Tag Archives: Scottsdale Public Art

Should the State Support the Arts?

SRP Arizona LeadershipJason Gunawardena, Class 27
Sr. Electrical Engineer, Salt River Project

Art day has to have been the most memorable day so far in the Scottsdale Leadership Program. We learned about programs at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, saw many of Scottsdale’s Public Art pieces and toured an Artist School. This is an exploration of a segment of our Arts Day where representatives from the Arizona Commission of the Arts and the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts were appealing for further state support for the arts.

The arts enlarge, elevate, and harmonize the soul of Scottsdale.  It may be asked what would become of arts in Scottsdale without her Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.  It might even be asked whether, without centralization and consequently the support of fine arts, that exquisite taste would be developed which is the fruit of the city’s labor, and which introduces its productions to the world.

Does the right of the Arizona legislator extend to cutting the wages of the people, to supply the profits of the artist?  It was said, “Without public funding, the arts will not survive.”  It might be answered, if you desire to support everything which is good and useful, where will you stop?  Will you not be led to form a civil list for agriculture, industry, commerce, benevolence, education?  Then does government aid favor the progress of art?

Galleries that prosper are those that depend on their own resources.  We observe that wants and desires arise, and are born and refined in proportion as the public wealth allows these to be fulfilled.  Government should not take part in the arts, because it could not by taxation stimulate the arts of necessity, while restricting those of luxury, thus creating a natural disruption.

Choosing and spending should come from the people and not from government and the opposite will lead to the destruction of liberty and human dignity.  But why is it that when we disapprove of government support, we are philistines and are supposed to disapprove of the thing whose support is discussed only because we desire to see those activities seek reward in themselves.  Can the state exist to protect the free development of all these kinds of activities without pillaging from others?  The development is natural under the influence of liberty instead of being shaped by the powers that legislature dictates.    When asked “what is art?” and one of my classmates said “humanity.”  If art is humanity then this is not art.

The constitutionality of the establishment came into question.   The response received was the pursuit of happiness is in the constitution and art provides happiness.  Then give freedom to pursue happiness without government providing it for us as the founders designed it.

They stated that in regards to financing, that at the end of the day the federal government is a leader to its constituents and even if it gives a rounding error of 200 million it is conveying the message that art is a central part of our lives.  So the government should be dictating to its people what should be the central part of our lives similar to North Korean society?  It is clear that the taxpayer, will no longer have this “rounding error” at his own disposal and that the workman who would have received it from him, will be deprived of a benefit to that amount.  The vote of the 200 million will not add anything to the well being of the country, and to the national labor.


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Art in Scottsdale PHE.NOM.EN.AL.

Class 25- Art Day

Katherine Yu, Class 25 Class Blogger
Sr. Scientist – Henkel Consumer Goods Inc.

The Class 25 Blog: This is a blog series about the experience and impact of Scottsdale Leadership’s seventeen core program days.  The program informs, inspires and empowers leaders to champion and strengthen the interests of the community.

There is one word to describe Arts Day in Scottsdale Leadership: PHE.NOM.EN.AL. I was completely astounded at the breadth of variety, quality, and quantity of art to be found in Scottsdale. The aspects of the Scottsdale art community I could appreciate most are the public art, the artistic heritage, and the art advocates.

This Scottsdale Leadership Program Day included a bus tour of some of the public art that Scottsdale offers. I loved this part of the day because it forced me to take the time to appreciate my surroundings. As I gazed at the art elements which adorn the 101, I realized that I had never been a passenger along this road. My solitary commute to work never allowed me to see the beauty that was there all along. Public art in Scottsdale is a treasure and can serve as a point of pride for each member of the community. It speaks to the importance of art as an essential component of our everyday life and the fight to maintain that priority. It allows for equal accessibility because everyone can appreciate pubic art. Whether or not you like or dislike a piece, the art provokes thought, keeps the discussion going, and beautifies our surroundings. It is these hidden gems in the community that really sets Scottsdale apart.

Art is Scottsdale’s heritage. Artists from around the world from different points in history have called Scottsdale home. The art here serves to preserve our past and celebrate the present and future. During the art walk, our class had the privilege to visit Expressions In Bronze and meet Dave McGary himself. His internationally renowned sculptures were absolutely breathtaking. He spoke of his 7th grade art teacher, also the school football coach, who inspired him to become an artist. As a teenager, he became an apprentice in bronze-making in Italy, and the rest is history. Later in the day, we learned how art can benefits our youth by encouraging better test scores, self esteem, and even time management. We appreciate art because it is part of Scottsdale’s past, but it is clear that it must also be part of the future.

Finally, the most phenomenal aspect of this program day was all the people involved. Never have I met a group of people with such passion for their work. The artists, curators, performers, volunteers, and advocates, they all clearly love what they do. That passion is contagious. These people live, eat, and breathe art. They create for a living. That is inspiring, inspiration to go to a museum, stop to gaze at sculpture on the side of the road, or attend a live performance. I am still amazed at how much resides in our own community.

Please share with me, what is your favorite art destination in Scottsdale?

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Scottsdale Public Art – A Legacy for Generations to Come

By Bill Heckman, ‘The Great’ Class VIII
Heckman Marketing, Inc.

Scottsdale Public Art (SPA) is entering its 25th year and has built a reputation as one of the top quality programs of its kind in the entire country. This is due to the vision of past civic leaders who created a funding mechanism through city ordinance in 1985. The AIPP ordinance mandated a 1 % contribution for public art applied to all new Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). A companion ordinance for a 1% contribution to Public Art in Private Development (AIPD) insured a balance of public and private funding and ability to create engaging art experiences throughout Scottsdale.

Today, we are proud of having 86 projects in private development and 70 world class public installations with another 17 AIPP plus 5 AIPD in various stages of development. Additionally, we have been able to fund numerous ‘time based’ or temporary installations to augment civic art events and create an artistic-surprise like the Red Ball project. Few cities of any size can equal what has been accomplished in Scottsdale.

From our magnificent freeway art walls to citizen driven projects like the new War Memorial to the Love Sculpture by Robert Indiana and ranging from the entrance signs that grace our parks to the citizen involved crochet ‘Coral Reef’ project in the downtown main library, Scottsdale Public Art has enhanced our city’s cache. It has enhanced Scottsdale’s cultural reputation and has received tremendous local and national recognition.

Despite our accomplishments, new challenges have arisen due to the difficult economy and maturing nature of our Public Art Program. Efforts have been underway for several years to amend the SPA funding to insure stability & continuity for the program. After two years, the AIPP ordinance revisions were completed and approved by the city council in conjunction with the new city contract for the Scottsdale Cultural Council. The AIPD ordinance is not yet complete but when approved will be expanded city wide to create a broader income stream and offset loss of AIPP revenues. Meanwhile, the program has had to make substantial cuts to marketing, conservation & programming. Our long term trust fund will be depleted in just two more years unless new sources are found. Rest assured that the SPA Staff and Board are working to provide long term stability and growth of our program.

Scottsdale Public Art’s newest installation are the 14 foot tall horses along Indian Bend Road between Scottsdale and Hayden. If you’ve not seen them, threat yourself with a drive to see these four magnificent steeds. You will want to park and walk down to get a closer view. It is worth every minute and is symbolic of the power of our investment in public art for ourselves and as our legacy to the generations yet to come!

Please visit us at www.scottsdalepublicart.org to see many of the exciting completed projects and mark your calendar for events surrounding our 25th Anniversary year starting this fall with the completion of the Soleri Bridge project across the canal at the Scottsdale Waterfront. This ambitious project will add to the excitement of the Herb Mignery Bronze ‘Passing the Legacy’ and Donald Lipski’s ‘The Doors’ already on site.

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Scottsdale’s Great Arts!

2009 Scottsdale Leadership Class Reporter

The Scottsdale Leadership Experience
This is the fourteenth of a 17 article series recapping Scottsdale Leadership’s nine-month Core Program. The program educates, connects and empowers citizens who are interested in community leadership.

Vibrant Art = Sustainable Community!

Did you know that Scottsdale is home to over 100 galleries? On the evening prior to our Scottsdale Leadership “Arts in Scottsdale” topic day, Class 24 participated in the downtown ArtWalk.  We were fortunate to have presentations by the owner/staff at three galleries:  Joan Cawley Gallery, Duley Jones Gallery and Gebert Contemporary Gallery. They exhibit some of the finest and most diverse art from all over the world.

The Scottsdale Gallery Association and the 30-year old Thursday night ArtWalk were formed to promote not only the galleries, but the idea of Scottsdale as an arts town.

Visit www.scottsdalegalleries.com to check out special events and then be prepared to be awed by the vast array of artwork and the welcoming spirit of the gallery owners.  Like us, you might be lucky enough to meet an artist or two!

More Arts and Culture
Wowed by our ArtWalk experience, we spent the next day gaining an understanding of the role that arts and culture play in Scottsdale – past, present and future. It started with a musical performance by a trio from Musica Nova (Warren Cohen, Music Director).

To read the rest of Suzanne’s blog click here.

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