Hunter S. Thompson's words couldn't be more true as I make my way through the Promenade Study for a second time, throwing up in my mouth with each page.
I guess it's no surprise that the same gang-of-six that voted in favor of proceeding with the cardboard cut-out peace flame tree in advance of a public art policy were the same gang-of-six that were hell bent on approving the Promenade Study.
On page 37 of the Aurora Promenade Draft Concept Plan, Section 3.1.4. is dedicated to "Public Art", I have included a snapshot of it here:
It goes on to pontificate about design competitions for "highly visible" accents in "strategic locations".
It's interesting that a whole page is reserved to outline these objectives when the town is still without an official public art policy.
How does the town claim to be open and transparent while proceeding with plans on public art, no doubt for their friends, without laying out a plan as to how to select, debate and decide on the art that will be entered into the public space?
page 89 of the Promenade Study outlines "Quick Wins"
I always like that term, because these are usually the items that end up being implemented last after all the bureaucracy, consultants and waste are allowed to snowball.
Under "Beautification" there is listed: Commission public art for key sites
Again, I am unsure how this is to be achieved in absence of a Public Art Policy, or why any consultant study should be instructed to work on this area until a Public Art Policy is formed and passed by council.
Even more absurd is some drivel about "Bike storage facilities – provide as public art installations"
It then reads in bracket (create a buzz)
First off, I want to know who came up with this pathetic idea or copycatting something that would be at home in Amsterdam, instead of something that could be unique and more fitting with a Canadian small town.
Aurora does not need bike storage facilities, and it certainly does not need them adorned with "peace flame trees".
If self-important, self-proclaimed "professional" artists with their champagne socialist idealism want to contribute to the town's public art so be it. I'm sure there are others that wish to do so as well.
Favoritism and politics should not have a place in this decision making process.
Perhaps we should all take Kahlil Gibran's lead, who said "I wash my hands of those who imagine chattering to be knowledge, silence to be ignorance, and affection to be art."
and be sure the council we elect sees fit to pass a Public Art Policy so we see proper representation from our town's truly creative residents.