“I love public art projects because, when they’re done right, they give identity and character to a neighborhood,” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge.
The North Hollywood Gateway is up, it’s lit, and it already has its fair share of detractors. Metblogs’ own Jodi gave her review just a few days ago.
Let’s be honest: Nobody likes it. When I drive under the massive public art thing that has vomitously spewed across Lankershim Boulevard, I can’t help but think, “Who approved this?”
So, I asked.
In an email to Lisa Bianconi at the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, I asked:
- What type of selection process was used for the installation?
- Were other artists and designs considered?
- Who would have the final say on something like this?
Lisa was kind enough to send me a .pdf detailing the history of the North Hollywood Gateway project. Emphasis has been added on the stupidity.
The North Hollywood Regional Arts Council issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) in 2000 to find qualified and experienced artists to participate in a wide range of NoHo streetscape improvement opportunities designed to create a unique identity for NoHo. The goal was to enhance the overall street character and be publicly accessible and functionally designed for long-term durability and easy maintenance. Sixty artists responded and an artist selection panel comprised of community representatives, artists, art professionals and CRA/LA staff used selection criteria standards (artistic merit, professional qualifications, experience, etc.) in their review of submitted materials. The panel reviewed all submitted artist qualifications and selected the renowned Peter Shire to proceed with a design concept.
Although Shire has had more than 98 solo exhibitions, 28 public art commissions and is represented in 41 museums, he considers the NoHo Gateway his most intense and fully realized work of art.
Wow. Imagine what Shire’s art would look like if he just phoned it in.