Bronze to go by wayside?

Panel to decide on statue removal at May 5 meeting

Posted 4/26/16

Six popular bronze statues along Clear Creek streamside walking path — which have been part of the City of Golden’s public art collection formany years — may be removed because they are not considered to be high-quality art.

The statues are …

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Bronze to go by wayside?

Panel to decide on statue removal at May 5 meeting

Posted

Six popular bronze statues along Clear Creek streamside walking path — which have been part of the City of Golden’s public art collection formany years — may be removed because they are not considered to be high-quality art.

The statues are Bear and Two Cubs, Brother and Sister at the Rodeo, Eddie at Bat, Kids Sledding, Two Deer and Victorian Dress-Up.

Like all cultural attractions, public art “adds to the definition of our quality of life and community,” said Steve Glueck, Golden’s community and economic development director. And the Public Art Commission has a responsibility to “make sure it stays in good shape and that it has integrity.”

The official term for withdrawing a work of art from a public collection is known as deaccession.

The Public Art Commission will listen to what the community has to say about the deaccession of these statues during the public comment portion of its May 5 meeting at 9 a.m. in the city council chambers, 911 10th St. in Golden. People may also send comments and concerns to the commission by emailing Aleah Menefee at amenefee@cityofgolden.net.

A final decision on the six pieces will not be made at the May 5 meeting. A decision might be made as early as June.

The six statues are popular among the public, Glueck said, but they are “not considered high-quality art” because they are either not unique or are replicas of original art.

The commission published results of its first biannual inspection of the city’s public art collection last June.

The following commentby the commissionwas reported on Bear and Two Cubs, Brother and Sister at the Rodeo, Eddie at Bat, Two Deer and Victorian Dress Up: “The sculpture is of low quality, and mass-produced in China with no said artist to contact or documentation to this work. Many times these sculptures from China are illegal reproductions of original artwork.”

The commission report also noted at least one instance of a possible copyright violation regarding the statue replicating another artist’s work.

In addition to the lower-quality pieces being more expensive to maintain, some of them may containlead, a metal that can be toxic if ingested,is still investigating that aspect. But, Glueck said, based on what is known, it’s unlikely they’re unsafe.

The seven-member Public Art Commission — appointed by city council—was formally established in 2013 to manage and add to the city’s collection of public art. Members follow guidelines outlined in a handbook, available on the Public Art Commission’s page of the city’s website: www.cityofgolden.net.

The six pieces do not qualify under the commission’s guidelines, Glueck said. A policy is in place to not purchase low-quality art in the future.

For this initial review of the public art collection, the commission needs to decide what to do with the six statues in question. Future reviews will mostly be evaluating condition of the art, Glueck said.

But because this is the first such review, members “won’t rush into a decision,” he said, adding that they understand the art may have sentimental value to some community members.

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