“It’s an asset. It’s a draw for tourism. It’s a gift to our community of culture which we desperately lack,” Oak Harbor Arts Commissioner Therese Kingsbury said.
I take exception to Kingsbury’s statement on several levels.
Whether this piece — Angel of Creativity — is a cultural asset is, as with all art, a matter of individual taste.
For example, my personal taste does include modern art, so this tall, shiny object with its abstract design, hard stainless steel surface and sharp edges holds no appeal in this setting.
Aesthetically it’s incongruent, outsized and would neither blend with nor enhance the landscape or environment of the park even with the attempts to reconstruct the park with more modern architecture.
Should I even address the potential hazard of sunlight reflecting from 37 feet of stainless steel on those few bright days we enjoy?
This piece holds no significance to this community in either historical or cultural.
Yes, we do have a culture already.
The biggest draw, as I read from the newspaper’s editorial, is “its immense scale and sheer coolness will inevitably make a splash on social media and draw the pop-culture crowd.”
Is that really the criteria the Oak Harbor City Council members should be considering when making a decision on behalf of the community? The “gift” will cost some amount of taxpayer funding to install and maintain, so whether it will be a financial asset is a guess.
I would urge the city council to graciously decline this “gift” and look for more culturally appropriate art to add appeal to our community park, while Sculpture Northwest continues to look for an appropriate venue for this piece.