City residents respond in force to Public Square art survey

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WATERTOWN — Nearly 2,300 people have responded to a survey in three days about five finalists in the running to create an art project on Public Square.

But City Councilwomen Lisa A. Ruggiero and Sarah V. Compo have been hearing that some people don’t like any of the five choices.

“I’m hearing that they don’t fit in downtown,” Councilwoman Ruggiero said during Monday night’s council meeting. “They’re too modern. Maybe something that’s related to the history of downtown Watertown.”

The two councilwomen suggested changing the survey and adding the option “None of the Above.”

But City Planner Jennifer Voss defended the artwork and the survey. She said the 2,300 survey responses show that residents are interested in the public art projects and art in general.

“There’s been thousands of positive responses on the survey,” Ms. Voss said. “It’s business as usual.”

The survey is trying to determine which of the five projects people like best, she said, adding that it’s too late to change the survey.

The city narrowed its nationwide search from 15 artists to five who submitted their ideas for the public art project.

The city is using $155,000 from its $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding awarded in 2017 to complete the project.

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