Your Views for March 26

Art and nature

It has been suggested in this newspaper (“Rainy Side View,” March 23) that artwork should be exhibited or viewed only within the confines of museums or galleries. The column suggests there is no place for public art displays intermingled with the beauty of nature — that the two cannot exist side-by-side.

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Respectfully, I am of the opinion that not only can they exist collectively, such a harmonious union of beauty only serves to enhance our appreciation of nature.

To quote Marc Chagall, “Great art picks up where nature ends.” Or all the way back in history to Marcus Tullius Cicero, “Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature.” Paul Cezanne is quoted as saying, “Art is a harmony parallel with nature.”

Art in public places is an exigency we should all be thankful for. Through the wisdom of our leaders, and as the first state in the nation to do so, the Hawaii Legislature has mandated that 1% of all construction costs for state buildings be earmarked for the purchase of art for public spaces. It authorizes the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, through their Art in Public Places, to manage the program. From their website: “Works of art are displayed in over 640 sites statewide including schools, libraries, hospitals, airports, state office buildings, the state Capitol and at the Hawaii State Art Museum.”

Take a tour around Hilo. The University of Hawaii at Hilo has artwork in almost every public space, many existing in “harmony parallel with nature.”

Peek inside and wander around the grounds of the schools, the library, the airport, the hospital, etc. Are we to remove all those artworks to some museum our children will never visit? I think not.

Larry Joseph

Hilo

‘Konflict’ Kern

Planning Director Zendo Kern signs off on documents before checking on conflict of interest, and before putting conflict protocols in place, despite serious concerns about just that dominating his confirmation hearings (Tribune-Herald, March 25).

Mayor Mitch Roth calls Kern on the carpet … oh, wait, Roth defends him.

The Campbell Trust conflict-of-interest signoff is discovered — but is this before, or after, the press and public start asking questions?

Kern can’t publicize his list of former clients without getting in hot water with the clients. That means the press and public can’t watchdog conflicts of interest. It also means Planning Department staff may only be able to uncover conflicts by sifting through reams of old records — for years to come.

Multiple conflicts are likely, and overworked Planning Department staff will have to cover for Kern.

Mayor Roth and Director Kern — maybe this isn’t gonna work.

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Martha “Cory” Harden

Hilo