Property Committee meeting tonight

Tonight was the city property committee meeting where the talk was about the plinth.  invited to address the committee was Matthew Grove who designed the plinth.  He and I spoke prior to the meeting in the hallway and he would like to see contemporary art around town but seems sold on honoring the founder of Martinsburg on the plinth.  He mentioned however, since there had been talk in the past about a clock, the famous astronomical clock in Prague.  Regarding the plinth he spoke primarily on the construction and design of the plinth that it was created to hold an object with dead weight not necessarily a kinetic sculpture.  I did mention to the committee of a couple other sculpture options that are stationary from realestate mogul Vincent Grogh.  The committee decided NOT to do anything tonight essentially tabling the topic so that two new council members who are not familiar with the various options can get all of the information that is out there so that they can discuss the topic in a more educated manner, which I respect and at least the topic wasn’t killed.  Thankfully the two new folks are more progressive than the other council members.  It did seem to me that many of the committee members might lean toward a sculptural type of clock.  They asked Matthew Grove if he would be willing to submit other such clocks as discussed earlier with the Prague clock.  The city manager asked if the Krensky’s would be willing to loan the sculpture for other sites around Martinsburg if the Plinth was unavailable.  In addition to myself and Matthew Grove a member of the Adam Stephen foundation (or whatever they are called) spoke and she clearly still believes a monument to him would be a good thing,  I was able to talk with her afterward and shared with her the vision of a biennial versus what a sculpture of the founder of Martinsburg could do for our fair city.  She seemed to understand where I was coming from BUT her response was that the people here in Martinsburg didn’t seem to be the type interested in art.  “There might be a lot of artists here but it doesn’t seem that those interested in the arts are here.”  She didn’t seem to think that this possible reality was a good point about Martinsburg.  She mentioned Shepherdstown as the town for the arts.  I mentioned that people go to Berkeley Springs and then bypass us to go to Shepherdtown and I blamed many of the property owners who want to charge an astronomical amount for rent.  I then handed her an invitation to the Grand Opening of my new exhibition space.  I also shared with her about the letter I had endorsing my sculpture plan from the 5th great granddaughter of Adam Stephen who believed that he wouldn’t want a monument to himself.  The lady asked if I would email her that letter which I plan to do.   On anther note I wanted to mention one more thing to the committee and I waited very patiently but was ignored and at one point Roger Lewis told me to be quiet and to take my toilet with me.  That was interesting and I was very grateful to hear Jason who is one of the new council members tell him that it was an inappropriate thing to say.  Jason apologized for his council member’s words and actions.

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~ by David Heatwole on April 30, 2013.

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