Opinion

LETTER: Art is a matter of taste

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Re: “Council balks at mural cost,” May 7

And well it should!

While this issue is a matter for Nelson’s city council, I think we could agree that  “cultural” activities, specifically “art” and more specifically “public art” is a matter of taste.

What may be one person’s “art” may be another’s crap. For some, there can be an argument that this type of “public art” may be a misuse of Columbia Basin Trust funds.

In fact, one might well give kudos to the Cultural Development Committee jury for nixing the project at this time and brickbats to Mayor Dooley for wanting to add “city money” to the project.

In fact that is the part that makes me wonder about this issue: that the city should reduce other meaningful and deserved allocations, particularly money for Our Daily Bread and the assistance program aimed at  paying for  spaying and neutering charges for pets of low income families.

Judging from Nelson’s sidewalk corners the council has a thing about dogs and spaying and neutering would be a better control than having a dog-free ghetto.

Finally, while one might applaud the mural on the side of the building housing Pharmasave, another might find the mural on the Orange Bridge irrelevant to local history or nature.

For example, Chemainus, which was the first municipality to use these public art murals, at least dealt with the history of the local area — when it was at low ebb because of closure of parts of the forest industry. The local use here is probably to discourage graffiti by encouraging area graffiti.

While this money has been allocated to the City of Nelson for community projects by the Columbia Basin Trust, I feel it is still valid to comment on its use because the Columbia Basin includes all of us, giving us a critical oar to pull.

Personally, I think the allocative instincts of the majority of Nelson city council were right on the mark, and those of the minority and the mayor were not only off-base but should have received three strikes.

Maurice A. Rhodes

Nelson

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