The Politics Of Public Art

One Florida towns desire to promote works of art in public spaces demonstrates the challenges when government (and taxpayer dollars) get involved with art.

"It's hard to say this Lake County city does not appreciate art.

The city hosts one of Central Florida's largest and most prestigious art shows every February, drawing artists from around the country. And throughout downtown, you'll find wall murals, sculptures and arty bike racks.

Now Mount Dora officials plan to take a big step into the controversial arena of public art. They want to use tax money -- as well as cash from developers -- to buy sculptures, murals and paintings and display the works around the city.

The initiative is sure to raise the ire of armchair art critics who often label public art funds as wastes of money.

"I know you're not going to get everyone to agree on art," council member and local artist Judy Smathers said. "But we're known as an arts community." "

Full Story: Path to public art often has pitfalls

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