Saturday, December 17, 2011

Greenway Artist's Response to Occupy Boston (III)

Dear Sarah,

I am in full support of the "Occupy" movement and admire every one who has turned out and have brought attention to the absurdities going on in Washington, DC and Wall Street. It is through mass, non-violent protests such as this one that real and meaningful change has occurred in this country.

I am, however, concerned about the artwork in the midst of an "encampment". The sculptures in the Urban Garden were sited and  positioned on that particular part in the Greenway to function as an outdoor gallery experience, a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city, and as a place for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.  Like the other sculptors, I have lent my work to the Greenway for two years and they are in the care and custody of the Greenway Conservancy.

The Greenway administration has assured me that the participants in "Occupy Boston" have  been very respectful of the art and I am grateful for that. They have also told me that, although they are very sympathetic to the movement, the entire Greenway has been determined to be off limits for any "encampments"  because of its linear configuration and because of their concern for the safety of all.  Their other major concern is the preservation of the fragile improvements on the grounds, including the art which cannot stand up to the unusually heavy use that an encampment would bring to the site.

My art work is in the care of the Greenway Conservancy.  Because I am not familiar with the lay out of Boston or the situation on the ground, and in the interest of protecting the art work and preserving the rights for "everyone" to enjoy the park, I will have to defer any decision on how the space is used to the Conservancy.

Again, I admire what you are doing and I hope that Boston will work on strategies to accommodate the scale of the movement and not restrict it.

Best regards,
John (October 21, 2011)

Sculptor, Pumpkin Series, 1996


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