In a rare show of "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" blogging, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel art and architecture writer Mary Louise Schumacher pulled out the big editorial guns this morning, taking both the infamous yet much beloved Mike Brenner and Alderman Joe Dudzik to task for their sophomoric behavior--which is actually an insult to most well behaved sophomores--over the Janet Zweig public art project kerfuffle, stating:
Forgive me for sounding a bit like your mothers here, boys, but KNOCK IT OFF! This is how these debates get ridiculous and polarized fast. Neither of you are doing anyone any favors by injecting bad blood."
You go, girl! Boys indeed.
If you're unaware of the hubbub surrounding Zweig's public art project, it can be quickly summed up as artistically naive politicians trying to put the brakes on a worthy project that's already been approved and budgeted for--a.k.a. business as usual.
As Schumacher points out in her post, one of the main reasons that the majority of the Common Council's Public Works Committee are expressing negativity toward the work, as demonstrated by their very mature "giggling, sighing and making fun" at yesterday's meeting, is that no one from the artistic/creative community showed up to explain the merit of the work to them.
For her part, Miltown native Zweig could not attend the meeting as she now lives and works in Brooklyn, but she apparently watched it live via webcast. Fancy, but, er, why wasn't a two-way conference call set up so she could state her case for the project that was given a unanimous thumbs-up last week by a Common Council advisory committee? Dunno. Maybe mixing 20th and 21st Century technologies is over the heads of the IT folks at City Hall. I do imagine, however, that watching this gathering in silence must of have been extremely painful for the artist.
Anyhoo, the project is now in limbo as the committee decided to put the whole thing on hold until a public hearing can be scheduled. In a related summary of the meeting, Schumacher gravely informs us, "... that could effectively cancel the project because manufacturing was slated to begin in mid-April, when a fabrication bill of $25,000 also comes due, Zweig said." Not good.
You can see examples of Janet Zweig's work on her website. Hopefully, images of this completed project will end up there someday as well.