Canadian Politicians Block Public Art Work Because They Don't Like It

Canadian Politicians Block Public Art Work Because They Don’t Like It

The City Council in Richmond, British Columbia, shot down a proposed work by artist Evan Lee, arguing that they didn’t like the design.

Earlier this year, Lee was selected under Richmond’s Public Art Program to create artwork for the Dinsmore Bridge, described as a prominent city gateway in a report to the Parks and Recreation Committee.

Lee’s proposed project would consist of three human-scale, transparent, black and white photographs of ginseng roots, similar to pieces he recently displayed at the Richmond Art Gallery.

Parks and Rec voted against the design 3 to 1.

Here, offered without comment, are some of the reasons given by said politicians for their votes against Lee’s work. Quotes courtesy of the Richmond Review.

“Perhaps I’m just not a very artsy type of person,” said Coun. Linda McPhail. “I just wasn’t comfortable with that piece and the design of it. It’s a prominent piece and I just thought we could do a little bit better.”

Coun. Day, city council’s liaison to the public art advisory committee, said the art “reminds me of a Star Wars alien,” adding she had to speak up for Joe Average.
“This is not something that we’re going to appreciate in 100 years or 50 years. This is a bad representation of public art, and I think we can do a heck of a lot better.”

City council’s liaison to the public art advisory committee.

Council Member Bill McNulty was the project’s lone supporter, saying, “I have trouble matching my shirt and tie with my jacket. And I’m going to tell you about public art?”