News that the Lawrence Arts Commission will sponsor a contest to select a design for a piece of downtown art to commemorate the city's 150th anniversary is both welcome and worrisome.
Proposals for the artwork are to be submitted by July 21, and $50,000 has been allowed for the project.
It's likely this artwork will be a permanent display and, this being the case, it will be interesting to learn who the judges will be and what they are looking for. If this is to be a permanent display, it is hoped the judges will keep in mind what kind of artwork will stand the test of time. Hopefully, Lawrence residents and visitors 25, 50 or 75 years from now will look on the artwork selected for the city's 150th anniversary as appropriate and meaningful for such an important event. Now isn't the time to select something merely because it captures the fancy of the judges because of its uniqueness or "far out" appearance.
As with so many similar matters, "art" is in the eye of the beholder, but Lawrence deserves something that reflects well on the city and its history rather than something that simply reflects an artist's personal statement.