Story last updated at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 2002

Public art deserves support
Soon Homer will have the opportunity to incorporate public art funding into its future municipal projects. Historically, public art has existed throughout the world in a wide range of functions: landmark, monument, symbol, architectural embellishment, functional element, aesthetic object and cultural artifact.

Within this country many communities legislate art-in-public-places programs. Cities of all sizes, from Livonia, Mich., and Davenport, Iowa, to Seattle and Anchorage have recognized the social and cultural concerns of their inhabitants through public art projects that stir relationship and dialogue.

On the state level since 1975, Alaska's percent-for-art program has been enlivening public spaces with stimulating, thought-provoking works of art. With a minimal cost of one-half to 1 percent of construction funds for individual building projects, a three-fold service has been performed: 1) employees are energized by creative surroundings, 2) the general public has its visual environment aesthetically upgraded and 3) artists have the opportunity to work and grow with each new commission.

When the public art program functions well, a lasting marriage takes place between public art and its public patron. A very special thing happens. The cultural soul of a people reveals itself and stirs the patron to thought and debate. The public space truly becomes a place of the mind -- and we look forward to being there.

Homer has a chance to achieve this. Please support public art of this special community.

Paula and Brad Dickey