Why do we spend so much money on statues and roundabout art?
Whenever a city invests in public art, questions are raised. Why spend money on a statue or a piece of roundabout art when this road needs to be paved or that storm sewer needs to be replaced?
We agree … a city does need to make functional elements of city life its top priority. We need to keep our streets and infrastructure well maintained. We need to provide services such as police and fire protection and other vital city services. An excellent city needs to do both.
But a city is also charged with creating a quality of life so that residents will want to remain, new residents want to live here and everyone will feel as if their biggest investments ever (their homes) have been good. We also want companies to relocate here; we want more jobs here; we want a variety of things to make life in Carmel an experience that convinces you to raise your family here. In that regard, public art can be considered an economic investment by a city.
We believe cities have a unique responsibility to promote public art to make our streets and landscapes more appealing to residents and visitors.
We believe cities have a unique responsibility to promote public art to make our streets and landscapes more appealing to residents and visitors. Whether it is a cool bench at our Little Free Library off Monon Greenway, a sculpture or a mural on the side of a Midtown building, public art makes a place look nicer. It brings something distinctive to a street corner. Commuters notice. Bikers notice. Pedestrians notice. Maybe a few local entrepreneurs notice and decide this might be a good place to open their business. It won’t take long before more businesses, residents and tourists are all enjoying the public art.
As one blogger put it … A beautiful street is a bustling street. And a bustling street means a strong economy.
Authored by Laura Campbell, Ron Carter, Sue Finkam, Bruce Kimball, Kevin Rider and Jeff Worrell