Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wrong way to pick public art

We learn this morning that the Metro Arts Commission still doesn't have the slightest concern for public opinion as they decide behind closed doors what we'll have to view as we come and go from our newly refurbished courthouse and what our visitors will see and judge us by as they come and go in our city.

The executive director of the Metro Arts Commission said Wednesday the board will not accept comments from citizens before commissioners select today the two pieces of public art to be placed in the new $35 million public square and for which Metro will pay $350,000. City Paper
I'm with Councilman at Large David Briley:
But Briley said he does not understand why the commission would not make the semifinalists’ proposals public before selecting the winners.
Yes, I'm still peeved that our betters decided that naked oddly-skinned dancers would be shoved down our throats instead of being considerate of the entire community and insist on a little bit of leotard on Musica. This came across as being more concerned about proving we weren't a hick hillbilly town than being willing to make a small accommodation so that it could be art that was embraced by the entire city.

That's our land these pieces are on. It's our entire city's good name on the line. Nashville citizens ought to have the opportunity to vet the pieces. Goodness knows that visitors may come and ooh and aaah and take pictures but we've got to live with the darn things. Personally, I'd pull their permission to have public space if they won't provide real public input.

UPDATE: It looks like someone was listening to reason. This after they announced their decision about what will be at the courthouse square.
On another note, commission members said Thursday that going forward, they will make the public arts selection process a more public one. The commission this week had refused public preview of the eight semifinalist proposals before its official selection.

This will no longer be the case, commissioners Will Cheek and Jeff Ockerman said, maintaining the public will be invited to future final meetings of the commission’s Public Art Committee, which makes recommendations to the full commission before it selects public art. City Paper


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that public comment should be allowed, but couldn't disagree more about Musica. I think it's a beautiful sculpture that ties our heritage as the Athens of the South and music city. If you live here and don't ride on tour buses, it's easy enough to avoid music row.

Loonytick Skook said...

Some people don't like the statue, I guess, but plenty of people-regular, tax-paying people-do. The vast majority of Joe Normals I know like it and aren't so prudish as to be offended by it.

Kay Brooks said...

Well, my life takes me by Musica several times a week. But I understand that for most people avoiding it may not be hard at all. But because citizens can avoid it doesn't mean they don't deserve a voice in the matter.

And I'm not demanding that my views be THE final word. I'm saying that when you're using public dollars and public land the public have a legitimate voice in the matter. I can live with being the minority voice (Titan's stadium) but not being allowed to speak and still having to fork over money for a project isn't right.