“Beautify Taos” Responds To Historic District Clutter

By: Bill Whaley
19 December, 2017

Ten Reasons to avoid Poster Pluralism

1. The subject of hanging posters from light posts is ripe for debate. I believe public relations and marketing can be carried on more effectively through existing media, events, and lectures or public art. See the exemplary representative postman-artist, Ed Sandoval, who paints, regardless of wind, rain, snow, sleet, hail or freezing temperatures at the entrada de Plaza. Who can ask for more?

2. Transforming an art object into a poster, exchanging one medium for another presents a distinct challenge and very often contradicts the original intent associated with materials and creative purpose. How does the “work speaks for itself” amidst the Clutter? Posters cheapen the hard work and long hours of experience, whether in the studio, plein aire, or darkroom.

3. Clutter detracts from the external beauty of architecture in the historic district. Street signs, directional signs, sandwich boards, neon and plastic info say more about the insecurities of politicians and merchants than commerce or art.

4. Choosing 60 representative objects for poster art creates divisiveness. What criteria? Who do you leave out? Whose taste prevails? What jury?

5. The historic district like the art community can be seen more clearly by removing “obstructions” and “revealing” the natural and cultural beauty that exists. Word of mouth is the ultimate purveyor of interest. Education is salvation.

6. The history of art began when human beings observed and learned from the natural world, whether they held up a mirror to it or interpreted natural beauty and created new ways of thinking and expressing their response. The idea of “beauty” adheres to the principle of less is more: “economy of means.” Remove the chaff and clutter; reveal the “force and figures of beauty.”

7. Presenting outdoor art and architecture juxtaposed to natural beauty creates a reciprocal relationship. Years ago artists painted trash receptacles. Why not commission artists to paint parking meters or create interesting commercial signs. Implicit and subtle effects offset clutter.

8. Discovery and inventiveness constitute the twin dynamics of both the artistic process and the viewer’s response. Encourage the potential viewers to enjoy and discover the art to which he or she respond spontaneously as the unintelligible becomes intelligible. Curiosity and word of mouth promotes the most dynamic message.

9. Physician, heal thyself. Currently, the historic Plaza suffers from clutter: 352 farolitos on the ground, a miasma of cyclone fences, ugly green electrical boxes disturb the trees. Due to ineptitude, the tall conifer, a gift from Taos Pueblo, died. What dies next due to careless purveyors of taste?

10. The sky, the natural light, the topography, and the architecture, all complement the beauty, a fragile but steady presence. We don’t need to screw it up to save it.

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