Denise Duarte, Clark County first public art coordinator, resigned last month before reaching one year at her post, reports Kristen Peterson at Las Vegas Weekly. "Patrick Gaffey, the county’s cultural program supervisor, explained to colleagues and other inquirers that her decision came out of frustration with the county’s slow-moving bureaucracy, the response, he says, came with an understanding nod."
And so slogs forward the journey of public art in the county at a pace that Gaffey understands. He spent seven years navigating the many roadblocks of the art and design enhancements of the Flamingo Arroyo Trail and, before that, more than 15 years trying to drum up interest in a countywide program. It’s now been two years since the county approved funding for the program, and Gaffey says the turnover of its first administrator is a small hiccup. Several applicants had filed for the position by last Friday’s deadline
County funding came from lobbying by Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani wanting Clark County to match the city programming seen in Las Vegas and Reno, and that had it's own opposition.
Duarte stepping down wasn't really news here, and the reason is no surprise. Artists entering public art field in any city are easily overwhelmed by the bureaucracy, and experienced artists have moved away from public art as the rules get thicker and deeper.
During it's monthly meetings in the first half of 2014, The City of Las Vegas Arts Commission have begun talks about hosting seminars for artists willing to learn how to navigate that government red tape.
Above: Stephen Hendee created sculpture for the celebration of 30 years of public art programming in the City of Las Vegas.