Is It Art?
"Somebody asked about the art in Grant Park, in Chicago, just north of the art museum," recalls Huntoon, a business location consultant. "One person said, 'It would be really nice to have something like that here.'"
The new group of sculptures in Grant Park is impressive--but as artist Volkan Alkanoglu quickly pointed out, the comparison was also utterly unrealistic. "Volkan said, 'Yeah, well that was a $20 million project,'" Huntoon recalls. Ann Arbor's entire budget for the bridge art is just $360,000.
"It would be a wonderful thing," summarizes Huntoon, "but that's not going to happen."
Alkanoglu's "Lady Ann" wasn't going to happen, either. The spiky sculpture finished last in the task force's surveys--and even if it hadn't, task force member Nancy Leff was not going to vote for it. "We went online and found it was completely a 95 percent rehash of a project that this artist had already done," explains Leff, a U-M researcher who represents the nearby neighborhood on the task force.
"People think all these proposals came in," Bob Miller says. "It's not that way."