Archived Story

Discussion the purpose of public sculptures

Published 10:46pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If art lovers in favor of Dowagiac’s new public sculpture, “Abundant Happiness,” exist, they are few and far between.

After the sculpture’s installation Friday in Farr Park, many residents got a glimpse of the newest addition to the burgeoning collection and seemed to express anything but happy feelings.

Facebook posts ranted that the sculpture was “ugly” or “didn’t fit in” to the collection.

Only a few said they thought the sculpture was “beautiful” or that they “couldn’t wait to see it.”

Some community members are missing the point of public art, which is to spark discussion, negative or otherwise. They also seem to be missing the point that jobs aren’t related in any way to the sculpture; the city has no financial standing in the acquisition of the sculptures and the collection isn’t supposed to be made up of the same type of sculpture.

Everyone will view art differently, especially when it comes to large, abstract pieces. Abstract art is open to vast interpretation and thus, often the most-discussed and abhorred type of artistic expression.

Residents and passersby don’t have to like the new sculpture, and they are more than welcome to publicly voice their opinion. By doing so, and backing up their reasoning with why, naysayers may be surprised to find it could start some interesting conversation with friends, family or even strangers.

Another opinion may help sway or solidify your own, but either way, you’re doing what was intended.

This editorial represents the views of the editorial board.

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