Sebastian Smee’s piece on public art in Boston could not have come at a more appropriate moment (“Moving beyond the bronze age,” Page A1, Oct. 6). Boston is poised for cultural change. The arts community is working more collaboratively than ever before. We believe fully that the arts sector and artists are part of the solution to the challenges our city faces.
The candidates for mayor of Boston have pledged to be arts champions who will hire a Cabinet-level arts czar for their administration and create a strategic vision for the city’s arts and cultural initiatives that is integrated with other city priorities. Encouraging broader support for the arts and a more ambitious approach to public art will surely be a part of that plan.
We agree with Smee’s litmus test of good public art: Is it a place that could work as a first-date meeting spot? We’d like to believe that the monumental sculptures to be found in East Boston at HarborArts, the pianos now scattered throughout the city as part of “Play Me, I’m Yours!” by artist Luke Jerram and presented by Celebrity Series of Boston, and, yes, the massive painting of a cockroach at Bartlett Yard all fit the bill.
We believe good public art inspires conversation and connection. Every city, including Boston, could use more of that.