I support Public Art; Not OK to attack; Mural says we are vibrant — Letters to the Editor, July 24, 2019

I appreciate the effort of all those involved in public art and hope the swirling controversies will not rob you of your passion for this project

I appreciate the effort of all those involved in public art and hope the swirling controversies will not rob you of your passion for this project

I’m greedy, selfish... and I support public art

I realize that the title seems oxymoronic, but hear me out…

Why do so many cities have public art? Because it draws tourists and new residents. If this didn’t work, the practice would have been abandoned long ago. Public art has many centuries of success all over the world. This success is quite evident, even if our mayor just doesn’t “buy it.”

We already attract a lot of tourists, thanks to this wonderful slice of heaven that is our home. But ask any retailer in Old Town, and I wager that nary a one will say that they have too many customers in Florence.

This is where my self-professed selfishness comes in. I’m in my retirement years, probably similar to many of those reading here. As I age, I will depend more and more on assistance from others: doctors, nurses and hospital staff; restaurant owners, chefs and service staff; grocers and the many specialists and personnel; in-home care; carpenters; electricians; plumbers...

The list goes on and on.

(My apologies if I didn’t list your profession. You also matter.)

Where will these valuable workers come from? It certainly helps to provide a dynamic and encouraging public environment.

Honestly, it does not even matter if I like the art. What matters to the inner greedy, selfish me is that it attracts and retains the people who will be able to assist me in my declining years.

Personally, I’m a little hot and cold about the products resulting from our local Public Art Committee. The murals are turning out amazing; great addition for our town. The hand-painted seals are many bits of wonderful whimsey; another plus. The metal statue in front of the Senior Center... kinda “meh” on that one.

I only have one suggestion moving forward: The PAC should partner with employers in Florence to discuss the tastes and commonalities of the artist candidates they are trying to hire.

Public art is a great way to assist in getting and keeping the folks we all need.

Support our PAC.

—Rob Welles

Florence

It’s OK to disagree, but not to attack

I was reading the Siuslaw News article “Florence City Council Still Preoccupied With Public Art,” (July 20) about the recent City Council Meeting on July 15.

It sounds like some members of the Florence City Council, including Mayor Henry, are being bullied by people who do not like the mural that PUD agreed to have put on its property, and do not understand the concept of public art as a marketing tool.

Be that as it may, it should not be okay to attack our leaders, (or anyone for that matter), publicly or otherwise, because we disagree with them.

Vote them out next time if it’s the town’s will, but let’s help them get on with their jobs for now by checking our own behavior.

If people are coming into Ms. Lucio’s place of business and griping about council business — be it the mural or any other matter — she might want to consider redirecting their remarks to the public comment time at the next City Council meeting.

A statement such as, “I appreciate your concerns but please respect the fact that I am at work now and it’s not appropriate for me to discuss city business here,” seems fitting in such a situation. 

This “City in Motion” has a wheel stuck in the rut over that mural.  Let’s hope that this is the biggest problem we ever have to deal with — and let’s get back to other matters requiring attention. 

—Ivy Medow

Florence

Mural says we are vibrant, diverse

I am a fan of our new mural.

It is all the things I hope our town can be: Bright, colorful, welcoming, innovative.

For me, the mural says we are not just a sleepy old coastal town; we are a vibrant, growing community that celebrates diversity — not only in our residents but also in our expressions of art.

I appreciate the effort of all those involved in public art and hope the swirling controversies will not rob you of your passion for this project. 

—Jane Conkling

Florence

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