The Calling – A Point of Debate
Another one of my visits to Milwaukee produced some photos of one of the cities’ main and oldest streets, Wisconsin Avenue. This huge sculpture is at the top of the street near Lake Michigan, and across the street from the Milwaukee Art Museum. When it was erected by American sculptor Mark di Suvero in 1982, it overlooked the street and set off a nearby blue building , and of course, complemented the blue/green shadings of Lake Michigan.
Since the addition of the Santiago Calatrava’s addition to the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2001, opponents have occasionally requested that the steel orange sculpture be re-located. Critics claim ‘The Calling’ – which most Milwaukeeans refer to as ‘The Sunburst’ – blocks the view of Calatrava’s movable winged ‘architectural sculpture.’ Some suggest that the industrial sculpture be moved to a sculpture garden on the museum’s site. Others even recommend its movement further east – about 500 feet further east – which would drop it square under the surface of Lake Michigan! Still others advocate leaving it as it is. Here is a view of the entire sculpture and a panoramic view of the sculpture and the downtown buildings overlooking the lake.
Such is the life of a piece of public street art – always up for a strongly contested and opinionated debate. And that is good. People are looking, evaluating, thinking about the art they see in their environment. They are making an effort to decide if they like individual pieces, choosing if what they see they consider art – which is entirely within their rights.
People debating art.Seems like a good thing to me.