St Paul’s version of Machu Picchu with engineering marvels, gee-whiz sculptures, and Peruvian-like terraces is in danger of being bulldozed by “Bully” The Bulldozer which is run by the St Paul Parks and “Wrecking” Crew.
For nearly 20 years Arjo Adams has been maintaining a property that the City called St Paul has not been interested in until now. They’ve declared the site “dangerous,” without actually sending a city engineer to determine if the terraced site is “dangerous.”
St Paul used to stand for something. The local DFL Party used to stand up for the little guy, but now they pull up “Bully” The Bulldozer to your house and seize your property to put in another access point to the vaunted Bruce Vento Trail. What would Bruce Vento do? Would Bruce Vento kick a poor artist out of the house he is living in? Of course not!
Mike Hahm of the Parks and Wreck said Arjo’s art does not meet the criteria for public art. Does that mean that it has to sit in a jar of urine like a crucifix that the National Endowment for the Arts paid Andres Serrano to do? Or that it has to have gang symbols like the mural on the old Payne Maryland Rec Center once paid another “artist” to do?
What is public art?
President Lyndon Johnson said upon signing the enabling legislation for the NEA, “We fully recognize that no government can call artistic excellence into existence…Nor should any government seek to restrict the freedom of the artist to pursue his own goals in his own way.”
So, art is an expression of free speech which is protected by the 1st amendment to the US Constitution. The Minnesota state Constitution protects free speech too. There are several ways to express ones speech and it isn’t necessarily by auditory means. People communicate by 3 main ways: by hearing, by reading or by sight, and by tactile or hands on. The recent US Supreme Court ruling, “Citizens United,” shows that giving money to a candidate or a cause can be viewed as free speech as well, which is opposed by Democrats as well.
Arjo Adams art is visual and to a certain degree hands on. Just because Mr Hahm disagrees on what public art is doesn’t mean his definition is right.
This is why Arjo is a threat. He doesn’t agree with what the City called St Paul wants. Bruce Vento would disagree with the council and so would the real Saint Paul of Tarsus.
The designs of the false are evil, purposing the destruction of the poor man by false words, even when he is in the right. -Isaiah 32:7