Not everyone has access to beautiful art, making public art initiatives admirable and important. Besides beautifying public spaces and supporting local artists, public art offers insights into cultures.

But good art can be thought-provoking and enlightening, making it political or otherwise divisive at times by definition, which is why Galveston should think through potential pitfalls in a proposal to invest 1 percent of the cost of municipal projects toward public art on and around the projects.

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248;

(12) comments

Bailey Jones

Fortunately, since this is done in cities all across the country, there are plenty of successful examples to learn from. Good art always involves a certain amount of risk. One need only look at the murals of Gabriel Prusmack, or our tree sculptures, or whatever that weird trumpet thing downtown is, to see how a little art adds to the city, in much greater proportion than its cost.

Carlos Ponce

Your city - which needs the money for OTHER things such as extra patrol cars and extra police to escort prisoners to the jailhouse other than walk them. It's your city, your tax dollars. [rolleyes]

Bailey Jones

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. (Oscar Wilde)

Carlos Ponce

I guess you don't agree the money can be better spent. It's your city.

Don Schlessinger

How about streets that locals drive on?

Bailey Jones

The FY2019 city capital budget allocates $23M for streets, $15M for drainage and $15M for sewers. $2.3M is allocated for new facilities (city hall renovation). How much extra road do you think $23,000 (1%) will buy you?

Carlos Ponce

How about sidewalks? Some are really bad near 25th Street.

Carlos Ponce

"How much extra road do you think $23,000 (1%) will buy you?" How did you arrive at that figure? $23,000 is 1% of $2.3M - the amount you give for city hall renovations, not the figure you give for roads/streets.

Bailey Jones

"How much extra road do you think $23,000 (1%) will buy you?" How did you arrive at that figure? $23,000 is 1% of $2.3M - the amount you give for city hall renovations, not the figure you give for roads/streets."

ummm... yeah. 1% for the arts is 1% of any funds towards constructing a building - not 1% of the city budget. And doesn't apply to funds for streets, drainage, sewers, etc. Although different cities use different formulas. Some of your more liberal cities, like Seattle, include roads and bridges, others limit it to just municipal buildings, and only if the cost of the building is over a certain amount. Others put a cap, like $100K, on any one project regardless of the amount. I imagine Galveston would likely limit art projects to buildings and parks - because we have a lot of Dons and Carlos's.

Ron Shelby

Lets find a way to support some of the art of our local or regional artists. I see this spending as a way to preserve a piece of their work for future generations. I still have a watercolor painting that I bought at a now defunct local coffee shop (E Street) by an artist in La Marque who won many awards with it. We have nationally well recognized artists like Mike Quinn in Santa Fe. Pam Heidt how has done so many homes tour paintings. Nick Noblique, a very famous public artist who does metal sculpture, who's spent a lot of time in Galveston. That's what we want to protect and preserve before their lost. These might be commissioned pieces if you want to tie them to events in Galveston's History. For Example: The photographic shot from Hurricane Ike of the ocean shooting upward behind the seawall sculpture of the man with the upraised hand would make a great oil subject to remember Hurricane Ike by. It's a great idea and worth pursuing.

Miceal O'Laochdha

That sculpture of the man with the upraised hand (and the woman and child clutched together with him, is itself a piece of public art to remember the 1900 Hurricane by...

Jim Forsythe

Galveston is full of art such, as the ghost bikes and the many shops that have art on display. Bishop's Palace,The Bryan Museum.and these type of places add to the charm of Galveston. A permanent Art League collection at Rosenberg Library contains the work of many nationally known painters such as Eugene Speicher, Boyer Gonzales, Paul Schumann, Fredric Taubes, and Percy Holt.

Music on the strand at night and the statues that are all over the city. What make Galveston different than a lot of other cities, is that it is different that other cities.

By Rosie Carbo

While there are chainsaw artists scattered across the United States, the three artists who surfaced after Hurricane Ike stand out like superheroes. Armed with their shiny, powerful chainsaws, these men have left a tree-sculpture legacy that inspires Galveston residents and visitors alike.

In my tour group, a New York-based writer was so amazed with the outdoor sculptures that she wrote: “This not only told me a story of survival but of making something beautiful from remnants of a devastating natural disaster as well.” New York’s Hurricane Sandy survivors, who also dealt with felled trees, could learn from Galvestonians, she said.

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