Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Letter to the editor:

Beers would have blocked great art

Another view?

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Regarding Joe Schoenmann’s story about Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers’ stated principle of funding art if only produced by local artists:

If the Papal States had pursued such a policy of restricted local procurement of the arts, Michelangelo would never have painted the Sistine Chapel in Rome because he was Florentine.

And some of the greatest public art produced under the Works Progress Administration auspices in the 1930s would never have existed because Diego Rivera was Mexican.

The value of public art is the benefit it bestows on the community at large, whatever its impact on local employment.

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  1. Why subsidize the "arts" at all? That's not what the imposition of a government enforced taxation system was intended for. It's just another way of "spreading" the wealth and, at the same time, having government bureaucratic drones pick winners & losers. We have enough parasites on welfare; we don't need "starving" artists to apply, as well.

  2. Mr. Noonan - read the article again. That's not Beers' stated principle, merely his wry observation. His stated principle is that the City Council needs to consider buying art alongside its other responsibilities, and prioritize. This spending was placed on auto-pilot back in the heyday, and hasn't been considered since. And there is a difference between church (contributions to which are voluntary) and state (contributions to which are compulsory under threat of imprisonment) art collecting.

  3. Genuinely curious: did Mr. Beers not realize he was posting adulation and defense under his own name, or was the 3rd person commentary intentional?

    Hey... whatever happened to Beers' aborted "anonymous" blog at nevadataxpayer.com?

  4. I wonder who chooses the "NV" art. Sarasota, FL distinguished for its art, has a carefully-chosen panel. I am in favor of "government" art purchased mainly by Southern Nevada's art experts/knowledgeable critics.

    It sounds as if the budget for art is a small percentage. Certainly, art is worthy, if only as valuable MARKETING to tourists and to future residents.

    I could see a 10% minimum of the budget being allotted to local artists, but the idea of a "high minimum" (which reflects provincial thinking) is an anathema to art.