The Loss of Galway City's Public Arts officer
An Open Letter from Aideen Barry
Dear Artists and Arts Organisations of Galway,
I am sending you this email to address a concern I have and one that I think is going to become a major concern for Galway into the future.
Recently Megs Morley's contract was not renewed by Galway City Council. Megs was appointed Public Arts officer over 36 months ago and in that time she has committed her all to the development of Public Art practice in the City. Not only has her role been instrumental in delivering best practice in relation to Public Art she has also exposed Galway City as a flag ship centre for ground breaking Public Art commissions and best practice. Her role also created the potential for making Galway a benchmark in international public art practice.
It is my own personal opinion that the decision taken by Galway City Council not to renew her contract and in a sense remove the role entirely has pushed Galway's Arts development back and has possibly stunted the growth in arts commissioning and expansion quite significantly.
I think that this decision to remove the role of the Public Arts Officer also comes a quite a significant time. The drafting of the City's 2010 Arts Policy, recently commissioned by Sarah Searson, is due to be released by the office and it is my fear that this policy will show Galway City Council's short comings and institutional amnesia created by the elimination of the role of Public Arts Officer.
I have spoken to a number of you about this issue recently but I would like to hear personally from you now about your feelings on the issue and if you would consider making a challenge to Galway City Council on this issue.