Public Art—Cheap!

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

In response to Chris Barrett’s informative but depressing Nov. 4 article : “Removal of Treble Clef Statue Raises Public Art Questions,” on the removal of Knoxville’s deteriorating public art and the lack of funding for more permanent public art, may I offer a few low-cost suggestions?

1. The New Bear Project: We have an over-population of bears in the mountains this year. Loan guns to artists (or preferably, to photographers—they are better shots) to “harvest” a few specimens. Taxidermy is infinitely cheaper than bronze casting, but as a precaution, the finished pieces should be placed in dry spots under overhangs to increase the life of the work.

2. The Pyramid Project: Rubble from unnecessary road pork projects can be used to construct post-modern pyramids. Burial chambers should be installed inside for use by deceased politicians who have supported and passed the bill that will designate a percentage of tax revenue to be used for public art.

3. The Goal Post Project: Goal posts ripped down after championship UT Football games will be fashioned into victory obelisks and installed along Cumberland Avenue. Since there is scarce chance of future championships occurring, however, options need to be suggested. Contact the Public Art Commission with your ideas. Until they have funding, they need something to entertain themselves with.

4. The Port-O-Lay Project: We have no shortage of Port-O-Lays that seem to spontaneously generate for every downtown event. Contract local artists to paint, weld, and otherwise reconfigure the exterior of these facilities to resemble something less vulgar, or perhaps even more vulgar? Progressive art does not have an exclusivity with beauty, and dynamic statements are more conducive to this source material.

5. Our neighboring cities have no shortage of engaging public art. Wanted: person with flatbed truck, cables, cutting tools and anti-social attitude. I have a procurement list...

Denise Stewart-Sanabria


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