Letter: Public art is worth the money – but a landlocked whale doesn’t cut it

(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The largest gnome in the roundabout at 900 South 1100 East in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 24, 2021.

The cost of the 900 South roundabout whale sculpture is $100,000. To paint it is another $7,500. Now, mind you, I’m not against spending money on public art. I’m a big fan of it. It’s necessary to the vibrancy of a city and adds character to places that would otherwise be “Anytown, USA.” Don’t get me started on Salt Lake City’s downtown. What I am against is spending money on any public art that lacks creativity, a good design sense, proper placement, and overall interest — like a landlocked whale.

I think our local arts councils need to be shaken up a bit and replaced with people who possess at least a modicum of appreciation for good design — rather than those who get excited when the Hobby Lobby coupons arrive.

Scott Perry, Salt Lake City

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