Bunker Ramp mural project becomes controversial

Just ask Mikey A. after he reluctantly accepted the Sistine Chapel ‘ceiling’ project. His ideas and timeline for the project got him into a lot of trouble with the Pope. It has been a mis-understood piece of art for centuries.

Fast forward to an attempt to put lipstick on a concrete pig downtown and all of a sudden a temporary mural (to only last about 18 months) has been blown way out of proportion.

The Sioux Falls Arts Council in coordination with the Visual Arts Commission and City Planning Staff put in motion a plan to have an opportunity to decorate the Bunker Ramp. As far as I can tell the planning was going smoothly. the SFAC had private funding in place and the VAC had a jurying process.

Where it hit a snag was the mayor’s office or representatives from the planning office made the decision to pull the selected winner and recommend 2nd place.

Two pieces of the puzzle that I am missing is a supposed letter sent from the VAC/SFAC to the mayor’s office offering their dissatisfaction and the image of the rejected mural concept. I doubt I will get either, especially the image which is on complete lockdown.

From what was described to me, the image was chocked full of Native American symbolism and some shirtless males. Let’s just say certain folks were worried certain folks would be offended by such imagery.

It is still hard for me to make a judgement call without seeing the image, but my guess is there is absolutely nothing offensive about it.

Just think you can walk less then a block from this location and see a statue of a dude with his shmeckel hanging out.

After the pissing match went back and forth the mural seemed to be in jeopardy, but now, the rumor is, a temporary painting will be installed at the location. Not sure what that will be or who will be paying for it.

As I said from the beginning, all this could have been avoided by simply selling advertising to DTSF businesses to advertise on a building wrap to cover the wall. It would have been paid for and we would have avoided all the controversy over shirtless native men.

As a local journalist said to me today, “This all could have been avoided with transparency.”

I think we have a winner! Maybe that is what we should paint on the side of the ramp?


#1 Archie Bunkerramp on 02.14.23 at 10:08 am

Just leave it be. Market it as a part of the once Berlin Wall. Maybe put plaques there about JFK and Ronny. The GermanFest can be held there each year as well. But come to think of it, do Germans do corn hole? #IchBinEinBunkerRamp

#2 Sharla on 02.14.23 at 10:30 am

Something tells me mayor selfie started the drama.

#3 D@ily Spin on 02.14.23 at 2:16 pm

What the mayor imposes can be a paintball riot. Now that’s art with a message from the people. Rainbow colors for LBGTQ?

#4 "Woodstock" on 02.14.23 at 5:35 pm

“Say, did you see where the GOP in Pierre wants to tax grammar?”….. #SayNoToThePeriodTax

#5 l3wis on 02.14.23 at 10:35 pm

I guess there was a rainbow buffalo in the image also. Me thinks this was the real controversy, because you know, buffalos are brown, not rainbow 🙂

#6 Team Santos on 02.15.23 at 7:43 am

“….buffalos are brown, not rainbow ?”

Yah, but I just thought of a really awful joke, and I’m not going there in more ways than one.