erpenbach, rolfing, kiley, erickson, selberg, and neitzert. and you have to include tenhaken who let this debacle continue after he took office.

#11 LJL on 07.31.19 at 11:06 am

Your temp mural is a great idea and sell blocks of the mural for advertising to pay for them!

#12 I like the Hollywood Squares idea! on 07.31.19 at 12:23 pm

Rolfing would make a great Paul Lynde. Solberg could be Marty Allen. Neitzert could be George Gobel. Ketchum could be Rich Little (Multiple personalities just like Legacy, Boomerang, or Lamont, or whatever…). Erpenbach and Erickson could fight over who wants to be Charo with the loser being Joan Rivers, and Kiley could be Harvey Korman.

#13 Wind Cancer Survivor on 07.31.19 at 3:18 pm

There are many walls downtown – in the alleys, along the streets – that are perfect candidates for an artistic mural. I was a proponent of the Meldrum Park mural, and I love the Art Alley in downtown Rapid City!

But a mural on the giant ramp wall is a horrible idea. Your banner idea is a more logical, cost-effective alternative. Hopefully, dressing up that concrete wall is only a temporary issue. And I know a number of people who would jump at purchasing a banner if it includes any sponsorship/advertising.

#14 l3wis on 07.31.19 at 3:34 pm

I think it would be fun to have a banner of the Arc of Dreams with an arrow on it that says ‘This Way’.

They will never do it, because it was my idea. One of the reasons I don’t belong to art groups or art boards. I used to make suggestions to Arts Night and rail on SculptureWalk about how they should handle things. They would blow me off, tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about, and accuse me of being a gadfly, then in a couple of years they would implement my ideas and pretend like it was their ideas. Trust me, if they go with the banner idea, there will be zero recognition that I thought of it.