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The ups and downs of spending public money on art

Art and its perception can be very subjective, and there may be no better demonstration than in the responses to public art, artworks paid by taxpayers and displayed on public property. Ashland, as a regional center for the arts, displays several works of public art, and even has a Public Arts Advisory Committee.

Ken Engelund is the chair of the committee, with stories to share about what it takes to choose art and artists, and about the kinds of reactions the public makes when art is installed. He'll give a talk on this next week (March 5th) at the Ashland Library, part of the "Big Ideas" series. We delve into the nuances of commissioning and presenting public art.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily news program focused on issues, people and events across Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the program's senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.