Kriseman says canceled "Arts in Transit" project wasn't orphaned
When a much-touted project bites the dust, the natural question to ask is why?
City officials said they canceled negotiations with the artistic team of Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse because the team didn't have the technical expertise to pull off the $2.3 million project that would transform bus shelters along Central Avenue from ho-hum places to escape the rain to works of art.
Mickett and Stackhouse vociferously disagreed, pointing to large-scale installations in Richmond, Va. and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Cultural officials, including the Dali Museum Director Hank Hines, spoke highly of their qualifications and said they were surprised at the turn of events.
After the Tampa Bay Times published its story, Mayor Rick Kriseman's spokesman Ben Kirby asked to weigh in. Here is his response:
“No one is questioning the reputations of Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse. They are phenomenal artists. The engineering component of this project simply requires a new and different approach. Mayor Kriseman remains excited about this project’s ability to elevate our city even more.”
“Because of the mayor’s commitment to the arts and Central Avenue, considerable time and energy has been spent on this. It was never orphaned. “