Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Public Art = Local Artists?

13. March 2009 • Nancy Shore
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City Council recently approved a public art installation as part of the new City Municipal Center. This installation will integrate storm water mitigation into its design. The art is being designed by a German Artist. The decision to use a foreign rather than a local artist has prompted several letters to the editor

In an email to City Council, Margaret Parker (Chair of the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission) explained why the Commission chose a non-Michigan artist:

  • “Michigan artists were considered for this project and will be considered for all Percent for Art projects. But the technical aspects of the integration of storm water made it essential to chose an artist with proven experience in this specific area. Michigan artists participated in past public art projects at 4th and Washington and the Plymouth Road Water Tower. “
  • “For the first Percent for Art project, AAPAC looked for the very best public art available. That was our first priority. The artist is from Germany and does projects all around the world (one is in Portland and one in Chicago). Just as we love the Ann Arbor Symphony, we also appreciate the chance to hear the Berlin Symphony play. Reaching for the best public art from around the world puts our artists on the larger public stage and says loud and clear that Ann Arbor appreciates and wants all our people to live with great art in the public realm.”

You can read the full explanation in this document, which Ms. Parker will be providing to the media.

Thanks to Major Hieftje for providing this information



  1. Special thanks to Mayor Hieftje for giving us this information before the other media!


       —David Cahill    Mar. 13 '09 - 01:08PM    #
  2. Nice of him to share this with the little people.

    In other words, THEY (the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission)wanted this artist, they ran it down the throats of the public with very little discussion and are spending $700K for the work.

    I have no clue who Margaret Parker is but this email is classic double talk BS and doesn’t reflect the wants and needs of the city and taxpayers of Ann Arbor.

    Explain how “Michigan artists were considered for this project”? I don’t recall this being put out for ‘bid’.

    So, this was way too complex for any of the local hick artist from the Midwest to figure out? Oh I see “the technical aspects of the integration of storm water” were a bit too complex for anyone from Michigan or the US during the biggest economic crisis of the last seventy years.

    Thanks for getting us the ‘best’ art. Now we need the BEST Ann Arbor Art Commission and it obviously doesn’t include Ms. Parker.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 13 '09 - 02:37PM    #
  3. From the report:

    “5 Best Reasons for Supporting this Public Art Project
    1. If the money for this project is not used, it doesn’t go back to the projects of origin. It can
    only be spent on public art at a future time.
    2. Michigan artists were considered for this project and will be considered for every public
    art project at the Municipal Center, and for all AAPAC projects in the future.
    3. The Ann Arbor Public Art Commission, the Commission the City put in place to make
    decisions on public art, has voted unanimously for this project. The community stake
    holders Public Art Task Force voted unanimously for this project. The City Council
    voted unanimously for this project. And Herbert Dreiseitl has accepted our invitation to
    present designs.
    4. If this money is NOT used, it just might be taken away. This is Ann Arbor’s chance to
    establish a public art program, this is just the first project. We’re 30 years behind the
    rest of the country on this idea. If the state of Ohio can do it, we can do it, too.
    5. And here’s the best reason – the people of Ann Arbor want public art – the best public
    art. They’ve planned for it, they’ve saved for it, and they deserve it. With this project,
    visitors will come to Ann Arbor from around the world just to see what interesting public
    art has been built here.”

    1. Ok, so let’s spend it now for a bad project. Got it. And not spend out tax dollars (or art tax on large public projects) carefully.
    2. Thanks for tossing this in after the fact when the public became outraged.
    3. Ok, so just because it was rammed through, even with a unanimous votes it makes it right? No, it makes me want to review the process, correct it so something like this doesn’t happen again. And review WHO exactly is serving on this Commission.
    4. The money will be ‘taken away’? How so? And spare me this we’re behind OHIO in the art war race. And being 30 years behind the rest of the world? Maybe in supporting ‘local’ artists.
    5. Yes Ann Arbor deserves public art. And thanks for stating again, Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Midwest is second class when it comes to creating art and that we’ll only get respect from visitors around the world by using a German artist. God knows, and apparently this commission agrees, Michigan artists are second class. This is not the case, even with all this spin. We have world class artists here who are once again being ignored. But apparently we DO have a third world arts commission.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 13 '09 - 03:02PM    #
  4. From the Ann Arbor Chronicle story on the October 14th meeting:

    “Municipal Center: AAPAC chair Margaret Parker gave a report from the task force set up to handle the public art component of the new municipal center, which will include the 15th District Court and police facility. Because that project is well under way, she said, the task force needed to move quickly. In September, they met with architects and landscape designers for the site, a meeting that also included Herbert Dreiseitl, a German artist and landscape architect internationally known for his urban waterscapes and public art projects. (Dreiseitl was in town last month for several speaking engagements, including the keynote for the Huron River Watershed Council’s State of the Huron event.) Meeting with Dreiseitl “was a great community education process,” Parker said, “and the fact that we could hook up with him at that point was fantastic.”

    Parker said that because of the tight timeline and the fact that people on the task force were excited by Dreiseitl’s observations about the project, they’d decided to ask him to make a proposal to do three public art pieces on the site, ideally relating to each other, for a budget of $750,000.

    Some commissioners expressed surprise at the amount of funding available for the project. Marsha Chamberlin said that to make an offer without a bidding process and to not include local artists sets “a precedent I’m somewhat uncomfortable with.”

    This pretty much covers the facts at hand. The projected was approved and started because the Commission wanted it and money was spent without a real effort to pursue any local alternative.

    Herbert Dreiseitl was selected by Ms. Parker and that was that. And all this spin is an insult to the taxpayers and citizens of Ann Arbor.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 13 '09 - 07:08PM    #
  5. Alan: We can tell you are angry about paying local money to out of town artists but you should not stop here. You are needed elsewhere in town.

    Both the Ark and UM receive goodly amounts of public money, they also raise money locally. The UM is a State University and it is basically, the state.

    There are really great local folk, blues, jazz and rock bands and yet the Ark spends our $$ to bring in acts from out of town, some from Canada and Ireland!

    The UM spends 100’s of thousands to bring in foreign orchestras and yet we have a wonderful local symphony as well as UM’s own symphony.

    The State Supported UM Museum of Art has spent $MILLIONS on art from foreign artists!

    WE SHOULD SHUT DOWN THE UM AND DEMAND THEY USE ONLY LOCAL MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS! Will you be at the head of the picket line?


       —LauraB    Mar. 13 '09 - 07:25PM    #
  6. Alan: What kind of car do you drive? I sure hope it is an American model AND made in Michigan.


       —Diane    Mar. 13 '09 - 08:50PM    #
  7. Herbert Dreiseitl appears to be an artist who is unique in this type of art: nobody else creates such art with water and landscapes at the level that he does. See his web site.

    http://www.dreiseitl.de/index.php?id=517&lang=en

    So I guess the question is not whether we should choose a local artist over a foreign artist, but rather do we want this specific type of art versus any type of art for this particular space.

    If this water art is what is desired for the space, then he appears to be a good choice, however quite an expensive choice.


       —Diane    Mar. 13 '09 - 09:01PM    #
  8. Well said Laura and thank you Diane for the information and web site. This artist/architects work with water is incredible!

    What a treasure it would be to have one of his water sculptures in Ann Arbor.


       —Dusty Lake    Mar. 15 '09 - 07:22PM    #
  9. You mean the Ford Fusion I was out looking at last week for possible purchase made in Mexico or my Honda Accord made in Ohio? Oh my Chevy S-10 truck made, I think, in Michigan? Oh I forget, we’re in a “art war” with Ohio. Never mind.

    The art for this project was decided back in September, it was rushed through and it’s spending $700K of taxpayer funds. And the defense of it taking place outside of the public view for the most part has been filled with arrogance and I’m not convinced, from the published coverage, that any serious consideration was given to anyone local.

    “Parker said that because of the tight timeline and the fact that people on the task force were excited by Dreiseitl’s observations about the project, they’d decided to ask him to make a proposal to do three public art pieces on the site, ideally relating to each other, for a budget of $750,000.

    Some commissioners expressed surprise at the amount of funding available for the project. Marsha Chamberlin said that to make an offer without a bidding process and to not include local artists sets “a precedent I’m somewhat uncomfortable with.”

    And, while it’s another issue, there are scores of great local musicians who are better than some of the national and international acts that come through the Ark. But if they spent a year of their talent budget on one show, it might not be something I’d support either.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 16 '09 - 10:55AM    #
  10. So Alan:

    The arts commission is made up of local people, some local artists and the wider group was all local too.

    Why would they not want this to go to someone local? Would it be hard to find that person? Anyone local who could do this work would be well known, they would have some water sculptures installed somewhere if they are for real. Where are they? Anyone national would be known as well.

    Everyone who has looked into this melding of water and sculpture points to the same man.

    It has been established that Mr. Dreiseitl is the best in the world at creating what the local residents who worked on this decided was needed.

    The underlying work to install the project will be done by local plumbers, stonemasons, etc.

    Why not have something wonderful in this public building, something that will outlive us all?


       —Dusty Lake    Mar. 16 '09 - 02:04PM    #
  11. Not sure how old you are Dusty but assuming the life span of this building is the same as the one it’s replacing…I might not go along with the ‘outlive us all’ idea. Lol.

    Since this is a done deal and obviously nothing is going to be done to stop the project I hope two things come from this. One, hopefully everyone actually reads the link to the supporting PR document and marvels in the arrogance and hopefully there will a culture change in this process for the future.

    And two, we need to be sure the next million dollars of the 1% For Art tax is spent a bit more wisely and takes into account the fact we’re cutting police, failing to fix roads and bridges and continue to deal with the affordable housing crisis.
       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 16 '09 - 02:36PM    #
  12. “we need to be sure the next million dollars of the 1% For Art tax is spent a bit more wisely”

    There is no 1% For Art tax.


       —John Q.    Mar. 16 '09 - 03:17PM    #
  13. This building isn’t replacing anything. They had to build it in order to house the courts when their lease is up and they can stop paying rent. City hall will still be there and in use for years to come.

    Some people think that art is just as important as everything else, especially if this is the only chance to install something this meaningful into a building that will be there for a long time.

    I’ll take art over roads and bridges anytime but that is not the trade off here anyway, there will be money for all of that but we need art too. All the money in this program would not come close to fixing a bridge and why not wait for federal funding for that?


       —Dusty Lake    Mar. 16 '09 - 03:24PM    #
  14. Ah, precision! I think #11 is referring to a Council directive that sets aside 1% of the capital budget for each public project to be used for public art.


       —Vivienne Armentrout    Mar. 16 '09 - 08:33PM    #
  15. Dreiseitl takes aspects of landscape architecture, engineering, and art in his works. He has done some amazing things. That said, U of M has some renown LA’s who focus on function along with form who could produce something similar. There are many others from Michigan universities that could dosimilar work. There are many engineering and environmental firms that could the work. There are many landscape architects in Michigan that could the work. But none of them have that name brand that Ann Arbor craves.

    Dreiseitl came to WCC to speak at the Huron Watershed Council’s annual State of the Huron conference last year. No doubt he made these connections then. This was not a “last minute” decision. I don’t blame the guy on bit for trying to get work. And he does amazing work too.

    I’m guessing someone from an Ann Arbor committee was smitten with the Dreiseitl presentation because they never knew such work existed. They got all hyped and “just had to have him do something” for Ann Arbor. And I’m guessing whoever spearheaded this didn’t even think to see if anyone in Michigan does similar work. The answer is yes. Yes there are many in Michigan that could create something similar and still have it be a product of Michigan.


       —grs    Mar. 17 '09 - 02:44AM    #
  16. GRS, would you like to name/link to some of these artists?


       —Matt Hampel    Mar. 17 '09 - 02:56AM    #
  17. The artist/architect selected for this work is world renowned, he is widely regarded as the master even by others who might attempt this. His name comes up with everyone who is interested in the juxtaposition of art and water.

    The arts commission is made up of local people. The chair is a local artist who with her husband owns a downtown business. The commission would not advocate for this artist were he not the very best choice. I don’t understand why some people can’t accept this.

    The UM art museum is full of “foreign” art. “Foreign” musicians come to town all the time. Why aren’t people protesting at the UM and the Ark?

    And then, I have to ask, does Ann Arbor really want to be provincial?


       —LauraB    Mar. 17 '09 - 04:32AM    #
  18. Look LauraB, I don’t think anyone disputes Herr Dreiseitl is the king of the water/art world. He is unrivalled, unparralled, and it is even rumored that he walks on the water he designs. He is the best. Sure.

    I also don’t have a problem if everyone on the art commission, and especially Ms. Parker, were blinded by stardom, swooned at the accent, said “we need a Dreiseitl here in sleepy li’l Ann Arbor!”, and jammed it through the process. No problem with that at all, and that is what happened. No shame in that. Art is like that. Nobody wants an unknown. Everyone wants to collect “names”.

    But that is not the story they are sticking by. They have concocted a story that says that they “looked at local artists” and “none were good enough”. They would be better off just telling the truth.

    Now with all that said, I believe that if the art commission had done its work, put together a tight request for proposals that defined what they were looking for, and put it on the street, they could have gotten some very creative proposals from local/Michigan/US artists (perhaps even teamed with other professionals) and done something really amazing. If every time you want water art you go to Dreiseitl, who else will ever be able to compete? Someone previously unknown could possibly make a career with this project.


       —Marvin Face    Mar. 18 '09 - 02:33AM    #
  19. I still believe this is a tempest in a teapot. For some reason some people are applying “special rules” that don’t apply for other tax sponsored arts programs at other local entities.

    It’s kind of like how the county’s budget problem is twice as deep as the city’s but the city is all people talk about.

    Marvin alludes to an aspect of this that has not been brought up. Dreiseitl was a “safe” choice for the commission. This is a major and important piece for them and with his track record they are guaranteed to have a highly regarded piece by someone at the top of their field. Had they gone with someone who had not done something like this on this scale, they would have been taking a big risk with a high percentage for failure. There are good reasons to make the “safe” choice with public money.

    What they probably did not anticipate was the provincialism that would bubble up even in a town that claims to be sophisticated. We are a bunch of hicks with fragile egos when you get down to it.


       —LauraB    Mar. 18 '09 - 04:00AM    #
  20. I think people objecting to choosing Dreiseitl are being both unfair to the Art Commission and missing a couple of key points about the process. Because this is the first project they’ve done with the 1% for art funding they want to make a big splash and get a really major piece of public art. Dreiseitl is internationally renowned for this sort of work. The timeframe was tight on this project. While the city has known for years that the building was going forward the 1% for art was only approved late enough that there was not time to go through a full design competition in order to integrate the pieces with construction. Since this work will both manage storm water AND be art it needs to be designed and done in the midst of the rest of construction not plopped down afterward. Given both timeframe and importance going with the biggest name in what is after all a very specialized field makes good sense.

    I was at the Public Art Commission meeting where the decision to go forward was made and have been watching the process with great interest. AAPAC has been working hard to set up proper procedures for both projects that are initiated by city building or from the community. They are all volunteers spending a considerable amount of time and effort to bring public art to the city.


       —LeslieS    Mar. 18 '09 - 12:19PM    #
  21. A fancy dress for an ugly building in an poorly placed location.

    Since Tios is getting knocked down for parking, why wasn’t the new building placed there, so that a “public square” area for events could have been enhanced in front of City Hall?


       —wheres the public square?    Mar. 18 '09 - 07:13PM    #
  22. From the Patrick Thompson Opinion piece in the A2 News:

    “Parker went on to inform me that American artists were considered by reviewing their work through photos and the internet; however, none of the artists were asked to interview or submit a proposal of any kind. In fact, after attending a lecture by Dreiseitl, Parker invited him to meet with the AAPAC to discuss the Ann Arbor Municipal Center Rain Garden project.”

    http://www.mlive.com/opinion/ann-arbor/index.ssf/2009/03/other_voices_citys_decision_sh.html

    To pretend any local artist was considered is absurd.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 18 '09 - 07:46PM    #
  23. “To pretend any local artist was considered is absurd.”

    It says considered in the first sentence you quoted.


       —HNG    Mar. 18 '09 - 08:04PM    #
  24. I guess if you count googling ‘water artists’ as consideration, I stand corrected. And then pretending it was something more.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 18 '09 - 08:20PM    #
  25. “And then, I have to ask, does Ann Arbor really want to be provincial?”

    Lord knows we SO don’t want to be that. Oh my god! Thanks the stars we have an arts commission to save us from being common.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 18 '09 - 08:24PM    #
  26. Two other American cities have water sculptures by the same highly acclaimed German artist and now A2 is getting one.

    The tax supported UM has a museum full of foreign art and despite our own symphony of fine musicians, they bring in foreign orchestras for big bucks.

    Were these two cities wrong to buy this art. Should the UM only buy local?

    We have fine musicians and artists here but what a great town we could have if we kept out all the foreign artists and musicians.


       —Dusty    Mar. 19 '09 - 01:48AM    #
  27. “Reaching for the best public art from around the world puts our artists on the larger public stage and says loud and clear that Ann Arbor appreciates and wants all our people to live with great art in the public realm.”

    I like that statement from the commission chair. This project will successfully launch the program and simultaneously support the local artist community in the long term. I think that to straight-jacket the commission with an arbitrary local-only requirement would be short sighted.


       —Steve Bean    Mar. 19 '09 - 06:24AM    #
  28. I absolutely agree that the last thing we want to do is put a “local-only” requirement on the art commission 1% projects. I just ask that they be given a chance. You might be suprised. The next Dreiseitl might be right under our nose.

    Once again…I am fine with them choosing anyone on earth (or beyond) to do the work. Just be honest about the process. If they didn’t have “time”, or they wanted a proven, safe choice, just say that. Everyone knows that they didn’t look locally and I’m fine with that if they just had the guts to say that rather than bow to public pressure and concoct a story about how they “looked” at other artists.

    I really appreciate what the commission has done with creating the 1% requirement and all the hard work they do as volunteers. I also like the angle they have taken that this project, as the first, could set a precedent and really kick things off with a bang. Just Cowboy Up folks!


       —Marvin Face    Mar. 19 '09 - 03:02PM    #
  29. For Matt Hampel Mar. 16 ’09 – 10:56PM:

    Again, Dreiseitl may make artistic pieces, but there is a lot of engineering and architecture behind what he does. It’s not simply “Art”.

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~nassauer/
    http://www.jfnew.com/
    http://www.biohabitats.com/
    http://www.barr.com/

    Just a few off the top of my head.

    Again, I don’t fault Dreiseitl. I just think it’s a sham to think that anyone else was seriously considered for this work. Bids were not sought. Interviews were not made. One person came up with an idea of hiring the guy and that was that. That’s fine when commissioning a private piece, but this is with public money and the public has a right to voice their opinion.

    Dreiseitl doesn’t come cheap. I’m interested to see what $750K gets. Lets hope local contractors are used.


       —grs    Mar. 21 '09 - 03:54AM    #
  30. grs, I was with you until you listed those. I think each might be fine to contribute science or plants, etc to an art piece but none of the folks listed is by any means artistic or creative. I think if an artist teamed with one or all of these folks, they could come up with something pretty cool though.


       —Marvin Face    Mar. 21 '09 - 06:07PM    #
  31. For Marvin Face Mar. 21 ’09 – 02:07PM:

    “but none of the folks listed is by any means artistic or creative.”

    Wow. That statement tells me A) that you’re kind of a jerk and B) you have no idea what you’re talking about and you have no idea what it is that Mr. Dreiseitl does for a living.


       —grs    Mar. 24 '09 - 04:59AM    #
  32. grs,

    A) You are very observant, as I AM kind of a jerk and B) You clearly don’t know who I am if you make that statement. I know quite well what Mr. Dreisetl does. It is one thing to bring him to the US and have him talk. It is another thing to hire him for our project here in Ann Arbor without competition.

    Also, do you seriously think that Barr, JFNew, Biohabitats, or Ms. Nassaur could pull off the “artisty” by themselves? Science and plants, yes. Artistry, no. I will give you this: Perhaps I was a bit heavy-handed in saying they weren’t “creative”.


       —Marvin Face    Mar. 24 '09 - 02:10PM    #
  33. On Saturday, March 21, the AA News had an op-ed piece about this controversy. One of the online comments to this piece was this, from someone calling himself klimt:

    The question we all need to ask the Council, the Mayor, Ms. Parker and the other AAPAC members is, “Why did you break the ordinances you established in Chapter 24 of the Pubilc Art Ordinance???”

    By the way, everyone should read this ordinance, in particular, No. 1:837. I quote….

    “The oversight body shall… [Not maybe]:
    (A) Promulgate guidelines, subject to the approval of the city council, to implement the provisions of this chapter, including PROCEDURES for SOLICITING and SELECTING public art and for determining suitable locations for public art.”

    This was not done. In fact, there are no records in any of the Council’s notes or public record of the City Council’s minutes, where Ms. Parker or AAPAC submitted the required guidelines for the Council’s review of the Dreiseitl Commission.

    In other words, no guidelines were submitted as the Ordinance required. Nor was there a public review whereby the procedures were outlined for soliciting other Artists’ work for possible consideration.

    Additionally, Ordinance 1:836 was not followed. Parker and AAPAC never submitted to the Council an estimate of maintenance costs for Dreiseitl’s work, once it was installed. The Ordinance states:

    “1) No work of art shall be considered for acquisition under this chapter without an estimate for future maintenance costs.”

    CLEARLY, PARKER AND AAPAC BROKE THEIR OWN GUIDELINES! In Parker’s zeal to “hook-up” with Dreiseitl (as she stated in a recent article published in the Ann Arbor Chronicle), she abandoned her obligations to the people of Ann Arbor.

    In this writer’s opinion, Parker and the members of AAPAC should step down and this “sweet plumb” of choosing who should serve on this board, should be taken away from the Mayor.

    Council Members, please do your duty of overseeing the use public money. Haven’t we seen enough of this coming from Washington these days???

    End of comment by klimt.

    I have confirmed the accuracy of the statement that Council did not approve any guidelines.

    Therefore, in my not so humble opinion, City Council did not have the legal authority to approve the resolution for this project because the required guidelines had not been approved. The resolution is without effect.


       —David Cahill    Mar. 28 '09 - 02:43PM    #
  34. If the City Council did not have the authority to approve the resolution then someone should file a circuit court action to seek an injunction against the proposed action.


       —Kerry D.    Mar. 29 '09 - 12:13AM    #
  35. Thank you Mr. Cahill. I was out of town for several days and missed the comment you quoted.

    From day one this fiasco was more about local artists (or ONE artist) wanting to ‘network’ and add some bullet points to their own resume than celebrating and promoting local art. To find out this was a violation of the law isn’t surprising. I think the arrogance of all those involved has been appalling.

    Has this information been forwarded to the AAPAC? Or City Council? Are there any lawyers out thre seeking an injuction?


       —Alan Goldsmith    Mar. 31 '09 - 05:41PM    #
  36. “From day one this fiasco was more about local artists (or ONE artist) wanting to ‘network’ and add some bullet points to their own resume than celebrating and promoting local art.”

    That’s an unsupportable statement, Alan, and not of much value.

    “To find out this was a violation of the law isn’t surprising.”

    Remains to be seen. One lawyer’s opinion is just that.

    “I think the arrogance of all those involved has been appalling.”

    I disagree with your premise.

    As I commented at the News web site as a followup to Klimt’s comment, his (and Cahill’s) interpretation of the ordinance is debatable. Lacking language specifically requiring (i.e., another “shall”) certain prerequisites for awarding grants (e.g., the guidelines), the guidelines clause can be interpreted as a necessary step that must be completed (and followed, once complete.) In the meantime, there may be no prohibition against awarding grants prior to the establishment of the guidelines.

    As for the maintenance costs clause, those costs can’t be known until the proposal is received back from Dreiseitl. Only then will the requirement kick in.

    Settle down, guys.


       —Steve Bean    Mar. 31 '09 - 09:36PM    #
  37. Steve, the language of the ordinance is clear to me. Guidelines shall be approved by City Council to implement the entire public art ordinance. Since there are no Council-approved guidelines, legally nothing has been done. The concept of City Council taking the bit in its teeth and approving projects without first approving guidelines for the projects doesn’t work for me.


       —David Cahill    Apr. 2 '09 - 09:01PM    #
  38. I had a case a number of years ago where a municipality revoked an operating license for a business and the license appeal board of that city never promugated any operating procedures as it was empowered to do by the enabling ordinance creating the board. A circuit court judge eventually ordered the business license retored.

    I would argue that it is clear as basic tenet of law that procedural guidelenes must be promulgated and followed before a board takes action.


       —Mark Koroi    Apr. 3 '09 - 12:23AM    #
  39. I’m still waiting for the city to release the contract terms with Ann Arbor Public Art Commission Administrator Katherine Talcott as requested by the Ann Arbor News several weeks ago.

    Has this happened yet?


       —Alan Goldsmith    Apr. 13 '09 - 02:21PM    #
  40. Here is the Chronicle’s coverage of this ongoing scandal. It is toward the bottom. The article also includes a link to its report of the October, 2008 meeting of the Public Art Commission.


       —David Cahill    Apr. 13 '09 - 03:15PM    #
  41. I didn’t see the cost of the new administrative position but I did find this in the October Chronicle coverage:

    “Hiring an administrator: Applications for a part-time administrator were due on Sept. 30, and the group went into closed session to get an update on the hiring process. According to the AAPAC website, the position is “projected to expand to full time as capital projects of the city are developed.”

    So we are cutting other city positions but will have a FULL TIME Arts Czar?

    Ongoing scandal is right.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Apr. 13 '09 - 03:58PM    #
  42. It was news to me that there are public artists who specialize in politically correct art about scientific themes. Imagine my pleasure, then, when I saw this article in this week’s Nature about another one-of-a-kind public artist with A specialized and highly topical scientific profiency.

    “James Acord is the only sculptor licensed to work with radioactive materials. Formally trained in nuclear physics, he tells Nature why he thinks contaminated nuclear sites should be marked for future generations and explains his obsession with the nuclear age.”

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v458/n7238/full/458577a.html

    Let’s get Mr. Acorn into Ann Arbor for a project at the decommissioned Ford Nuclear Reactor on North Campus. The budget starts at $770,000.


       —Fred Zimmerman    Apr. 13 '09 - 04:58PM    #
  43. I think I need to update my resume for this Art CZAR job but if I’m selected I will be sure to consider Mr. Acorn, since he WOULD be a sole source it appears. Lol.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Apr. 13 '09 - 06:00PM    #
  44. Here is a link to the Chronicle’s coverage of the April 14 Public Art Commission meeting.

    Dreiseitl is coming to Ann Arbor on July 20. Other events of interest:

    The Commission is holding an working session on Wednesday, April 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Arts Center, which is open to the public and will include time for public comments.

    The Commission’s next regular meeting will be on Tuesday, May 12 at 4:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

    The Commission is holding an informal open house for the public on May 21.

    At the April 14 meeting, Marsha Chamberlin is reported as saying that while the commission technically approved the Dreiseitl project, she didn’t think she could explain the process. Plus, the City Attorney’s office is still reviewing the proposed guidelines, which were used to pick this project, and which still have not been approved by City Council.

    “Your tax dollars at work.”


       —David Cahill    Apr. 17 '09 - 01:36PM    #
  45. Thanks for the update David.

    —Process can’t be explained.

    —City Attorney still reviewing the yet unapproved ‘guidelines’ that were already used to make the selection but process can’t be explained.

    Got it.


       —Alan Goldsmith    Apr. 17 '09 - 05:16PM    #