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'One of the silliest things we've ever done'

Original post made on May 24, 2013

Several City Council members said they were not fans of placing art along city's trails and in parks before voting against making it a standard practice on Tuesday. "I think the natural environment is art in itself," said council member Margaret Abe-Koga.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 24, 2013, 11:08 AM

Comments (21)

Posted by audobon, a resident of Stierlin Estates
on May 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

I thought those were real birds and it was just really windy that day.

Posted by Garrett, a resident of another community
on May 24, 2013 at 1:37 pm

I don't see anything wrong with art in the park, just don't crazy with style and placement. Would be nice to create parks, open space and plazas with ideas to support art. Film, music, art, and live performances. We have schools, colleges and the CSMA that might like some outdoor space.

Art Walk in Park. Doesn't have to stay forever, maybe just for a year or the summer season.

Posted by Oh whatever, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 24, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I think some art at the trail heads is fine, after that, let Ma Nature provide the visual entertainment.

Posted by Anna S., a resident of Rex Manor
on May 24, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The "iron birds" at the San Antonio entrance to Shoreline that Jac Siegel criticizes are one of my favorite public art installations on the Peninsula. They are attractive, appropriate, and low key. They enhance the experience of entering the park rather than trying to distract attention from the surroundings. Now if you want to see a bunch of ugly, distracting, and laughable public art, look around Palo Alto. Sheesh.

Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park
on May 25, 2013 at 8:43 am

There are plenty of other places in Mountain View that need beautification more than erecting some art in a park.

How about prettifying Moffett Boulevard between Central Expressway and Middlefield Road?

Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community
on May 26, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

I like the bird art (pictured) at the Baylands trailhead at the end of San Antonio Road. Just last night, I happened to be entering there and stopped for several minutes to take in this beautiful artwork.

Please, City Council, get rid of the obscene Boy And Girl Dancing Through the Flowers art in City Hall Plaza. What message does that art, and its prominent placement, communicate to male children and teenagers trying to figure out what it means to be a good, strong man? Should government money and property be used in such a non-viewpoint-neutral way to promote the queer viewpoint on gender and sexuality?

I feel like throwing up each and every time I walk past that sculpture.

Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community
on May 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

P.S. That sculpture is technically beautiful and masterfully executed, and it communicates multiple messages according to the eye of its beholder including the message that I refer to; it is very good art. IMO, it should be paired with a statue that depicts selfless courage and valor. Possible subjects: (1) NYFD men and women responding to the 9/11 attacks. (2) The 9/11 suicide attackers giving their life for what they believed in. (3) U.S. military medical helicopter units saving soldiers in combat. (4) U.S. soldiers engaging the enemy with courage and valor. (5) Enemy soldiers doing the same. (6) The last two combined, with a focus not on the suffering of war but on the courage and valor of soldiers on both sides.

IOW, pairing the Girl and Boy Dancing In Flowers sculpture with a sculpture depicting battlefield courage and valor (and suffering) would both create balance and bring out new meanings as each sculpture counterpoints the other. For example, a war statue would imbue the Flowers statue with peace and joy messages.

The art in Mountain View is very good and an important contributor to community here. I am all for it, including (with restraint) at the Baylands and in other "natural" areas.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2013 at 12:30 pm

"One of the silliest things we've ever done"

So, how about the $100,000+ spent on four cartoon drawings of the proposed HSR station in Mountain View? Or, how about the drawings done for the $100,000,000+ Rengstorff park upgrade? Maybe the $70,000,000 for the City Hall kitchen upgrade?

Hmm, how about posting the drawings on the trails?

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2013 at 12:31 pm

What is the over/under on the art being stolen or tagged?

Posted by zips, a resident of Castro City
on May 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I went there this morning and realized the birds are between the bathroom and a thing where you can get a plastic bag dispenser for dog poop.

Not exactly hallowed ground.

Posted by Alice C, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

I am in favor of public art in the parks -- with the caveat that it is appropriate for the environment. For example, the Great Spirit Path at the Bayfront Park in Menlo Park. It's a joy to walk, is appropriate to the environment, and adds greatly to the outdoor experience.

Posted by A Parent, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

I think public art should be where the public is. Parks and trails are an important resource in Mountain View. We have some of the nicest parks in the area that serve a lot of people. The trails have become important for commuters and exercisers both. Why shouldn't those parks and trails be enhanced with art. I would rather the city place art in parks and trails where it can be enjoyed by all rather than stuck in and around buildings where it is experienced by a few. Art draws us out of our routine and gives us pause for thought.

Posted by Political Insider, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2013 at 4:01 pm

""We're in the middle of a bird wildlife sanctuary and we put up a bunch of cast-iron birds," Siegel said. "That was one of the silliest things we ever did."

No this would not rate as one of the sillier things done by the council. I can think of several other silly items that the council has engaged in.

Posted by Scott, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 28, 2013 at 4:13 pm

I would rather the city spent the money putting more trees next to the freeway walls and along streets than art.

Posted by Brenda, a resident of North Whisman
on May 28, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Personally, I like the art in the park. Perhaps the City Council is not in tune with Mtn View residents and homeowners.

Posted by, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 28, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Basically my 1st thought was what Abe-Koga said: "I think the natural environment is art in itself," said council member Margaret Abe-Koga. "I'm happy to leave off parks and trails."

If I want to view art I can look at my home's walls or go to a good museum. If I do myself the favor of going outdoors "to nature" that's what I want to encounter.

I value both venues but don't see the sense in blending them in parks and trails. And besides, the issue of security for the art objects comes to mind too.

Posted by Greg David, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Greg David is a registered user.


I'm still trying to figure out who on city staff has a connection to the design firm that did those $100K cartoon drawings of the HSR station. It is the same firm that designed the entire downtown makeover in 1988. A completely dysfunctional, poorly thought out, non-bicycle friendly difficult to maintain, and a hindrance on mobility.

Someone has been on the take for close to three decades me thinks...

Posted by AXl, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 29, 2013 at 12:06 am

What happened to the Berlin Wall pieces?

Posted by Berlin Wall Pieces, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2013 at 10:55 am

Web Link

Posted by Hoo Ha, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 29, 2013 at 2:17 pm

We need more art. Mountain View is an ugly city populated by ugly computer engineers. It would be nice to have something beautiful to look at.

Posted by USA, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2013 at 2:51 pm

@Greg -- This is the article about the $100,000 HSR drawings: Web Link

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