I am an ardent admirer of the artists and crafts people who have worked diligently to bring art to downtown Rutland.

But I don't admire the individuals who have established the strategic direction for our local urban art activities. With certainty, I honor their intention — but the strategy needs enrichment.

Rutland (as Vermont) must convince young people to immigrate to the state. To do so, our downtown must have a 'vibe' that resonates with the mindset of the young, must have relevance to satisfy their need for worthwhile time spent here.

To be convincing, the appropriate urban art has a vital role in the cast.

With the exception of the mural depicting the dreams of a person of color, there is little resonance nor relevancy to the other current downtown murals (maybe if the giraffe and elephant mural emphasized animal extinction — but they don't).

The Art Walk sculpture certainly delivers honor to those who deserved it. But consider the attitude of modern youth who don't honor too many of our leaders who are alive. Will dead ones matter to them? I doubt it.

Effective urban art starts with an understanding of the new generations. Once understood, city art would reflect better the interests, concerns and entertainments of the diverse men and women Rutland needs to people its downtown.

To gain a better understanding of what might appear here as negativity, I urge you to search Google for the "Best in Urban Art." And search YouTube for the "Geppetto Room" episode 19. (I discuss the parameter, "vibe" which Conde Nast uses to choose the best 50 cities in the world.)

Once you do and compare this art and the meaning of "vibe" to what we are currently doing, I believe you will agree our strategy needs enrichment.

Louis Scotellaro


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