Words over pictures

By KEN GREENLEAF  |  September 3, 2008

The final award, though, is $20,000. Whoever wins this competition will have to spend weeks or months developing the final design, then more weeks and months working with the engineers and painting contractors as the design is executed. That’s a long way short of a median income, and even less for the two-person teams. Architects of a building, who have a similar role to the artists in this project, typically get 15 percent of a project’s budget, and earn it. The artists here are getting about 1.5 percent. At least it will look good on their resume.

What concerns me even more is that the artistic financial economy in this region is a zero-sum game, and the money that goes toward this project will mean that much less for the greater community of working artists and their support infrastructure. It may take away much and add but little.

Ken Greenleaf can be reached at ken.greenleaf@gmail.com.

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