Friday, November 14, 2008

Cultural Arts Commission

Here's a little cut-paste action from the September minutes.

If anyone can elaborate on any of these, please help out. David Allen mentioned the Garey Ave Mural a couple of months. Check the link if you want to see the proposal.

Garfield Park
Commissioner Gallivan asked about the status of the Garfield Park Serviceman's Memorial statue and landscaping. Commissioner Gallivan suggested an event on Veterans' Day, November 11 th. Staff will inquire on the status of the project and provide an update at the October meeting. October minutes not yet available.

Garey Ave Mural
Larry Egan has experienced some delays with the Garey Avenue mural project proposal. Mr. Egan will resubmit the proposal at a later date. Here is the Council Report from 6/2/08.

Commissioner Moore distributed a proposal for the 2009 High Schools of Pomona Mural Competition. The Commission reviewed and discussed the proposal. The sub-committee will consist of Commissioners Moore, McAllister and Gallivan. Commissioner Campos will contact Wal-Mart for donations and Commissioner Romero will assist with the artist reception. A motion was made/seconded by Commissioner Gallivan/Commissioner McAllister to approve the 2009 High Schools of Pomona Mural Competition proposal as reviewed and revised. Vote in favor: 6 - O.

The Commission discussed Art Policy Item #II, Section B 1 issue. A motion was made/seconded by Commissioner Gallivan/Commissioner Moore recommending that staff prepare a report to the City Council requesting their consideration to review the City of Pomona Art Policy. Vote in favor: 6-0. On the 11/20 agenda.


Anonymous said...

Cultural Arts/ Garey Ave. Mural Project? hmmm, let's see...The DPOA and representatives of the Art Colony went through a very lengthy process of solicting artits and designs, about a one year task. The Artist selected, Stefan Elliott, worked up a rudementary mock-up of the project, developed story boards, etc. (At his own expense). These were submitted to the Cultural Arts Commission by Jerry Tessier and Larry Egan.

Somehow the item on that night's Cultural Arts Agenda was not listed as an action item, so it was scheduled for the next month's agenda and was re-presented by Larry Egan. At that meeting one member of the Commission wanted the mural to be more "monochromatic" and one member didn't care for the art deco male and female figures.

By now the artist was running out of patience. He did however mock up another set of concepts, but had to leave the country for an art commission he was working on in Costa Rica. The DPOA attempted to "photoshop" the monochromatic" theme into his concept drawings, but did a poor job. These were re-submitted to the Cultural Arts Comission, who approved them 6-0, and forwarded the project to the City Council for approval.

The project was brought before the City Council the following month and one Council member objected to the concept, saying something like, ""I'm not sure what this decoration they want to put on the underpass is, but it certainly isn't what I would call art"...."It should be more reflective of Pomona's history, or buildings...etc."

The artist (now back in the country, but scheduled to head for the east coast for another commission) re-appeared before the Cultural Commission for ideas and suggestions. He met alone, as the Cultural Commission meeting was scheduled at the same time as the DPOA Board meeting, and neither Jerry Tessier or Larry Egan were available to assist him, or run interference. Mr Elliott held his own however and listened to all the "suggestions" He then did his best to accomaodate the commission's wishes which included his touring the Fox to see examples of Pomona's Art Deco, and the Historical Society where he me with Mickey Gallivan and others.

Armed with all this new artistic input, the artist put together yet another design. One more time, back to the Cultural Arts Commission for a presentation. They loved it, approved it.

The spring,summer, and fall have by now passed. The artist is now in the Northwest U.S.,and the DPOA is short of funds. Add to this that Cal Trans is going to start retrofitting the underpass (supposedly starting in August 08 and ending in Feb 09) and any work done by the artist very possibly could be destroyed, the DPOA has witheld any presentation to City Council.

Now, of course, we have a new City Council and who knows what will happen.

The DPOA will undoubtably bring the item forward again after the new year begins, but there is still the matter of Cal Trans and oh yes, does the artist want to go through this again. And, let's not forget that the City will probably throw out some more stumbling blocks in the form of permits, insurance, traffic control, sign ordinances, and who knows what else.

Well that's the latest on the Garey Ave. mural project. Probably much more information than you wanted.

Ed said...

I came upon this issue a little late, but I was aware of the City Council's response. I do encourage everyone to look at the minutes for that meeting and I'll try to place a link on the post.

It was just paint!!! I may be in the minority, but I would love to see the original proposal and the subsequent renditions.

With the agenda's now online, the commission might receive more public input (I consider my naivete to be an asset). Really folks, we have an art colony and a city of blank walls and what do we cook up with this recipe? Frustration, lost time, .......and blank walls.

I'm not an art critic. I'm not here to argue that the opinions expressed at the commission level and the Council level were wrong, but "put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be walking out the door". Just figured I'd use a little Xmas classic to shed light what I see as the Pomona problem.

And yes, that was exactly the information that I wanted!!! Thank you Anon!!

K said...

I'm with Ed -- the more murals, the better! If there's a simple and inexpensive way to make our town look better, I'm all for it.

I am a little bit curious about the legal status of murals, though. I've noticed a few news stories about law suits over the destruction of murals. Is it really "just paint", or could we be stuck with something ugly for the next 50 years, 'cause it's "art"?

The Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles
seems to claim that the artists just have to be notified of a change 90 days in advance of the proposed destruction of a mural; if that's the case, what do we have to lose?

Ed said...

That was really interesting reading! And for all those artists out there who might read my comment, please don't think I view murals as being "just paint"! Only with tremendous time, talent, and creativity do murals come to fruition.

I've never lived in a transitioning community, but it's becoming clear to me that we need to speak up, and show up at commission and/or City Council meetings. Kudos to all those of you who have been actively doing so for years!!!

I'll send an email to the Council Members about the mural and see who responds.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a sad testimony of what folks often encounter in Pomona when trying to accomplish something positive????