Posted by pleasanton resident, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:14 am
I like them and think it's great Pleasanton brought in an art exhibit for downtown no matter how you feel about it. Nothing wrong with a little bit of interesting art to give us something to talk about. My five-year-old got a kick out of finding each of them on a nice, leisurely stroll along Main Street.
Posted by Gary Schwaegerle, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:19 am Gary Schwaegerle is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Perhaps some warped metal or damage fender mounted on a pole, with various colors of paint dumped on them would make people happy? Or; NO so called ART is acceptable to those complaining? Please be specific in your Ideas for Improvement - Variety has been the Spice of Life - No? Or be BOLD enough to Identify yourselves to take the stand U doo. The ART is GREAT! This weekend you could watch the People interact with them - sit or stand have pictures taken with, people were looking at them having a fun time; in Our Beautiful Downtown the Heart of Pleasanton. As I drove up Main Street there were so many people some standing or sitting, you had to take a double look to see if they weren't a statue. Cheers Gary Schwaegerle
Posted by Curt Anderson, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:37 am
I agree with Gary - the art is terrific. Yesterday we drove down Main Street and saw people getting their photo taken with one of the sculptures, at another people were smiling and interacting - people were having fun. I haven't had the chance to walk up and look at them closely but I certainly will.
Posted by Randy Randleman, a resident of the Mission Park neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:39 am
I saw those last week, the Fisherman at the bridge is very nice, looks so natural there. I have then enjoyed seeing the different ones throughout the downtown, makes it more fun to go through town. I am sure it will be a hit to those that can open their eyes and see the beauty and attraction of this.
"Take note from great small downtowns such as Palo Alto, Mountain View, Danville, Livermore." Give me a break here, Ptown downtown is as good or better than any of these. Thank you for bringing the artwork in and letting us all share in it.
Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:20 am
Couldn't disagree with the naysayers any more. IMHO the figures all seem to represent a segment of life, local flavor & heritage of this town in a very positive, whimsical manner. They're certainly unique, well constructed & yes, maybe a tad bit eerily lifelike (I keep expecting the window washer to walk & move to another window) but otherwise a great way to prep the downtown citizenry for the opening of the new Firehouse Arts Center.
Do not fear the introduction of a little culture to our town.
Posted by Normie, a resident of Dublin, on Apr 5, 2010 at 10:55 am
I feel very sorry for people who have no imagination! I saw the sculpters in a group when they first arrived. I got such a good feeling in my heart. I love all kinds of art and these made me happy. I believe the few who complain just have no sense of adventure in their lives or minds. So sad!
Posted by Elaine, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 11:39 am
I love the art work downtown! It gives Pleasanton a lift and more people were walking taking pictures of them, sitting with them. I think its great for the children to see that art comes in all different ways, shapes and ideas. I had a so much fun walking and finding the next one. Good for you P town... I hope they stay for a very long time!
Posted by Dave Ferguson, a resident of San Ramon, on Apr 5, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Which is your favorite? We were driving south on main on saturday night and my wife thought it odd that someone would be washing windows so late at the Kolln hardware, i saw him in the rear view window, explained to my wife that when the business is closed would naturally be the best time for them to clean the windows! We found out from my Mom on Easter about the statues! What a laugh we had, confirmed that when going home sunday night, he hadn't moved! This is one of those stories every time we look at old Kolln's, we will remmeber the window washer. Good job Pleasanton, this is actually art that my family can enjoy!
Posted by Claudia Hess, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm
We are glad so many enjoy the Seward Johnson Sculptures- we timed it so that it will lead up to the grand opening of the Firehouse Cultural Arts Center and so that school kids will be able to involve it into their curriculum! This money has been in City of Pleasanton's public art account for many years- and we are using a small portion to fund this interactive temporary sculpture show. We (the Civic Arts Commission) take being stewards of the public's money extremely seriously.
Art stirs emotions- so if you have an opinion- that's exactly what we're looking for! Take a look up close and look at the clothing textures and details like hand hemmed pants(!) and you'll be thinking about these people's stories.
The teenagers have already "gotten it" they're having a ball interacting with these sculptures. I now challenge you to find the hand hemmed pants- enjoy!
Posted by M, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 4:41 pm
Slightly weired and spooky ... but art needs a resurgence in Pleasanton so I'm all for weird and spooky and abstract expressionism and other forms of "real art" ... please no more photo-esque art on the vineyards or the yellow mountains.
Posted by Ange, a resident of the West of Foothill neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 5:26 pm
I love the idea of adding art. Unfortunately, this art looks like it was picked up at a yard sale. The figures, the way they are dressed and the colors used, looked like something out of the early 60's era. Wondering if the artist's inspiration was a scene from the movie "Back to the Future?" The off-white colored platforms they are mounted on indicates the artist's lack of any attempt of realism. Sorry...I am quite embarrassed to see them in the town I call home.
Posted by M, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 6:26 pm
Aside from Cholo and his dream of fake-ness ... Truly we, as a town, reflecting achievement, high end thinking, an aspiration of something good ... we should embrace art ... so what if this exhibit didn't hit the big time ... will art ever hit everyone in the center of acceptance ... not if art does its job it won't ... art is like music ... it soothes political roughness and gives us a reason to bond as neighbors ... MORE ART IN PLEASANTON!!!!!!
Posted by John, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 6:39 pm
This is chochky work at best that IMO doesn't represent the quality nature of Pleasanton and its downtown. Let the work be put on sale at a gallery or other venue where it may be appreciated by people that may have interest in it.
Posted by It's a good start, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm
Yes, so what if the sculptures are more on the old-fashioned, realistic-yet-creepy side? I agree that they're a VERY good first step to bringing accessible art back to Pleasanton and the downtown area. With the promise of some fun and different thing to experience, I managed to cajole my husband away from the TV this weekend and go for a drive, then walk up and back down Main Street to look at the artwork. I had heard that there was one on the Neal side street, so we took a slight detour, stopped at Meadowlark Dairy on foot for a rare treat of an ice cream cone, then walked to the bridge to view the fisherman and back down to where we had parked on Old Bernal Ave. And I'm sure we weren't the only ones to do something similar.
As I said, a good, no, Great start! Let's keep events and attractions like this coming, through our participation and support.
Posted by It's a good start, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 5, 2010 at 9:09 pm
Oh, and yes, I'm with "M", for sure, on the topic of Bad Art In Galleries Around Town. If there's one thing that we could pass on, it's one more bigger-than-life engorged bunch of grapes on a canvas to be placed over someone's wet bar or a faux-artistic tinting of a watercolor of a vineyard with a wine glass superimposed... ugh!
Posted by Cindy, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2010 at 9:27 am
We love the sculptures. I saw the man fishing last Weds. when picking up our dogs from VIP Pet Grooming. I thought he was real, it wasn't until Thursday morning's newspaper that I found out about the collection. The 2 kids outside the drive-thru are great. The soldier and son across from the Museum really capture the spirit of our country at war. The woman with the groceries outside the wine cellar is life-like.
What a great idea to draw people to hte downtown area! Kudos
Posted by Nosy Neighbors, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2010 at 9:53 am
Art, by it's very definition should be subjective & therefore elicit a different response & reaction by everyone who views it. We're not talking about something that is highly controversial here, there's no crucifix's floating in urine, 200 foot long spoon with a cherry in them or miles of blue ribbon lining the hills & local vineyards.
If you want to nit-pick things just tell me HOW that old woman managed to walk all the way back from Stoneridge Mall with a Talbots bag & all her other groceries?
Posted by Alice, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2010 at 11:06 am
The sculptures are here until June 30th. I knew about them, but my husband didn't and the day they were set up he came home commenting that he couldn't believe someone was fishing at the Arroyo! That's how lifelike they look. I think they're great. By the way, the starting price of them is $80,000! They are bronze and each one takes about a year to make. Each one weighs several hundred pounds.
Posted by resident, a resident of the Laguna Oaks neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm
All art should evoke an emotion. We do not all like the same people or the same books OR the same art. But like it or not, one should be able to appreciate the skill it took to create it. Have the detractors examined, up close, the authentic textures of the paper and cloth? The life-like features of the faces? And, as for Pleasanton not being up to snuff with other small towns, here is an exert listing some places J. Seward Johnson's sculptures are displayed.
"Johnson is also known for his life sized sculptures of ordinary people in contemporary life situations. These sculptures have been placed in public settings throughout the world, including Double Check, which depicts a businessman sitting on a bench going through his briefcase. Located on New York City’s Liberty Street near the World Trade Center, it has since become an impromptu memorial. Other sites where sculptures by J. Seward Johnson can be found are at Rockefeller Center in New York City, Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver, Canada, and in Washington, D.C. Johnson has also shown his work in exhibits in Asia, Mexico, and throughout Europe."
Not bad company for Pleasanton! Appreciate the skill, decide you don't like it and think about why you don't like it. Explore how he might have achieved the textures. Wait with anticipation for the next temporary exhibit that you might love.
I hope we continue to have exhibits like this - even ones that I may not care for. The number of people that are downtown checking this out has been fabulous. Things like this are what makes a great small town.
And for those who just think art is just a waste of money, period, stay home and watch cage fighting and drink beer. I know, that was uncalled for, but I couldn't resist!
Posted by M, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Apr 6, 2010 at 8:29 pm
I was at the stop sign at Gay Nineties on Saturday and two young children with their father caught my eye~ they were admiring one of the sculptures. It was a really neat moment, and I was delighted to see more sculptures as I drove up Main St. Creating memories is what it's all about.
It's OK if you don't like them. I don't like all art, but I appreciate art for expression and I enjoy others enjoying it.
Posted by Joyce Shapiro, a resident of the Vineyard Hills neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2010 at 6:48 am
I am amazed by some of the negative comments regarding the public art project downtown. My family and I have been very involved in the downtown area since the 60's. I have never seen anything generate so much excitment as this project. The figures are represenative of life, they appeal to all ages, they generate conversation and bring attention to our great downtown area.
Posted by Linda Garbarino, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm
These displays of art indicate that our city has an interest in fine art and like Palo Alto with Brown's whimsical human and alien paintings on the sides of many buildings, they entertain and delight many people who enjoy visiting and supporting the downtown. Our Seward Johnson art show is only temporary, and delightful to observe. Hope to see more art featured in the future.
Posted by You're Funny Roberta, a member of the Pleasanton Middle School community, on Apr 7, 2010 at 8:43 pm
If you watched the local news last night, Pleasanton resident and weather person Roberta Gonzales was hilarious as they showed this 'old lady statue' in the background and Roberta running in fright off the set. That's exactly how I feel about these creepy works of art. But that's art; it's supposed to illicit some feeling or emotion, including fear! ha!
Posted by Not a fan, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2010 at 7:42 am
Some of them look CREEPY!!! The one in front of Gay 90's caught my eye and I couldn't believe how morbid it looked! The other ones further down Main Street are much better looking. I LOVE the idea of artwork downtown but, no offense to the artist, some of these just look downright weird! I'm glad they aren't permanent!!
Posted by Chris, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm
Why are you surprised by the negative comments Joyce? Art has always generated all types of different opinions and we should welcome those comments different than ours. I personally love the sculptures, but know there are those in town who have the exact opposite opinion.
Posted by JR, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Apr 9, 2010 at 12:19 am
After hearing about the art on this posting, my husband and I took our 6 year old granddaughter to look at them. We all enjoyed them and loved watching peoples reaction to the art. They brought a smile to most people that were checking them out. It is great to see more art in this area.
Posted by MainStreetDiva, a member of the Vintage Hills Elementary School community, on Apr 9, 2010 at 10:25 am MainStreetDiva is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
We love these! It's fun to watch residents check them out and have their photos taken with these 'people,' especially the kids and families. These sculptures get people walking around downtown, trying to find the rest of them. Complete strangers end up chatting with each other, comparing notes on their favorite ones and where they are located.
Any 'art' that gets people downtown, chatting with neighbors (and possible even shopping in the stores while there!) is, to me, a good thing.
Posted by John, a resident of the Pleasanton Valley neighborhood, on Apr 15, 2010 at 3:24 pm
So no one has a problem with the fact that these cost the city, oh wait I mean us the tax payers, $6,000 a month to rent???? At a time when everyone at the city is crying about no budget, to spend money on this kind of stuff completely mind boggles me.
Posted by Linda Wyner, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 11, 2010 at 12:18 pm
I understand that the bronze statues downtown will be leaving at the end of the month. What a wonderful boon it's been for downtown. They've played well in the press and every day people from out of town come to explore and be entertained by the statues. More people downtown translates into more business for shops and restaurants.