Public Art and Placemaking are, as many of us in the arts community have been saying, inextricable from contemporary, smart, even green, urban growth. Right now, the Teton County Comprehensive Plan is available to for the public to review. This is our chance to comment on the way we will grow, not only quantitatively, but qualitatively. Quality urban growth must include public urban spaces and public art.
If Jackson Hole’s citizens do not make reviewing this plan a priority, we essentially determine not to vote. And those of us determining not to vote lose a lot of “street cred.” Writing letters to the editor is a crucial public right; writing them when you’ve opted not to be a part of the process by showing up at town meetings or workshops is a bit fraudulent. The Comprehensive Planning process has been activated for many, many months.
YOU are the Plan.
I know it’s hard; but make this a priority. Here’s a way to start.
TUESDAY, MAY 12, beginning at 5:30 p.m., attend a public meeting at the CENTER FOR THE ARTS. The meeting takes place on the Center’s third floor, in Teton Art Lab’s new space. The Art Association’s digital photography studio will be available for those wanting to contribute comments electronically. Members of our arts community will ask questions and submit comments on the inclusion of public art and placemaking in Teton County’s Comprehensive Plan. Please try and make time to study Themes 3 and 7, in particular.
Preserving environment and quality of place, managing growth, and creating a more viable, broad-based economy are Jackson’s great challenges. Most crucial is ensuring we promote and protect our wildlife, its habitat and other environmentally sensitive areas. In our region, the arts are a keystone in preserving place. Although our Town Square’s monument, various land art and myriad creative educational projects provide continual reminders of our inherent love for the arts, we’ve so far not included researching and moving towards making the arts a part of our “constitution,” as it were. We can remind ourselves and all visitors of this history by including beautiful and lasting public place making in our Comprehensive Plan. Such planning aids in building tourism and strong market values. Think logo.
Art captures the essence of the places dear to our hearts. Successful public art resonates on a national level. Our traditional themes may be translated traditionally; they may also be translated using contemporary aesthetics and materials.
We must not only include the words. We must decide upon a logical process of implementation. Without implementation any plan is simply an exercise.