A proposal to trial a new process for commissioning public
art for Dunedin has been rejected by city councillors.
Council staff had proposed working with the Otago Sculpture
Trust (OST) on a specific project in the city's warehouse
district, to see if a model proposed by the trust might work.
An artwork was planned as part of rejuvenation work in the
area and it was seen as an opportunity to trial how a new
process covering everything from selection of artworks to
location decisions, fundraising and installation might work,
events and community development manager Rebecca Williams
The Otago Sculpture Trust has for many years suggested the
city needs a structure set up to make decisions concerning
public art for the city, as the Wellington Sculpture Trust
did in Wellington.
Council staff had proposed the council devote $10,000 in the
2014-15 year to a trial working with the OST.
The idea received support from Cr Jinty MacTavish, who said
it was a good way to determine what worked and what did not
as the council worked through its development of an Arts and
Culture Strategy and the plans for implementing it.
However, other councillors were more reluctant.
Cr Aaron Hawkins was nervous about focusing on working only
with a sculpture group, when public art was not just about
sculpture, despite earlier assurances from the trust that it
planned to work with a wide range and variety of people on
Cr Lee Vandervis was concerned there was not the standard of
sculpture coming out of Dunedin that there was coming out of
Wellington. He was assured by Mrs Williams there was amazing
talent in Dunedin, although that did not mean the council
should limit itself to Dunedin artists for its public
Cr Kate Wilson said there were probably lots of community
groups that would like to get a little bit of funding to do
something for their community.
However, Cr Richard Thomson said it seemed like a good idea
to him to put small amounts into things that would generate
potentially significant returns.