Phoenix Taxpayer-Funded Art

Janet Echelman Art Project

It appears in the midst of huge budget cuts, the City of Phoenix has decided to drop $2.5 Million on a contract with Caid Industries out of Tucson to construct an sculpture by Massachusetts artist, Janet Echelman. (Read Agenda)

According to the City of Phoenix government website the council approved Item 82 by a vote of 5-3 on Tuesday.

The project is scheduled for completion in November, 2008 but is likely to be delayed into 2009.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the arts. But do Phoenicians really want their tax dollars be spent on art projects in the middle of a budget crisis?


  1. Unconverted says

    About time. It’s been ten years since Phoenix had a UFO.

  2. I don’t spend a lot of time downtown, but 160 feet sounds taller than most of the buildings. That would make the support poles a permanent part of the Phoenix skyline. It’s also about the same height as the high rise that Trump wanted to build by the Biltmore which caused so much controversy. But hey, this is ART, so who are we to complain.

  3. Is this the piece that slowly disintegrates and eventually is lost? What a way to spend millions of $’s. My husband the Police Officer could use a car that actually runs!

  4. Didn’t you know art attracted high paying high tech companies to the community?

    Her in Tucson, TREO’s plan is to promote gay bohemian artists with the belief that this will recruit Caterpillar to build a transmission plant on 22nd street.

  5. The City of Phoenix is facing a major budget shortfall, yet here goes $2.5 million for art.
    Kudos to the three council members who voted against this.
    When the city starts cutting library hours, cutting down on zoning and neighborhood enforcement staff hours, I will have the consolation of a $2.5 million noveau art object at a location I rarely go see and I doubt many tourists will ever see.
    Did you know that $2.5 million would buy the staffing for about three Phoenix Fire trucks with paramedics for a year? Or it would buy the two squad shifts of patrol officers to deter crime and catch bad people? It would buy countless hours of zoning enforcement to get people to stop using residential homes illegally for businesses with employees and industrial uses.
    But, I will have my art work to console me while emergency medical response times go up, crimes increase with gang activity and people abuse the zoning to cause housing values to go further down due to illegal business activities and blight.

  6. Who were the three no votes?

  7. Phil Gordon needs to search the archives and read about the Tea Pots and Toilets on the Squaw Peak Parkway. It was a very big part of why there was no Governor Terry Goddard.

    Couple that with his extremely poor handling of the immigration policy; he’s toast and so is the rest of the crowd who thought this was a good idea.

    Maybe the 100 Club can send the widows and orphans to go visit the art display to comfort their pain when more manpower would have prevented it all together. This is personal to me. The safety of my husband, brother, and cousin is not as important as this stupid piece of &$*%! Yes, that was me cussing!

  8. Mayor Phil Gordon and council members Tom Simplot, Greg Stanton, Peggy Neely and Claude Mattox voted in favor of the sculpture.

  9. If I could vote in Phoenix those 4 would not get my vote. I don’t live in Phoenix but drive there everyday, this is something I could do without seeing. 2.5 million, are you kidding me??? How many ways could we have used that money to better this city?

  10. Great. A giant net to catch the pigeon droppings of our uncontrollable bird population downtown. $2.5 million dollars for a disease breeding piece of art.

  11. pinkpoodle says

    Actually this is the Arizona housing bubble that actually burst over Phoenix.

    Cultural Welfare is a bitch.

    This is a signature statement for Mayor Gordon’s administration, and his cadre of boot-lickers seeking subsidy and privlege from the City’s Office of Art and Culture.

    They have a slogan that sets the standard for PHX artes…’whatever you can get away with’
    and Gordon…did get away with the theft of tax-payers dollars on the burst housing bubble!

    Recall the Mayor Gordon, sign the petitions, today! See:

  12. Marjorie Searl says

    I visited this magnificent piece multiple times when I visited Phoenix recently. We strolled through the park beneath it and were enchanted. We ate dinner at nearby restaurants. I loved seeing it from so many angles – below it, from side streets, etc.

    Phoenix is very fortunate to have this and they will have it for years to come.

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