The Arts & Culture Commission met last night with a one-item agenda -- "Discussion of Arts and Culture Commission Report to City Council Regarding 90-day Council Directive of a Pasadena Center Operating Company Amended Artist Selection Process."
Chair Dale Oliver helmed a mostly forward-moving discussion about whether to present a one-part or a two-part recommendation back to City Council; the original proposal alone, or a Part A/Part B. Oliver, acting on the consensus from the group's previous meeting, had drafted a two-option proposal, re-recommending in very strong terms the original Kuhn and Oppenheim pieces but adding an "if you still won't go for it" contingency -- that the remaining $630,000 be spent on interior -- hardly public -- art.
The Commissioners in attendance (only six of nine were present) had a meticulous discussion about what was at risk if they returned with the same recommendation they'd submitted back in January; however, Patrick Conyers observed that "it wouldn't be the same recommendation -- there has been more evaluation and more input by the public" and this extended process has only served to strengthen the Commission's resolve.
In the end, the Arts & Culture Commission decided to hold their ground, defending the last three years of diligent planning, selecting and evaluating, and will send their support of "Lightfield" and "Thinking Caps" back to City Council, eliminating the interior artwork option.
In expressing his belief that the Convention Center plaza deserves "monumental works of art," Oliver exhorted the community to demonstrate their support of the artworks to City Council when the moment arrives. He can rest assured that we will.