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Public art should be cherished

I called Rocky Mountain Bank, mistakenly thinking they had something to do with the hot dog cart in front of Jay Laber’s great sculpture entitled, “Two Left Feet Dancing Free.” They said that the town had issued a license for the hot dog stand so I have sent a letter to the town council.

Jay is an extremely well known, even famous Montana artist. I am sure a great work like this should not be obscured by the vending of hot dogs on the corner of Main Street, practically on top of this sculpture. It is very insulting, in bad taste, disrespectful, etc! He has the four monumental sculptures at the four corners of the Blackfeet Reservation…they do not sell things right under them.
The purpose of public art is to make it accessible to viewing by the public, not vendors to obscure the viewing of it. Consider this a great work of art, and it is, I assure you. It should be honored and cherished.
As the founding member and past president of SASS, Stevensville Art and Sculpture Society, I humbly request that the mayor ask the vendor to NOT set up there. Personally, I don’t think it a good location for the business person either. Back toward the alley of the bank on Third, or closer to the drive through exit, would make more sense for parking and less driving distraction.
The first time I saw it there I thought, oh, that must be a one time event…apparently not. What an insult to the artist, the town and the sculpture supporters! Please fix this. Who do I need to protest to, ask, cajole, disrupt, beg, pled, or taunt into making this small change in the vendor’s life?
It will be a huge and positive change in perception of the town, the art and the people who supported putting the sculpture there in the first place.
Celia Grohmann
Missoula

One Response to Public art should be cherished
  1. Mike in Stevensville
    March 7, 2014 | 1:03 am

    Celia, do you not realize all the PUBLIC people that get a close up and personal view of that statue (on public property, by the way!) BECAUSE of the hot dog stand?! The fact is that statue is NOT being blocked, as I still am able to view it as I drive by the few hours and times a week the stand is operating (part time business). The stand is owned and operated not only by residents of the town, but these residents are also Veterans who have served our country proudly, humbly, and sacrificially. They have returned home to whence they came, and offer a local service not only to locals, but out of town passersby as well, many who’ve noticed the vendor and act on impulse, and learn about our community and this statue because they saw the hot dog stand.

    Further, this vendor relies on income generated to not only take care of his/her family, but also supplies monies to the town of Stevensville in way of taxes, not only business wise, but residentially, as well. Do you, Celia, supply Stevensville as this vendor does?

    This local vendor has done NOTHING wrong. Quit your complaining, and go worry about something in Missoula.

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