As an artist, I applaud the decision to place art on school campuses in the Richland School District.
One thing struck me as ironic, though, in the recent photo of the sculpture outside Jason Lee Elementary. Prominently displayed on all sides were signs reading “Stay off art work.” If large sculptures are going to be erected at schools (especially elementary schools), they should be kid-friendly.
The ability to touch, climb over, or sit on an outdoor artwork gives children an opportunity to interact with the art in a way which is so natural to them — a way to learn an appreciation for art which often escapes adults who have been conditioned to “look, but don’t touch.”
Safety and maintenance issues notwithstanding, there should be ways to indulge the temptation to use more than just our visual sense in appreciating public art.
Maja Shaw, Richland