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Mural Sparks Public Art Controversy

One of the murals painted for the Life is Beautiful Festival came down a couple of weeks ago. Critics said it "didn't reflect the spirit of downtown." The image of a man with a slot machine on his chest and hands reaching out of the desert was also painted on the side of a building owned by a casino company. Supporters of the mural said the image sparked discussion. But others say the role of public art is to create beauty and lift spirits. So how should public art spark community dialogue? Or are some images not appropriate for public display?

Support comes from


Ed Fuentes, arts journalist and photographer

Eloise Damrosch, executive director, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Portland, Oregon

Stephen Grogan, first vice chair, Las Vegas Arts Commission

Thursday, December 5, 2013

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Two people hold electronic devices while looking over a sculpture by George Segal with the Living Wall in the background at the newly expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
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