Friday, February 13, 2009

Moving forward, but how?

At the Arts & Culture Commission meeting this past Wednesday night, there was no holding back by many Commissioners, when they expressed their reaction to the City Council's decision to reject its recommendation of the Kuhn and Oppenheim artworks proposed for the Pasadena Center, with anger, frustration, disbelief and dismay served up in hefty portions. Commission Chair Dale Oliver -- expecting City Manager Michael Beck's support and clearly annoyed by the switcheroo recommendation to "consider alternatives" -- called upon Commissioners to consider how they are to move forward.

Particularly baffled by PCOC's position that it did not want anything -- including public artworks -- on the Convention Center plaza was Commissioner Patrick Conyers, who wondered how any alternatives to the Kuhn and Oppenheim pieces could even be considered...if PCOC doesn't want anything in the area of the Convention Center plaza, how does the Commission recommend something...anything...? Quite the conundrum.

Charged by City Council to "consider alternatives," the Commission does not appear to have ruled out the possibility of returning with its original proposal, an option that was acknowledged during the January 26th City Council meeting and referenced by Mayor Bogaard during a conversation with Pasadena Star-News reporter Janette Williams, who quizzed him about the options available to the Commission. Bogaard said that "rethinking the plan and sending it back to the Arts & Culture Commission didn't preclude the present option."

With fewer than 75 days to come up with possible alternatives to the Kuhn and Oppenheim works, the Commission faces some daunting challenges, not the least of which would be mounting a new round of requests for proposals and then evaluating then -- if the City is to keep the whole process fair and truly competitive.

1 comment:

  1. This situation gets more ridiculous by the day. How could the City of Pasadena hold any claim to objectivity and fairness (assuming they've any left) if the Arts & Culture Commission did not solicit another round of proposals for consideration? If they didn't, what are the sculptures originally proposed supposed to compared to? Isn't there something in the rulebook that says you compare oranges to oranges and not orangutans?