Public art: State funds dedicated to create works for all

I pulled a few of my favorite quotations and passages out from this great Utah news piece and related articles on public art past, present and future. I encourage a closer look at the entire article. KBH

Public art: State funds dedicated to create works for all
Published: Sunday, July 24, 2011 11:29 p.m. MDT
By Carma Wadley, Deseret News

“Without art,” wrote George Bernard Shaw, “the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”

“The goal, says Glenn [Utah Arts Council], “is to take art out of galleries and make it a part of our everyday experience. It adds a human touch to our state facilities.”

“With public art, you don’t want something that needs a decoder ring. Yet, it has to be able to sustain more scrutiny over time.”
The best public art, says O’Connell, offers “something to hang emotions of your own on. It also works as a catalyst for interaction between people. It’s there almost as a third member of the conversation to help stimulate talking, stimulate thinking.”

Investment in future

Public art has not been without controversy. Among the most famous examples of art that was not liked when it was first installed are the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C., and the sculpted lions in front of the New York Public Library.
A minimalist sculpture titled “Tilted Arc” was removed from a plaza in New York City in 1989 when nearby officeworkers complained it interfered with their work. A piece called “Traffic Light” installed at a roundabout in East London caused some disruption at first because people thought they were real traffic signals. But by 2005, a survey named it the favorite roundabout in the country.

Public art: State funds dedicated to create works for all
We maintain a little staff blog for sharing ideas and inspiration without cluttering and overwhelming our in-box’s and this was a bit that Carleen put out recently that seemed like a good thing to share…..
Atul Gawande gave a talk at the Harvard Medical School Commencement and it’s called Cowboys and Pit Crews.  Here’s the little related to our world excerpt that I liked:
Not long ago, I had an experience at our local school that brought home the stakes. I’d gone for a meeting with my children’s teachers, and I ran into the superintendent of schools. I told him how worried I was to see my kids’ art classes cut and their class sizes rise to almost 30 children in some cases. What was he working on to improve matters, I asked?
You know what I spend my time working on, he said? Health care costs.
Teachers’ health benefit expenses were up nine percent, city tax revenues were flat, and school enrollment was up. A small percentage of teachers with serious illnesses accounted for the majority of the costs, and the only option he’d found was to cut their benefits.
“Oh,” I said.
I went to the teacher meetings. On the way, I ran into a teacher that I had operated on. She’d had a lymphoma. She was one of that small percentage who accounted for most of the costs. That’s when it struck me. I was part of the reason my children didn’t have enough teachers. We all are in medicine. Reports show that every dollar added to school budgets over the last decade for smaller class sizes and better teacher pay was diverted to covering rising health care costs.
This is not inevitable. I do not believe society should be forced to choose between whether our children get a great education or their teachers get great medical care. But only we can create the local medical systems that make both possible. You who graduate today will join these systems are they are born, propel them, work on the policies that accelerate them, and create the innovations they need. Making systems work in health care—shifting from corralling cowboys to producing pit crews—is the great task of your and my generation of clinicians and scientists.
Closing paragraph:  Recently, you might be interested to know, I met an actual cowboy. He described to me how cowboys do their job today, herding thousands of cattle. They have tightly organized teams, with everyone assigned specific positions and communicating with each other constantly. They have protocols and checklists for bad weather, emergencies, the inoculations they must dispense. Even the cowboys, it turns out, function like pit crews now. It may be time for us to join them.

Online Art

This topic might be a little controvertial….. what do you think of purchasing art online?

Here’s an article from my beloved Apartment Therapy.

And if you are selling/purchasing online… what sites do you like?  I’m always on the lookout for sites that are featuring Montana artists.

Here are a few to get started….

Art Muse  Mostly Texas artists.

20×200 No Montana artists…. yet.

Artwall Online

The Beholder

And a whole bunch more here.

Online Art


Here’s a quick and interesting article on how the internet is killing storytelling.

And, to continue the theme….. here’s an article about how fundraising is not about the story. (But I think it should be….)

As we approach the deadline for our Public Value Partnership Grants I am up to my ears in stories and I have to say…. I find a good story much more interesting than facts, figures or an executive director telling me how cool their organization is…. Don’t tell me…. Show me. And they are.