The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Pink Ink

Today I cleaned some old fountain pens. The inks were basic Waterman blue, Bahama Blue and my favorite pink.

It reminds me of something from an old Dr. Seuss book, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

This one,
I think,
is called
a Yink.

He likes to wink,

he likes to drink.

He likes to drink, and drink, and drink.
The thing he likes to drink 
is ink.
The ink he likes to drink is pink.
He likes to wink and drink pink ink.

if you have a lot of ink,
then you should get a Yink,
I think.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hey Little Brown Cow

Brown Cow, November
Driving home today I spotted this cow. Thank goodness it was a rural road -- no traffic. So had time to stop, put the passenger-side window down and take a shot of this guy (girl?). I seemed to grab his attention...or maybe it was Under My Thumb blasting from the car...

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fayette County Public Art Committee (Georgia)

I am frustrated by my home county's Public Arts Committee. 

It started with a call produced by the committee for photographers. I wrote about that on the blog in September. You can read it HERE.

Just this week -- on a community Facebook page -- I asked my county commissioner, Steve Brown, the head of the Public Arts Committee, when the next meeting would be held. 

"There she goes," was his answer.

I checked the recent meeting agenda items on the county website to see that the next meeting is scheduled for November 30. 

I've asked before if our county could learn from other local counties' successes in public art.

"Donna, go live in Fulton County if you want your big art budgets. We don't have it here," replied Commissioner Brown.

The purpose statement found on the county's webpage for the Public Arts Committee reads: "Founded in 2014, the purpose of The Fayette County Public Art Committee (FCPAC) is to find ways to use art to enhance the County's reputation, to contribute to the civic environment, and to enrich the lives of citizens and visitors through the involvement of professional artists to integrate public artwork throughout Fayette County. The Fayette County Public Art Committee aims to acquire, cultivate, and perform responsible stewardship of public art to enhance the dignity of the County through the commitment to artists and their disciplines as integral elements of economic vitality and development."

When I first read this statement over a year ago, I was excited. At that time a call was out for a mural on a public building. Again, I became excited. I contacted the committee to find out details since I knew some muralists. I asked who was selecting the design and offered my assistance to introduce the committee to curators at the High Museum or gallerists to help choose the winning mural. No thanks was what I heard -- the committee would select the design. I invited Commissioner Brown to come to Pike County and see the SlowExposures photography exhibit. He did come see it but told me right away that Fayette County could not do anything like it.

Back to the purpose statement -- does the following sound like it fits? -- from the October 19, 2015 action agenda: "Complete plans for Employee Break Room/Elevator area for BOC presentation The art canvases were completed by the art students using the Wayne Thiebaud theme. Anthony updated the committee regarding the flooring. He stated that the total for the project, including the flooring, grid work for the ceiling, the paint, the television with stand and the restroom is a projected cost of $3,299. This cost does not include the price for installing a Keurig coffee machine as discussed. Commissioner Brown suggested that a presentation including photos and demos to be made to the Board of Commissioners at the November 12 meeting. The committee agreed. The elevator area will be presented at a later time as phase two."

I was unable to attend that meeting.  I will attend the next one.  A friend did attend and filled in a bit more detail on this project:

"They are going to cut out a section of the wall to make an inset for the Keurig -- the reason was cited so it would not take up space in the room. The guy from Public Works asked if it was necessary to cut into the wall and suggested something like a platform for the Keurig. The guy who handles renovations said it was no problem and he also suggested artwork be done for the back of the cut out space that would resemble a window (behind the Keurig). Steve Brown said they would put together a presentation to present to the Board of Commissioners; he was not worried about the $3,299, he was reminded the Keurig is not in the budget. Steve Brown told them to 'bump it up to include the Keurig'. He suggested they do a layout of the room, show where they are moving things around, that it's cheap and inexpensive to use pallet board, present artwork sample, and introduce it to the Board of Commissioners on 11/12."

Commissioner Brown has expressed to me more than once about how limited the budget is for this committee. At those times, I asked if they explored options to create funds, raise funds, secure sponsors to allow the committee to be able to pay artists -- professional artists, artists with exhibit history -- for work to live up to the purpose statement. 

"You go out and get that for us, Donna, and we will appreciate it."

I would help secure funding -- I've done it before. I ran a photography exhibition/competition for five years that I worked to fund awards and a wonderfully catered reception. I sit on the advisory board for an organization that depends on grants to be able to present public, free, events in another county. This organization, SlowExposures, just received the Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities. At this point I don't feel comfortable raising funds for a public arts committee to continue private space renovations and purchase televisions (with stands) or coffee pots.

Commissioner Brown has called me a Monday morning quarterback, a backseat driver, etc. This is my county commissioner saying these things to me on my very public Facebook page. 

Other counties strapped for funding get creative. Isn't that why we elect certain people; to lead? If you read Commissioner Brown's bio on the Fayette County website it says: "Mr. Brown was instrumental in securing Pinewoods Studios Atlanta film and television project for Fayette County and led an effort in conjunction with the City of Fayetteville to build the first phase in only 10-months (sic), opening the door to more than 3,000 jobs and a potential of economic impact of more than $370 million annually."  

Why didn't our leader -- our elected official -- work part of this very large deal, involving a creative business, to include a small fraction of a percentage to go toward funding the arts in Fayette County? Commissioner Brown seems to be deficient in his ability to secure funding for projects, yet he feels completely comfortable relying on high school students and other amateurs in the county for free art. He calls it "civic giving". I call it taking advantage and not living up to the spirit of the purpose statement.

In my opinion, when it comes to the arts, Commissioner Brown needs a back seat driver.

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