For now at least, a proposed mural that says “All Lives Matter” will not be painted on Kirkwood Avenue just west of Indiana Avenue in downtown Bloomington.
Bloomington’s three-member board of public works has unanimously denied a special events application from Turning Point USA at Indiana University, to paint such a mural on the weekend of April 7 and 8.
The denial came at the board’s regular Tuesday meeting, after about 20 minutes worth of public comment, all of it opposed to the approval of the application to paint the mural.
The public commentary in opposition was based mostly on the fact that the “All Lives Matter” slogan is associated with opposition to the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
When it came time for a vote, the board didn’t deliberate on the question.
But when the item was put in front of the board, the basis for the denial was laid out by city attorney Mike Rouker: The proposed mural is for permanent or semi-permanent art (intended to last more than seven days), and it includes “speech.”
The inclusion of “words, letters, numbers, or universally recognized symbols, or logos of any kind” for a permanent art installation put the proposed ALM mural in conflict with the city’s new policy on art installations by private entities in the public right of way.
Bloomington’s policy was adopted by the board of public works at its Dec. 20, 2022 meeting.
The board’s action to adopt a new policy was taken because Bloomington was under a federal court order to develop and promulgate rules for private entities to install art in the public right-of-way. Continue reading “Proposed ALM mural denied by Bloomington board of public works as conflicting with new art policy” →
It looks like the table is now being set for the next phase in a pending federal lawsuit against the city of Bloomington.
An application to paint a mural on Kirkwood Avenue with the phrase “All Lives Matter” appears on the Bloomington board of public works agenda for Tuesday, March 14.
The application for the mural was made by Turning Point USA at Indiana University.
Bloomington’s city attorney, Mike Rouker, has recommended that the application be denied, because the design includes “speech” as defined by a new city policy on such art in the public right-of-way.
Bloomington’s policy was adopted by the board of public works at its Dec. 20,
The board’s action to adopt a new policy was taken because Bloomington was under a federal court order to develop and promulgate rules for private entities to install art in the public right-of-way.
That order came in connection with a lawsuit that Turning Point and Indiana University student Kyle Reynolds filed, after being denied permission to paint their “All Lives Matter” mural in 2021. The court found that the city’s refusal in 2021 to allow Reynolds to paint his mural likely amounted to viewpoint discrimination, and issued a preliminary injunction. Continue reading “Street mural: Bloomington attorney says application should be denied, because it contains speech” →
Early Saturday afternoon, on a quick trip to Brilliant Coffee Company for a cup of gelato, The B Square chanced on Joel Shields, who was adding some color to a parking sign post at 6th and Morton.
Shields lives in Venice Beach, California, but is Bloomington born and raised. He serves as a kind of unofficial artist in residence when he visits his hometown.
Saturday’s parking sign post was his second installation of the day. A block away, he installed a yarn panel at Kirkwood Avenue and Morton Street. Later on Saturday, he will be installing a third piece of art in the same general area, Shields told The B Square.
In case readers want to go on a Joel Shields art hunting expedition, he did give a hint: The next installation will probably be in an alley.
Continue reading “Caught in the artistic act: Two installations in downtown Bloomington on Saturday, a third to come” →
Funding for design of two projects that are meant to establish “gateways” to Bloomington got approval from the board of park commissioners at its regular Tuesday meeting.
One of the sites where a gateway is to be constructed is the northern tip of Miller-Showers Park. The other is the SR 45/46 bypass pedestrian bridge, which connects to the Arlington Heights Elementary School.
What the board approved on Tuesday was a $133,925 contract with Rundell Ernstberger & Associates (REA) for the design work on the two projects. Continue reading “Two Bloomington gateway projects get restart: Miller-Showers Park, pedestrian bridge” →