It seems odd that if the City of Kelowna is to continue funding public art, it is voluntarily taking itself out of the discussion about what artwork actually ends up in our parks and on our streets.
Every year, the city allocates $150,000 for public art projects. Yet, strangely, council abdicated the responsibility this week, effectively cutting any public input and accountability out of the equation.
Now, we will be at the mercy of the artists . . . and you know how quirky those artsy types can be.
Will we end up with whimsical flights of fancy or confusing, modernistic monstrosities? Or, maybe, just ugly artwork that nobody likes?
Who are we supposed to complain to if we end up with a Kelowna version of Ottawa's controversial Voice of Fire, a $1.8-million series of three stripes that a five year old could have painted?
Even with council's input, Kelowna has a sketchy past when it comes to public works of art.
We've had hits - like the iconic Sails and Bear sculptures and the beautiful glass salmon at the airport.
But, we've had our share of misses, too, such at the bundle of barbed wire atop a pole that is Zephyr, or I Had A Dream, which is basically two rocks at Waterfront Park.
Even Bob Dow Reid, creator of the beloved Sails, must have had a bad day when he came up with the collection of old pipe known as Cathedrals, on Ellis Street.
Art really is in the eye of the beholder - but whose eyes do we want making the decisions? And should we relinquish all public control over the money spent on it?
- Managing Editor