The Mammoth Town Council recently approved spending $152,000 of money slated for public art on a new sign to mark the entrance to the Town of Mammoth Lakes – a sign that some call too formal and bland.
The Public Arts Commission had previously approved the project after three years of discussions and public meetings on the gateway sign. With the council signing off on the expenditure of the money, the plan is to hire Janice Kabala, the artist whose design was chosen by the Public Arts Commission.
The design for the new gateway monument is a somewhat simple looking sign, with an orange concrete base, hammered steel, and COR-TEN steel that will weather over time. The lettering simply says Mammoth Lakes. The idea is to place this new entrance marker along 203 on the way into town.
The project is not universally liked. At the recent town council meeting two people spoke against the project, one of whom said the sign looked like it belonged at a gated community.
No artwork ever pleases everyone. Councilmember John Eastman said that he puts his full faith and trust in the Public Arts Commission decision to approve the project. Councilmember Skip Harvey said that art is to each individuals eye. He also supported the Arts Commission decision that was based on, public meetings for three years. Niel McCarroll discussed and complimented the different type of sign that marks the south entrance to the City of Bishop. He too supported the design for the gateway sign. Councilmember Jo Bacon wanted to know more about the arts commission spending after an earlier discussion of spending $30,000 to administer the public art funds each year.
In the end, the vote was 4-0 to approve the project.