This following link bellow is a reader's response that expands on what our Mayor Judy had timidly and fleetingly supported/mentioned during the "funding request expedition". http://www.bclocalnews.com/surrey_area/peacearchnews/opinion/letters/25597854.html
In this City of White Rock, whose "natural resources" are its artists, they are literally peeing on us.
I believe that, while the Wyland - Whaling wall, is on private property (the one that refused to sell out to big development and its foundation got damaged in the process... eh?) it is still, a piece of public art and as such the City has "some" responsibility. At a minimum to contribute to its maintenance.
But, as the cameras stopped rolling and a week went by, councillor Matt Todd (is it me - or is he running the city by himself?) stated to our pres that the city will not be participating - when council has clearly instructed staff through a motion to look into funds and ways to assist... So, there we go!
Not quiet in the same breath, but on the same topic of public art, I just heard through the grapevine (rumor, malicious gossip?) that our "Mermaids at Play" mural down at the East beach is slated to be "whited out" - as in "painted over" - obliterated, vanished....
Which, would explain why my letter of last September and a subsequent copy earlier this year never got as much as an acknowledgement. Copy bellow.
(While not a masterpiece :), it is from our community to our community. We can call it "folk" art. It brought smiles and joy to thousands of locals and tourists alike. The mermaids have gone with little girls and boys to far away places... in souvenir pics and in their imagination...)
~ * 11:30PM: I went by earlier this evening to bid farewell ... after receiving confirmation from fellow artist Nicci Battilana whom had spoken with councillor Todd - it will be painted over as it has always been the plan... hmmm!? Well... it would have been nice to be informed. Which brings me to: Why bother with the paint - we could have used chalk!
There was absolutely no need to proceed in this manner - to paint another mural over it - given the fact this building has still three white walls!
I will definitely survive this highly ignorantly handled episode, as I have already gotten over it. What I ask myself at this point is not so much what a politician and his "runner-ups" were thinking but, what kind of rationalization did the couple of "professional" artists use to make this action alright?
Matt Todd, Chair, 58th Annual Festival of the Sea Committee
Judy Forester, Mayor of White Rock
City of White Rock Councilors
August 27, 2007
Re: “Mermaids at Play” – East Beach Mural
Dear Judy, Matt and Council Members:
It is with a mixture of joy, satisfaction, pride and gratefulness for the opportunity presented to me as an artist to contribute to our community in such endearing, playful and fulfilling manner that I turn to you with an unavoidable follow up …
My participation in the above project came about at the eleventh hour, only knowing there was a proposal, but not quiet being privy to any details or other particulars, not understanding the background of same either.
It would take me pages to detail the consistent and wonderful public response I was recipient and witness of, as I can say without hesitation that for the entire week they (spanning all ages and equally both genders) were stopping by and commenting at an average of 10 minute intervals – non stop. (Or, otherwise hollering “looking good” while driving by...).
Sheer delight for the creative soul.
But, I am sure some of it must have already reached your ears by now… Thus, greatly encouraged by such heart felt response, I feel compelled to request from you to open wide the creative flood gates of our City.
As you all know, White Rock can easily boast of having an artist behind every shrub, yet, unbelievably, there is little or no evidence to that effect!
I beg of you to nurture, encourage and support the vast talent pool of our greatest, unexploited natural resource – White Rock’s Resident Artists.
Our wonderful (potential destination) town has many a façade, side and ugly bare retaining cement walls; public, as well as private delicious nooks and crannies to be filled with joyous colourful images – let your imagination freely flow, without worries…
As a result, we will have a happier community and a most certain increase in our local economic revenue across the board as all areas are included in this vision – From Marine Drive around and up Johnston Road, Uptown as well other “unexpected” places that are now being increasingly covered with undesirable, offending graffiti …
Allow me to be the first artist to openly volunteer setting up/consulting with Council in this venture/adventure, as I am sure other working/hands-on artists will sure follow with interest and commitment to translate a common goal/vision into images.
None better than such group to be involved in the unfolding of a unique, long lasting and on-going beautification/economic plan.
A healthy city is one that acknowledges and actively embraces its rich diversity, making good use of it’s gifts and those that offer to contribute to the common well being to the best of their abilities.
The opportunity to proceed with an open and fair call, involving all those whom desire to participate
is here and now. Do not delay.
Anticipating great things to come,
Alicia M. Balogh Ballard
Kindly, if not already planned for, coat mural with some sort (?) of UV and anti-graffiti protection, sooner than later…
Editor, Peace Arch News - they kindly published it...
Arts Editor, Peace Arch News
Editor, the NOW
:) :) :)