For art’s sake

Artists have been selected to gussy up the area around Target Field:

St. Paul muralist Craig David and Phoenix artist Al Price were selected from among 84 applicants by a Public Art Steering Committee formed by the Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) and project partners Hennepin County and Northstar Commuter Rail, the MBA announced Tuesday . . .

. . . David’s project calls for murals along the 5th Street side of the ballpark. The $200,000 budget comes from the MBA’s District Enhancement and Public Art Incentive Fund.

Price’s project will be inside the Vertical Circulation building and is funded by $150,000 from the Northstar Commuter Rail Line. This two-story building will house the escalators and elevators used to connect commuters to the two levels of trains at the ballpark’s transit station.

While I’m kind of an art idiot, I’ve long been a fan of public art projects. Old WPA murals especially, but also the weird sorts of things you find hanging around government buildings from the 60s and 70s. I can only guess that such beasts aren’t considered good art — well, maybe the WPA stuff has its supporters — but my enjoyment of these works isn’t necessarily an aesthetic thing. Rather, it’s an appreciation that someone buried in a bureaucracy somewhere, however art-challenged they themselves might have been, thought it right and proper that a public building have some art in it.

I don’t suppose Target Field will be getting a large mural setting forth the history of workers in America or some odd, unfortunately-colored geometric monstrosity like I walk past in my 1970s government office building each morning, but as long as it isn’t a billboard for Audi or something, I’m cool with it.

Print Friendly
 Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone
« Previous: See you at GenCon, Curt!
Next: Maybe they had more’n they could handle? »

Comments

  1. Grant said...

    A number of important artists of the 40s and later (like Pollock) got their start with the WPA, and a lot of the important artists of the 30s, like Thomas Hart Benton (who taught Pollock) also worked for it, despite already being established. Those things are pretty highly revered in art historical circles. As for 60s and 70s corporate art, yeah, that’s more of a mixed bag.

  2. APBA Guy said...

    I know the reaction around DC to the tin projects that sprung up during the Carter administration: F-ugly. But snce they were paid for, they hung around during Reagan until they were replaced by painted cows.

    It was jarring to leeave my building on 19th, walk down E past one of these welded monsters, then go into the WPA adorned Interior Dept for lunch. Incredible murals of the West everywhere in that building.

    So art is like baseball: You can’t get a hit unless you take a swing, and most of the time you make an out. But sometimes you hit one out of the park.

  3. APBA Guy said...

    I know the reaction around DC to the tin projects that sprung up during the Carter administration: F-ugly. But snce they were paid for, they hung around during Reagan until they were replaced by painted cows.

    It was jarring to leave my building on 19th, walk down E past one of these welded monsters, then go into the WPA adorned Interior Dept for lunch. Incredible murals of the West everywhere in that building.

    So art is like baseball: You can’t get a hit unless you take a swing, and most of the time you make an out. But sometimes you hit one out of the park.

  4. Pete Toms said...

    Craig, you like that big rubber stamp outside of Cleveland City Hall?  I’ve seen a photo, liked it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>