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Kansas City Council Debates One Percent for Art

Jun Kaneko's Water Plaza
Jun Kaneko's Water Plaza

By Laura Spencer

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Council is expected to vote today (August 3) on Omaha-based sculptor Jun Kaneko's One Percent for Art project for the Bartle Hall Convention Center. The work called Water Plaza was chosen by an artist selection panel, and approved by the Municipal Art Commission. But the last step in the selection process is approval by the City Council and some councilmembers have doubts. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Sculptor Jun Kaneko's proposed artwork Water Plaza includes large ceramic vessels and heads on a striped exterior plaza outside the Bartle Hall Convention Center. Despite its recommendation from the Municipal Art Commission, 2nd district at large Councilwoman Bonnie Sue Cooper calls the work inappropriate. She says it doesn't reflect the project's theme of water.

Bonnie Sue Cooper: The carpeting, the light fixtures, the wall. Everything reflects water.

Municipal Art Commission Director Porter Arneill says in a 17 month selection process, an all-volunteer panel of local citizens, artists and arts professionals, chose Jun Kaneko's work from a field of nearly 160 artists. And Arneill says although Kaneko uses a subtle approach, water is integral.

Porter Arneill: From the beginning, he's been talking about water from a very poetic and meditative perspective. A much more quiet perspective than one might interpret what's going on inside the building. But he is referencing water.

Following a presentation at the City Council's business session, the full Council is expected to vote during this afternoon's (August 3) legislative session. Laura Spencer, KCUR News.

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