Defending the rock

Dear Editor:The excellent story on creating an art gallery in Downey ("Local Artists May Get Their Own Space Downtown," 3/8/12) made a striking contrast to Jim Lucas's letter ("Rock Star," Letters to the Editor). The artistic significance of installing a rock from San Bernardino at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) can be explained and defended (LACMA Director Michael Govan has done so eloquently). Mr. Lucas admits he has never even been to LACMA. But the rock roused him from his obliviousness to art and provoked him to publicly comment on a work of art - most likely for the first time in his life. It had a similar impact on the many who heard about it in the news or came out to see it - 20,000 in Bixby Knolls alone. As to the $10 million cost, all of the money is private. It's amazing how many people think they have a right to tell someone else how to spend his money. In any case, most of the money paid quarry workers, workers who built the transport, workers involved in the actual move, DOT workers who moved traffic signals and other obstacles, workers building the installation at LACMA, and so on. The project created local jobs and will continue to have a beneficial economic impact. Whether as art or as economics, the rock seems to be not only defensible, but a huge success. Scoffers like Mr. Lucas have every right to prefer more traditional works of art. I hope they will now actually visit LACMA or the Getty or the Norton Simon and see some. Or they could see local artist Steve Clay's paintings now on display at Mari's Wine Bar right here in Downey. --Don Marshall, Downey

********** Published: March 15, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 48