Open letter to City Council on its public art policy
I have been alerted to the fact that there is a resolution on the table to change the City’s art purchasing policy. This policy allows for a small (usually one per cent) of the total cost of public buildings to go towards purchasing art for that building.
Whitehorse is well known as a creative and thriving artistic community, a major factor that attracts visitors and entices people to live here. We have a high standard of art on display throughout the territory and it is recognized far and wide.
We are lucky that many of our Yukon communities harbour a rich diversity of public art, whether on display in public buildings, parks or open spaces.
The public benefits by having an artistic community and we get to celebrate one another in a valuable way. We can point to “our” artwork with pride as it now belongs to all of us.
Setting aside one per cent of building costs for the arts allows for the visions of artists to enrich the fabric of the community. We can continue to create an artistic city, full of inspiring places to live and work or we can live without that inspiration and imagination. It is up to all of us to tell the City what we want.
As an artist I certainly would urge the City of Whitehorse as well as our territorial governments to continue to support the arts and the artists. Committing to a one-per-cent policy is one way to help build a legacy of creativity and wellbeing in the Yukon. It would be a shame not to include the inspiration and imagination of our dreamers and creatives within this cultural legacy.
Joyce Majiski, Whitehorse