Editor: As a 30-year resident of Leesburg, I congratulate the town for finally getting the idea of public art up and running with its Arts in the Parks Project. In the past I have tried to get the town and Loudoun County to catch up with other communities around the country to recognize the importance of public art. It not only enhances the appearance and cultural spirit of the community, but also importantly supports its resident artists.
However, the program’s details are questionable and incomplete. Inherent in public sculpture are the possibilities of injury both to observers and to the sculpture. It is the town’s responsibility to insure against injury and damage to the art, and to make specific the artists’ indemnity. It is unfair to hold the artist responsible for the work on public property.
Also lacking is any remuneration for the loan of the sculpture. The honorarium offered of $750 would barely cover the cost for transporting, installing and de-installing each piece as required by the program. To be fair, the artist should also receive an annual stipend for the loan of the work, if not sold. At least an additional $750 per year would be a minimum starting point. As written, the town wants art at no cost to itself, and yet claims 20 percent of any sales. That hardly creates a proud image.
Robert Sanabria, Leesburg