Last month,Current in Carmel asked, “What do you think of the statues in theArts & Design District?”
I’m strongly opposed to having 16expensive statues at $80,000, each by the one artist, J. Seward JohnsonJr., using the same type of medium and design paid for by my taxes. Andthere are additional costs for security cameras that became necessary toprotect the statues from vandalism and the cost for paint touch-ups andcleanups of the statues. At a City Council meeting, our councilors voted not to scan people for weapons when they were entering our courtrooms, and yet we are paying for security to protect these statues fromvandalism.
Mayor Jim Brainard, who ordered these statues, said public art is an important aspect to a city’s quality of life and these life-sizesculptures are a wonderful addition to the City of Carmel and the Carmel Arts & Design District. I do not think these statues are a wonderfuladdition to the City of Carmel or they enhance the urban environmentand promote visual arts in Carmel. I feel having two or three ofthe statues would have been OK, but I strongly prefer a variety of artstyles and artists exhibiting public art. And, I value having some of ourpublic art created by local artists.