Wednesday, April 8, 2009


The long-awaited meeting between the Public Art Subcommittee and representatives from the Pasadena Center Operating Company finally took place last night at the Conference Center. Less well-attended than the previous (non)meeting, there were nonetheless a number of arts supporters, arts leaders and other members of the public who voiced their support for public art and concerns about the ongoing debacle on the plaza -- including the observation that the place, now empty except for light standards, was actually more interesting during the messy construction phase. Heritage folks were in the audience, though they were silent during public comment.

The Public Art Subcommittee held fast to their position that good -- no, great public art belongs in this space, that the space in its current state languishes, empty and unappealing, and that Pasadena's citizens deserve a lively and significant gathering point. PCOC continued to insist that the entirety of the plaza must be kept clear for money-making events and that the art they envisioned would be attached to the walls in the two pavilion buildings. Back and forth it went, ending up even with some confusion as to whose meeting it was and who was to vote on the issue at hand.

Ultimately, the Subcommittee agreed amongst themselves that they would go back to the full Arts & Culture Commission with the recommendation that the Commission return to City Council with the original Kuhn/Oppenheim option as Option A, and a to-be-determined Option B.

The original 90-day deadline may still be ticking in some minds, but in fact Pasadena Arts Council reps Stephen Nowlin and Terry LeMoncheck have obtained Mayor Bogaard's OK on extending the 90 days to a more reasonable amount of time for the process to have the full measure of deliberation it deserves.

Arts & Culture Commission Meeting
5:30 pm
Hearing Room, 175 N. Garfield Avenue, Pasadena

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