Trying to mend fences

Trying to mend fences

There are 44 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Mar 21, 2008, titled Trying to mend fences. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

The chain-link fences surrounding Mount Vernon Place were opened briefly yesterday by the art student who had, with the city's approval, cut off public access to the popular downtown park with his gold ...

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Baltimore, MD

#1 Mar 21, 2008
I think this exhibit is going to be up for too long- it will impact the area restaurants and other businesses who are probably already experiencing businesses losses due to the economic downturn.

Tourists to Baltimore want to see the squares in Mt Vernon.

I think a one month exhibit would be long enough for the artist to make their point. Any longer and you start to impact people's livelihoods, and that is not fair.

Baltimore, MD

#2 Mar 21, 2008
Pardon, But please give the artist a fair chance! The fence is a single work. The other artist are in the process of installing and their works will not interfere with the livelihood of anyone. They will enrich our livelihoods by sharing their ideas and sacrifices to create a public sculpture exhibition (one should consider the difficult process). Wait till the 29th before casting stones at the artist or the entire exhibition.

Philadelphia, PA

#3 Mar 21, 2008
The artist? Are you kidding me? So far as I can tell, this isn't a piece of art so much as a social statement/public awareness campaign designed to get people to appreciate Mt. Vernon Place by taking away their access to it. As such, it is interesting and has some debatable merit. But as a work of public art? Total crap. I'm sure the other pieces of art will have more artistic merit.

And as a social statement/public awareness campaign... I don't think this is the best way to go about making his point. Then again, maybe if he was studying for a masters of public policy or some similar social science degree, he would better be able to achieve this decidedly non-artistic goal.

Baltimore, MD

#4 Mar 21, 2008
"Students are our primary focus, and sometimes they take huge risks not knowing where they're going," she said. "They learn from their successes, and they learn from their less successful challenges. We really want to give them the space to do that."

You have that space. It's on your campus. Ruin access in your own space. Not our neighborhoods.

Baltimore, MD

#5 Mar 21, 2008
This is a sad excuse for art. Being controversial and angering people for the sake of it isn't art. Spray painting fences isn't art. I know that the oh-so-enlightened "art" "academics" love to tell each other that garbage like this is, but sorry, darlings, not. This took no vision, no skill, no talent, nothing but a little child acting out and thinking how he could be anger a community he isn't part of in order to get a name for himself. The only talent that takes is learning how to be a self-centered little jerk. Nice to see our tax dollars are being wasted in MICA on this kind of garbage.

Baltimore, MD

#6 Mar 21, 2008
I can't see how we got to a situation where we are supposed to be grateful because they have opened one square of the park.

Baltimore, MD

#7 Mar 21, 2008
The hubris of MICA never ceases to amaze me. Not satisfied with installing the monstrosity at the train station they now close off one of the few critical public spaces in the city with a fence. Painting it gold was very, very artistic. Places the fence right up there with the Renaissance and Impressionist masters. Tsk, Tsk....

Hancock, MD

#8 Mar 21, 2008
Can you say pretentious? Patronizing?

Mr. Freeman, aided and abetted by MICA, presumes to know what's good for the rest of us. Hmmm...maybe he should pursue a career in politics.

Baltimore, MD

#9 Mar 21, 2008
The bottom line is that this kid and his professors thought or accepted the notion that these particular parks in Mount Vernon were neglected in some way. That is simply no the case. If they were overlooked spaces than maybe his "exhibit" might have made some sense. But in the center of Mount Vernon, that's rediculous. And the professor saying it would take several weeks to fully appreciate the artists work; that's an even bigger joke. Not every art student is Rodin.

Baltimore, MD

#10 Mar 21, 2008
I drive up Charles Street Mon- Fri on my way home and yesterday saw the gold fences...who does the artist think he is...Christo? the idea is interesting but executed very poorly...the fences look like is not s an eyesore...nice try but take the stupid things down asap...

Philadelphia, PA

#11 Mar 21, 2008
I'll add my voice to the chorus condemning the chain-link fences around the parks. I think they are garish, the motivation arrogant, and the duration excessive by any measure. I will, however, add that this is giving the east park a much needed respite from the trampling it has taken beneath the feet of a group of student who have decided to turn it into a football field. For all those who claim that the parks are well-maintained and respected, I would invite you to inspect the mud-patch on the east square that used to be a lawn.

Baltimore, MD

#13 Mar 21, 2008
Joel, while the hubris of my alma mater never ceases to amaze me, either, I think it was the City of Baltimore's public arts program that put up the Man/Woman eyesore at Penn Sta., not MICA.

The thing that actually angers me the most isn't the fact that we're being denied our beautiful park-- which does seriously pisses me off-- but that this kid is perpetuating the stereotype of the spoiled, pretentious MICAn that is completely out of touch with his/her adopted community. I never had much affection for MICA for my own personal reasons, but it has always made me cringe a little when I hear people generalizing the students this way. Obviously, this piece of bad public "art" isn't helping improve the community's image of MICA and its students. Freeman's project isn't thought-provoking at all; it's just plain ugly and obnoxious.

Plano, TX

#14 Mar 21, 2008
Since when does a student, an art school, a museum or a public official have the right to impede taxpayers rights to a public park. You want to put up art work statements, buy the property. All you are teaching this student is that what he wants and thinks is good for everyone else who can't get in or throught the area. All that counts is what he wants. Baltimore deserves its national reputation as a tourist and convention joke.

Baltimore, MD

#15 Mar 21, 2008
I do think that the fence piece is thought provoking, while being obnoxious and out of touch with reality all at the same time. As such, I do think it can be considered "art".

I understand what the artist is trying to say- I get it.

BUT the fence is impacting area businesses and residents for the worse. It needs to come down asap!

Washington, DC

#16 Mar 21, 2008
I would have to agree with most of the comments posted here. The attempt to make the community appreciate the park more by denying access only works if the park was truly under appreciated to begin with. Which I do not believe any one in Baltimore feels that the Area around the Washington Mounument was not appreciated.
MICA loses a little respect here from me here by showing its hubris in allowing a project to go forward which simply rehashes a controversy that was played out by Richard Serra's Tilted Wall 20 some odd years ago in New York without adding to the discourse. It simply creates an aura of pretension and arrogance on the part of the artist that the community needs an artist and art school to tell them what is important in their lives. Art should help people SEE the world around them - it should not attempt to exert control over it.

Baltimore, MD

#17 Mar 21, 2008
just trying to play the devil's advocate here, maybe since the fence is painted *gold* it's trying to say something other than what a lot of people may be thinking. Maybe it's making a statement about how some of the elite in our society think that they can control what everyone else has access too ("gold" fence??).

this is why I was saying it was art.

Maybe ill thought out and selfishly applied art, but art nonetheless.

Art that needs to come down. now.

Baltimore, MD

#18 Mar 21, 2008
I've got an idea for an art project. Put all the MICA students who love this fence inside it, seal it off for 2 weeks, and call it "Warsaw Ghetto II". I'm sure this will be lost on most of them as it seems their education has failed them thus far. And if any of them do realize the meaning, I'm sure they'll claim they thought of it first.

I'll go back to my "elistist" perch in Mt. Vernon.

Baltimore, MD

#19 Mar 21, 2008
let's also consider the fact that all of the homeless (ie poor) people who usually hang out in the park are also locked out by the "gold" fence. But they aren't complaining about it on the Sun's web site.
Tax Payer

Edgewood, MD

#20 Mar 21, 2008
Nice to see our tax dollars are being wasted in MICA on this kind of garbage.
Listen here "darling" your measly tax dollars don't go to MICA...If they had maybe MICA would be putting pretty little benches up all over the place devoid of any substance. I'm sure that would make you happy. The fact that you thought YOUR tax money would have done something this significant reflects poorly on your mental capacity. MICA and its STUDENTS paid for the exhibition. Any other inference is ludicrous.

Edgewood, MD

#21 Mar 21, 2008
Joel wrote:
The hubris of MICA never ceases to amaze me. Not satisfied with installing the monstrosity at the train station they now close off one of the few critical public spaces in the city with a fence. Painting it gold was very, very artistic. Places the fence right up there with the Renaissance and Impressionist masters. Tsk, Tsk....
Wow...another one. Perhaps all of you naysayers ought to get your facts straight before accusing MICA of the things you have been, it really does look pretty ignorant on your behalf. MICA HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BOROFSKY SCULPTURE AT THE TRAIN STATION! Yep, your own city asked for that one...and it was paid for by the Municipal Art Society. So go cry on their stoop...

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