Granby to form public art committee following murals controversy
Town seeks volunteers for new public art committee
For the third time in less than a month, Granby’s Board of Trustees dug into the town’s controversial mural festival as the board took steps to begin developing a public art committee.
A modest crowd gathered Tuesday night at Granby Town Hall for a scheduled discussion about the art festival known as Rky Mtn Walls held earlier this summer.
The discussion began with several citizens expressing their views on the art that was produced in June as part of the festival. A series of local residents, business owners and property owners spoke about the impacts the art has had and what they would like to see from any efforts to produce public artwork in the future.
Grady Boomer, who owns the building housing Lion Head Coffee, said he thought the artists did a “spectacular job,” but Boomer took issue with the process.
According to Boomer, he was approached earlier this year by officials from Granby’s Main Street Program, which put on the mural festival, inquiring whether he would be interested in having a mural on his building. Boomer said he raised concerns about long-term maintenance of the mural and the content that would be produced.
“I did have one request,” Boomer said. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to tell the artists what I wanted done, and that’s fine. But I wanted to know what was going on it.”
Boomer said he just wanted a general idea of what would be painted on his building. He said officials from Granby Main Street told him they would give him details about the mural prior to the start of the festival.
“Next thing, I knew stuff was being put on the building,” Boomer said. “I would have appreciated if they respected me enough to tell me what they were going to put on my building before they started.”
Boomer noted that he would have agreed to what was ultimately produced. He said the artwork “looks awesome,” but he stressed the importance of good communication.
“I think communication needs to be improved next go-around,” Boomer said. “It was a lot of work to put this on, and for a first go-around they did a decent job, but there are places where it could be improved, and communication is key.”
Much of the Tuesday’s discussion revolved around the process that led to the development of the mural festival.
“My personal feeling is we need a public art committee so that the public is involved,” Mayor Paul Chavoustie said. “Public art should be chosen by the people.”
Other town board members expressed a sense of frustration that the issue of the art that was produced continues to be a major point of town discussions.
“What’s done is done,” Trustee Cathy Tindle said. “We need to move forward. We need to quit beating this horse to death. Let’s move forward and get the committee.”
Granby’s trustees approved an ordinance establishing a public art committee and are currently soliciting letters of interest from citizens who want to participate.
Under the ordinance approved Tuesday, any Granby resident, individual who owns a business within the community or anyone with an 80446 zip code — which includes areas of unincorporated Grand County immediately surrounding Granby — are eligible to become committee members.
The town plans to hammer out additional details, such as the exact number of committee members, after gauging initial public interest and seeing how many citizens volunteer.
Committee members will serve terms of staggered lengths with some serving two-year terms and others on four-year terms. The town plans to have the public art committee initially work to develop a more comprehensive public art process and policy that will go back before the town board for final adoption.
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