In 2006, City Council adopted ordinance 16324, establishing a Public Art Program and earmarking 2% from every Capital Improvement Project budget for the acquisition of art for municipal property.

Since that time, our City has commissioned numerous public artworks, many of questionable quality or utility.

One thinks of the famous twirling “eggbeater” sculptures on I-10 at Airway, designed by Vicki Scuri and constructed in 2014 at a cost of $7.5 million. At one point, in 2017, they fell into disrepair and stopped working for nine months.

More recently, the City’s Public Art Plan 2020 set aside $7,965,000 for public art installations, including Christopher Weed’s blueberry martinis, properly called “Flores del Desierto” ($750,000), and his “Yellow Door” sculpture on El Paso Street ($250,000).

These two installations alone cost the taxpayers $1,000,000.

But how about those blueberry martinis?

In October 2020 they had to be repaired at a cost of $73,900.

In September 2011 another $211,000 were allocated to repair them a second time!

And now we learn they have been damaged yet again!

Alas, one of the martinis JUST fell to the ground and split into pieces and will be very expensive to repair.

Should the City be allocating millions of taxpayer dollars for these artworks?

Might it not be better to cancel the program altogether and spend the money instead on repairing our third-world streets?

Don’t worry, it’s only your money!