Last month, we reported about the kerfuffle over a planned art project: a giant red "Yes!" slated for installation at Boulder's main library branch that inspired numerous locals to say "no."
Now, the nays officially have it. At last night's Boulder City Council meeting, city manager Jane Brautigan announced that she would not sign the contract for the display in part because of the public outcry. (Another factor: The artists are from Miami, not Colorado.) A new policy to choose public art for the library is reportedly in the works. Continue for our previous coverage.
Original post, 10:50 a.m. April 24: Earlier this week, the City of Boulder announced the selection of a public-art project for the Boulder Public Library main branch: "Yes!," by artists R&R Studios based in Miami. But some of those who've seen renderings of the piece, featuring giant red letters and an exclamation point (we've got more images below) aren't responding in a positive manner.
According to Boulder's release about the project, the letters will be free-standing, made of aluminum and lit from within, so that "the light [will be] visible through perforations in the red surface." The word is to be installed this fall outside the curved glass wall just north of the library's entrance. As for the concept, R&R artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar say the letters represent "their interpretation of the personality of Boulder as open, inclusive and focused on community." Whether the community will embrace "Yes!" is another question. The Boulder Daily Camera quizzed a number of locals to get their take on the proposal, and not everyone offered a thumbs-up. For instance, local writer and artist Heather Perkins told the paper that "there's more to art than enthusiasm and crayons. The color, the font -- it doesn't jibe with the rest of the library. It's just ugly."
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One panelist who helped select "Yes!" isn't upset by the criticism, speaking positively about pieces that start a conversation -- and it's not hard to find public art that was initially despised only to later be widely embraced. We offer the following example:
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Lists & Weirdness archive circa October 2011: "DIA Blue Mustang only the third most bizarre piece of public art in USA? Really? (PHOTOS)"