Letter to the editor: Who decides what art should be placed in our community?
The Frisco Black Lives Matter street piece was not even complete Tuesday and the reverberations were wildly flowing. During the Town Council meeting, individuals voiced concerns and support. It was also labeled as “art” during that discussion. The definition of art is a timeless argument, but this controversial piece begs the question about who decides what art should be placed in our community.
While distracted with COVID-19, economic downturns and a lot of unknowns, we began seeing yellow hope hearts popping up. There was a little media coverage and some chatter about bringing a sense of positivity into the community. Who doesn’t want that? However, what if we disagree with placement or materials?
The “love letter” artist has been pasting her artwork around Summit County. One of her latest pieces is on the side of the Silverthorne Performing Arts Center. And if you wander around Frisco, you will see the same “art” on utility boxes. Does she have permission from the utility companies to place her art here? Is this graffiti? Bad form?
The point? In most communities, there is a juried process for public art. As public funds are often utilized for the installation of artwork, the public should be involved at some level. Additionally, communities often select themes that play into the heritage of the community. Does Frisco have an adopted theme? Are we hitting that mark with these recent examples?
My hope is the Black Lives Matter piece will create an opportunity for civil conversation and our community will not lose sight that every voice matters in the public process. There is plenty of room for improvement, and while there are much bigger priorities in our lives right now, we should be mindful of what can take place when we are distracted.
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