The Deets: Minneapolis’ MN GOP drinking fountain art project

Minneapolis Mayor, RT Rybak, recently reflected on the criticism he received for attempting to spend a relatively small amount of money to place free drinking fountains in the city that were both functional and artistic.

When it comes to public art, Mayor R.T. Rybak is tired of being a lone wolf.

Rybak told an art-centric crowd earlier this month that “I got my head kicked in” for installing 10 water fountains designed by artists — at $50,000 a piece.

Back when he was running for governor, the MN GOP used this as one of their talking points against the mayor. Considering that Rybak has significantly improved the city’s finances in the time he’s been mayor, the MN GOP had to dig deep for a financial criticism of my city’s mayor.

As I pointed out at the time, the MN GOP’s critique of Rybak’s city budget was laughable, since it represented a whopping 0.03% of spending.

Marty Seifert was one of the MN GOP candidates who attempted to make an issue out of the fountains. As the time, I pointed out that his own community has publicly funded art projects, so chill out. But, I also took at stab at what the state would look like if we actually took Seifert seriously on public funding for the arts:

What would Minnesota’s State Capitol look like had Marty Seifert been governor in the 1890?s? Would Seifert have had the vision to hire Cass Gilbert to build one of the most beautiful state capitols in the country? My guess is that he’d lean toward something more pragmatic that’s built out of corrugated steel; or perhaps sublease part of an abandoned strip mall. Fiscally responsible? You betcha.

Which brings me to something I saw the other day:

A @MNGOP Drinking Fountain

This appears to be a perfect example of a MN GOP drinking fountain. Here’s a zoomed in look at it:

A @MNGOP Drinking Fountain

If you ever find yourself heading south on West Mississippi River Road through Bohemian Flats in Minneapolis, try veering right at the fork before Franklin bridge, climb the hill, and keep an eye out on the right side of the road for this.

When you see it (go slow or you may miss it) don’t think of it as the most utilitarian drinking fountain in the City of Minneapolis. That would be wrong. Instead, take a moment to stop so you can fully appreciate this drinking fountain art project dedicated to the Marty Seifert’s failed gubernatorial campaign.

This post was written by Ed Kohler and originally published on The Deets. Follow Ed on Twitter:@edkohler

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Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 10/05/2011 - 09:26 am.

    This can’t be true republican. Where is the coin-
    operated meter? What out-of-state company has the franchise?

  2. Submitted by Ed Kohler on 10/05/2011 - 11:06 am.

    @Rod, good point. There should be a user fee attached to this. How dare the city provide clean water to people for free, regardless of income.

  3. Submitted by Bert Perry on 10/05/2011 - 11:30 am.

    You know, when you add up a bunch of those .03% items in the city budget–water fountains, grass roof for sports arenas and city hall, etc..–you start adding up to some real money that explains very well why Minneapolis can’t pave its streets or police them.

    And you can always trust a liberal (Rod, Ed, I’m talking about you) to not see any middle ground between fifty grand and fifty bucks that might be acceptable.

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