By Mark Addison
On Sept. 3, I made a formal complaint to the Boulder city manager and to City Council about the very long time it was taking to install an approved gift of a sculpture by Navajo artist Melanie Yazzie. Specifically, that the Department of Arts and Culture chose to delay placing this sculpture and used vague excuses to continue to do nothing for almost a year.
There was no response from the city about my complaint. Not a word.
On Oct. 3, I sent this email to the city manager and City Council: “The Melanie Yazzie sculpture has now been temporarily installed — almost a year to the day since I first proposed this gift to the City. It has been a month since I sent you a complaint about (this). There has been no response. I can only wonder if you have decided to remain silent and hope my complaint will go away. Would that be your best choice? I am the 85-year-old man who made this much delayed gift to the City.”
The city has not responded.
More than a year ago, in early October, I approached the Boulder Office of Arts and Culture with a proposal to make a gift to the city of Boulder of a Yazzie sculpture. The Boulder Arts Commission chose her work “Strength from Within,” pending approval from the many involved in the city’s process. On April 20 I sent a check restricted to the purchase of this work of art.
For the next 90 days I heard nothing from the Office of Arts and Culture.
On July 21, I emailed Matt Chasansky, director of Arts and Culture, and others to ask when the sculpture would be installed. This began a series of emails that described a litany of issues but without plans for who, what, when, where or how. My complaint notes that the sculpture would be easy to install but that, month after month, nothing was done. In fact, a year after staff continued to insist on problems, the sculpture was successfully put in place in a few hours.
A very nice Boulder mansion could be built and furnished in less than the year it took the city get around to installing the gift of Yazzie’s art.
Why has the city remained silent?
Mark Addison lives in Boulder.