City Council to consider committee to consult on public art


When three large colorful sculptures depicting youth sports were erected in roundabouts along Hazel Dell Parkway, it generated a lot of public discussion.

While some loved the Jorge Blanco creations at the intersections of Main Street, 126th Street and 116th Street, some people said they weren’t fans, even prompting stories on local TV news.

Carmel city councilor Jeff Worrell said he heard from a lot of people who said they liked the artwork but would rather see it in a different location.

“I got the sense that we got the feeling that there was this expectation that everyone would love it,” he said.

As a result, Worrell has proposed an ordinance to the Carmel City Council that would create a committee to consult and advise Mayor Jim Brainard about where to place public art. It would not make decisions about which art to purchase, and any recommendations would be nonbinding.

“It would offer the mayor the opportunity to have a group of citizens that could weigh in on where to place the art,” Worrell said.

Councilors Sue Finkam, Kevin “Woody” Rider and Laura Campbell are co-sponsors of the legislation.

Worrell said each city councilor would get to appoint someone from their district, and the commission would have 30 days to report back with an opinion once the mayor asks for input on placing public art.

“It might be wise to ask citizens to weigh in a little bit more,” Worrell said.

City councilor Bruce Kimball said he’s concerned that such a committee could be micromanaging the city’s operation.

Worrell said that’s not the intent.

“I’m not trying to run Carmel by committee or to usurp the mayor’s authority,” he said.

The total cost of the three roundabout sculptures, including installation, is nearly $500,000.