In Saint Paul, a city in Minnesota, 1 percent is being used as a city ordinance mandating taxpayer-funded public art.
According to the Public Art Ordinance Program guidelines:
“The city council believes planning and development decisions should give aesthetic and social value equal weight with any project’s functional and economic values,”
The most visible publicly funded art on display is the “Stop” sign on roads which is commissioned by resident city artist Marcus Young.
Marcus stated that:
“If a stop sign post is a matter of life and death, it is even more important that the stop sign post be beautiful. It should speak to something beyond simply maintaining our life; that the stop sign post presented an opportunity to create something that keeps our bodies safe while nourishing our souls.”
The artsy “Stop” sign cost about $1000 a piece which included all admin, production and installation cost. It is designed by artist Lisa Elias. The “Stop” sign is on a curved rusty iron post which shaped like stalks and sprout metal petals and flowers.
Many other projects are also underway since 2009 and it’s estimated that about $1.3 million of taxpayer funding is being budgeted for public art with incorporated into public infrastructure.