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In Milwaukee Buzz

Sunday Sound-off: Is public art important?


Since Visit Milwaukee announced plans to erect a bronze Fonz statue in Downtown Milwaukee, the subject of public art again became a heated debate (remember the Blue Shirt?!).

Some believe public art is extremely important and adds value and culture to a city, whereas others find it less integral to a city's reputation and self image.

But where do you stand on the issue of public art? Is it important that Milwaukee continues to increase the number of outdoor pieces of art or is it a waste of money?

Sound off, Milwaukee!

I don't really care about public art. I really don't think public art adds as much to a community as arts' groups, innovative retail shops and modern bars and restaurants. If a group wants to pay for public art, that's one thing, but public funds can be better used.

Public art is extremely important. Public art -- whether temporary or permanent installations -- provides an important aesthetic to a city. At best, it makes people think, appreciate beauty and further communicate their thoughts and ideas.

Talkbacks

local_yokel | June 21, 2008 at 12:59 p.m. (report)

I think that one of the most visited sites in Milwaukee, the County Courthouse, could use some public art. What do you think?

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RexWinsome | May 28, 2008 at 9:22 a.m. (report)

It's interesting that the people who like the bronze fonz are often against the blue shirt, and the "orange thing that obscures the view of the Calatrava" (which was there long before the thing it obscures the view of). The Blue Shirt and The Calling refer to Milwaukee's working class roots, The Bronze Fonz refers to a nostalgic hollywood romanticization of our working class roots. What does this say about Milwaukee's relationship to itself?

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iowajudy | May 27, 2008 at 8:24 a.m. (report)

now that we have condos with private terraces,the possibilities for bad sculptures in endless. could you tell us the name of the artist that produced the work depicted in your Sound-off image? Is that a Patel?

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littlelamb | May 26, 2008 at 9:46 p.m. (report)

The silly orange structure in front of the lake (di Suvero's "The Calling") is one of the reasons I moved here. Calatrava, Saarinen, oh and let us not forget the Oppenheim's "Blue Shirt" I was promised. Public art is nearly always controversial (Serra's "Tilted Arc"). Just because it exists doesn't always make it good, but it is generally a source of civic pride. Sometimes people need to educate themselves a bit about the works, the artists and the intent. Sometimes it's still ugly. But it matters. Thank God for the Bradley Sculpture Garden-- too bad it's not all that public.

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littletinyfish | May 26, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. (report)

Nice. Thanks, Brenner. OMC should chat her up a bit.

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