Our view: Duluth arches blank canvas? Or fine as is?
Jack Harrigan and his wife were attending an estate sale in Lincoln Park this summer when they were struck by what could be a pretty good idea. Looking up Duluth's western hillside, they noticed, along the lower stretch of Piedmont Avenue, a line...
Jack Harrigan and his wife were attending an estate sale in Lincoln Park this summer when they were struck by what could be a pretty good idea.
Looking up Duluth's western hillside, they noticed, along the lower stretch of Piedmont Avenue, a line of about 35 stone arches built into the large retaining wall above the eastern curb. Each arch frames -- nothing.
"It occurred to us that those beige, blank arches could use some sprucing up," Harrigan told the News Tribune Opinion page. "How about a local art group painting in some trompe l'oeil, those murals that deceive the eye?"
Or, Harrigan asked, how about some artwork within each archway similar to the ones painted onto the outside of the Sammy's Pizza building at Central Entrance and Arlington Avenue?
"I suppose now that this is published, the News Tribune will get a bunch of letters saying, 'We need a billion dollars worth of residential street repairs and you want to waste money on paintings?' Might as well stir the pot," continued Harrigan, of Phoenix; he and his wife are living this summer in the dorms at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
We don't mind letters -- or a stirred pot now and then. So we're throwing it out there: What does everyone think? Is our arts community interested in 35 or so highly visible but blank canvasses? Would the Minnesota Department of Transportation allow such sprucing up? Would such a project improve our community, make it more attractive and bring it closer together? Or would it create an eyesore where now there is quiet dignity?
Send your thoughts to email@example.com .
There's little doubt where Harrigan stands: "It's a wall just asking for beautiful paintings," he said -- "before graffiti hits it!"