I am disgusted by the proposal to require private individuals to pay for pieces of “public art” on their privately owned properties.
Those who want to have pieces of public art showcased around the island to build the reputation of Marco Island as a “community of the arts” can solicit voluntary contributions, donate to the cause themselves, and hold fundraisers – and they do, of course, with great success. Now they want to expand their reach into everyone’s pocketbook by having the city confiscate private funds and property. These advocates carefully note that only newcomer businesses and those wealthy enough to fund major remodeling will have this new requirement forced on them. That is a transparent attempt to garner the support of businesses who will escape the new requirement.
I am opposed to the use of tax dollars to support art and broadcast media, such as National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service; art should be free from any governmental influence and not be beholden to it because of financial support. Further, it is true that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For example, when I behold our most prominent piece of public art, popularly known as “Marco Man,” I can barely stand to look at it. I still am angry that hard-earned Marco Island taxpayer dollars were spent on it and that it stands on public property. In my opinion, it is ugly, its color clashes with the natural beauty of its surroundings, and it does not reflect any aspect of life on Marco Island. However, I completely understand that others do not share my opinion and enthusiastically embrace Marco Man as a unique and sophisticated sculpture. They should have paid for it themselves and either donated it to the City, assuring the funding for its maintenance, or found some private property to put it on.
Janice R. Drummond