Archives has an Open House today from 10am to 3pm on Summer Street at D Street. They're running with a "Game of Thrones" theme, and I can't tell if it's witty or they tried too hard. But the historical artifacts are always interesting regardless!
Here's a very old plan of Salem from 1848 - in "Champoeg County"! - that doesn't seem to have been reproduced very much. It was tweeted out without caption, and a quick google didn't turn up anything about it. Though the City "salemhistory.net" site is down just now, they have in the past reproduced a sketch from 1850 of William Willson's 1845 plat (itself copied from a 1929 news article). At least as far as online sources go, this gets us closer to the "original" concept! There might be more to say later on it.
|A plat of Salem from 1848,|
"Champoeg County Oregon"
|Progress on Union and Commercial - via Twitter|
|Artist Mel Katz (L) and "Receptacle"|
on Liberty and Chemeketa
Have you walked by it? If so, what did you think?
Postscript, October 27th
Finally got a chance to walk by the art.
|It is swamped by the busy facade|
(maybe in the morning it would look better)
|It occupies a space where a bike rack was|
|The City removed a lot of useful things for it: A bike rack,|
garbage can, and two benches
|As a sculpture, it's a thin blade|
So yeah, it's not very satisfactory, either.
The art installations right now are proceeding independently of the streetscape project. At Council on Monday, a critic said
The Salem Arts Commission refused to postpone the painting of the two murals downtown to make sure they fit with whatever theme we select for Streetscape - now we have two awful murals that will clash with Streetscape.A hallmark of murals is a serendipitous randomness. Usually the designs aren't part of some grand program or master vision. Even if there is a series of them, they are discrete one-off designs. So it is probably a mistake to want a master plan and over-arching theme for them.
But the art pedestal program might benefit from a little more vision and coherence. It seems driven by a very ad hoc art selection, what things become available by donation? And then an equally ad hoc decision, where can we put this thing? It's all too accidental. Budget constraints may mean that the Arts Commission can't be too picky. But right now the program feels like street bric-a-brac more than a strong series of lively art moments. (See notes on "The Cube" and the Setziol.)