Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Light Bag is back with private funding

What happens when one of those sudden storms comes up? Lights, sirens racing to Spa Beach to save the Bag?

It looks like Spa Beach in St. Pete will be all aglow with a Janet Echelman Sculpture after all. 

Fourteen  or so anonymous “contacts” have pledged about $1.5 Million for the project according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times, by Waveney Ann Moore: Mayor Kriseman: Donors will bring Echelman sculpture to St. Pete.
One must wonder what Kriseman has promised all these “contacts” for their generous contributions.
The project has not been without opposition. The Waterfront Parks Association has expressed its opposition stating "(a project), of this scope on designated waterfront parkland is inconsistent with the great vision of our city’s Founding Fathers ... when they purchased and mandated a downtown waterfront primarily reserved for green space.”
The problems with this effort are legion beginning with the Parks Foundation statement and continuing on through who will be responsible for the cost of maintaining this massive aerial display.
Check out my Post Floating art sinking for lack of funds? In Bay Post Internet.
Also, from the Winston-Salem Journal by Dawn DeCwikel: Echelman sculpture soon will billow again above Greensboro's LeBauer Park
It is one thing to raise a million dollars or so to go along with the City “art” funds to get this thing in place but where will the funds come from to pay for its upkeep every time the Echelman team has to fly back into St. Pete to fix the latest disaster with the light bag?
Then there is the cost of putting up and taking it down.
Without a doubt, there are wind and weather conditions when it is not safe to have this thing up. What City Department will be charged with the responsibility to launch and retrieve the “floating art sculpture”?
Where the money come from to keep a group of people trained to handle this massive piece of “art?”
What happens when one of those sudden storms comes up? Lights, sirens racing to Spa Beach to save the Bag?
This adds yet another expensive and time-consuming issue to getting ready for a hurricane as the light bag will have to put away.
Maybe our anonymous “contacts” would like to pick up the tab for that expense.
Kriseman is still trying to work out a positive legacy for his time as mayor and this mesh of lights dangling over Spa Beach in front of the Vinoy is just the latest attempt.
Too late Rick, your legacy is already set: A Pier no one wanted and a sewer system that still won’t be fixed when you leave office.
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