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Good Grief Goodyear! More Goofball Art!

Good Grief Goodyear! More Goofball Art!

Here is the latest taxpayer funded fiasco – a goofball piece of art designed by San Jose (CA) based artist, Marta Thoma.

Thoma’s creativity will grace the entrance to the City of Goodyear’s Public Works and Water Resources building

The taxpayers of Goodyear will foot the bill for Thoma’s art at a pricetag of $54,000.

Good grief, Goodyear. Couldn’t you find some local artist to donate his/her work to get some exposure?

We sure hope there’s no complaining about your budget, increasing water rates or laying off employees after voting for this $54K contract.

Speaking of taxpayer-funded art, maybe the city of Goodyear should take a lesson from the City of Tempe who awarded a $500 gift to local 16-year-old high school student, Max Ellinger. Max designed the artwork which will be displayed on Valley Metro buses. Cost to the taxpayers: $500. Exposure for local aspiring art student Max Ellinger, priceless.

Congratulations Max and to the taxpayer of Tempe who both benefitted.


  1. You do realize that artists expect to be paid for their work – exposure doesn’t put bread on the table or pay for the materials to make the art (and metals, especially bronze, have been costly as of late).

    But I’m not sure what’s goofball about that piece of art at the Water Resources building (if that above is the sculpture).

  2. Veritas Vincit says

    I could make something like that for half the price. If you turned out 3 of those a year, you’d do pretty well for yourself.

    But is the expense necessary during this time of economic woes? Not.

  3. As for the busses, we’re OK with taxpayer largesse, as long as it’s small amounts. Got it.

    Of course, it’s not like Max Ellinger will be hand-painting the busses himself with paint that he bought. Decorating the busses will cost taxpayer money. One wonders how much that’ll cost.

    And look at the message it’s sending. Take the bus, ride a bike – what is this, Soviet Russia?

    And Veritas, so why don’t you? These things are generally open bidding.

  4. Sonoran Alliance says

    Hmmmm… I see your point regarding consistency Klute.


    $500/$54,000 = 0.00925 or .925%.

    Huge Difference.

    I think the taxpayers of Tempe are far more tolerant of spending $500 on a local high school student for a contest win versus the taxpayers of Goodyear who are paying some San Jose “green” artist $54,000 in a contract.

  5. My only point about the costs is that it’s not $500.00 – that’s how much the city paid the artist (which, by the way, if you happen to stumble across this Max, congratulations and well done). Implementation will cost more.

    For the Goodyear one, parts and labor are probably included (don’t know for certain, but that’s generally how it works).

    We don’t know the final cost of the Tempe project in total.

    But that’s not my argument to make. I’m down with government paying artists to create for the public – from the Renaissance on up artists have often relied on benefactors, both public and private (I’m sure even cave painters got an extra slice of mammoth for their endeavors).

    And I would say people are generally OK with public art – look at the new-ish Scottsdale water treatment plant on Hayden and McCormick. A drab, ugly building can process sewage as well as an aesthically pleasing one, but when people are surrounded by artistry, they tend to be happier.

  6. You’re comparing apples and oranges.

    The $54,000 is for the design, creation and installation.

    The $500 was for the design only, not for the actual manufacturing and installation of the art.

  7. Sonoran Alliance says


    You may be right so that leads to another question. Will the painting or masking of these busses be part of the annual maintenance or is it a new expense to Valley Metro’s budget?

    Back to the original question and that is why is the City of Goodyear making expenditures on art during a time like this? When Americans are outraged over corporate CEO’s getting bonuses using taxpayer dollars, why wouldn’t the citizens of Goodyear do the same?

  8. $54,000 for this is actually quite a bargain.

  9. Max Ellinger says

    Thank you all for your kind words.

    In the interest of satisfying curiosity, here is what I know:

    1) I was given $500, if I remember correctly the 2nd and 3rd place winners were given $250 and $100, respectively.
    2) I heard $15,000 tossed around as the amount it costs to wrap an entire bus – however, I believe the company that did the work (BlueMedia) gave the city a much-reduced rate in exchange for publicity.
    3) There’s only one bus.

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