Interest in art

Dear Editor:Shortly after reading "Water Fountains Approved as Art" (The Downey Patriot, 3/12/10), I took a drive along Firestone Boulevard to check out the progress made in the five years since the Art in Public Places Ordinance was adopted. It wasn't easy, but I finally found the one piece actually installed during this intervening period. It is a nice work of artwork for sure, but it's located in a not-pedestrian friendly section of the boulevard. While I give a lot of credit to the developer for its commitment to the program, I'm fairly certain the current ordinance limited what could actually be placed there. For example, the car wash where the artwork is located might have been a perfect location for an artistic display that made use of reclaimed water. Other developers no doubt consider the ordinance as it currently stands too restrictive, which is probably why many of them choose to simply pay the one percent fee rather than identify artwork to commission. There continues to be plenty of local interest in public art, however, as evidenced by the incredible Downey Art Vibe exhibition recently held at the Downey Theatre. It's my hope the ordinance is revised without further delay, in order to allow more artists the opportunity to display their works within the city. According to the article, more than $350,000 in additional funds has been collected thus far as part of this arts program. Perhaps those funds can be used for art in the Downtown area, so that the various works can be enjoyed by future generations when they take in a terrific DCLO show, enjoy a nice dinner and finish the evening listening to a jazz trio at a revitalized Avenue Theatre. - Mark Echmalian, Long Beach

********** Published: March 19, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 48