By Carlie Douglas
It is important that public art be of a local origin. That is not to say that art of another culture or materials from around the world do not have their value, they most certainly do. I only mean to say that in order for people to take ownership of a piece of art that is meant to be for them, they need to feel a connection to it. Take, for example, the new piece of art that has been placed outside of the Anchorage Museum in Alaska. It is a piece designed by Antony Gormley (Angel of the North) that is meant to be a commentary of how people relate to the urban environment, which is lacking in Alaska. “Habitat” is in the form of a man crouched down gazing into the distance. This piece has largely been criticized in Anchorage as meaningless, extravagant, and in contrast to Alaska as a whole. With the abundance of cultural roots and local artists in the
area, why would the Anchorage Museum choose to commission an English artist for this large piece of public art. In contrast, the red metal sculpture standing outside of the same Museum is well-loved by the community. Without some sort of say in what piece of art is placed there, whether the artist be local or if there is a competition involved in which the public can participate in the selection of the winner, thepeople will be reluctant to take ownership of the piece and therefore the area in which it is placed.