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After long debate over the viability of restoring a piece of public art at White Rock Lake created by Frances Bagley and Tom Orr, the city revealed the results of an engineering study today that estimates a full restoration would cost $198,375. Considering the limited funds the city has for art commissions, the press release from the Office of Cultural Affairs contains a bleak outlook for "White Rock Theater."
The Public Art Committee makes what can only be described as a fair recommendation to issue a contract with Bagley and Orr for a new artwork in a location that will make maintenance easier for the city. Interim Director David Fisher issued the following statement:
"After additional research to identify opportunities for this public art project, the Public Art Committee has recommended to the Cultural Affairs Commission that a contract be issued to artists Frances Bagley and Tom Orr to develop a new public artwork that re-envisions the ideas of the Water Theater. The new public artwork would be designed for sustainability and would be located in a place that does not currently have public art. "
The Cultural Affairs Commission is set to review the engineering report and the Committee's recommendation at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, February 19 at the Latino Cultural Center. You can show up to share your thoughts on this topic. I might chime in with the idea that the city shouldn't commission work it can't maintain, and I'd also like to see the budget grow for art commissions generally not just when the city makes a boo boo. I learned last week, there's about half a million dollars for art commissions in Shreveport. Shreveport, y'all. But I'll try to stick to the topic at hand, which is making sure that artists Bagley and Orr are treated well by the city that is so lucky to have them here.