'Awful' big blue ring prompts public art policy change
Travelling Light controversy dims councillors' enthusiasm for public art funding
Councillors have approved changes to city hall’s public art policy, a move prompted by a controversial blue ring in northeast Calgary.
The city currently spends one per cent of the value of its capital projects on public art, but a committee voted last week to roll that back on major projects and cap the total on the biggest ones. City council voted Monday to approve those changes.
- Calgary committee votes to spend less on public art
- Mayor calls $470K blue ring billed as public art 'awful'
The one per cent target will remain in place for projects worth up to $50 million, then it will be half a per cent above that with the maximum topping out at $4 million.
Members of the public will be given more say on what works are selected by an advisory panel and the amount of money that can be spent on public art would be capped.
Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating pushed for changes after the installation on a northeast Calgary bridge of Travelling Light, better known as the big blue ring. Mayor Naheed Nenshi called the piece of art "awful."
“It had to be changed, this is a great start and the fact that we're going to review it in another year as far as funding and what's spent and what isn't, is another fabulous thing,” said Keating.
Ward 11 Coun. Brian Pincott voted against any bid to cut public art spending.
“When we put this public art policy in place, we were one of the first to have a one per cent for public art. It's now a standard.”