Ask 'Mimi' Jan. 19, 2014

Ask 'Mimi' Jan. 19, 2014

This from Richard Mohr, Urbana: Is the C-U public sculpture program a case of too much of a good thing not being wonderful? The cities are starting to look like sculpture graveyards, not sculpture gardens. And what's up with all the silver ones? Does the committee think we are magpies and will leap at anything spangly?

First of all, I'd respond with the old saw, "It's a matter of taste." I happen to like many of the sculptures; I know some folks don't.

One misconception. Most of the outdoor sculptures in C-U excluding Meadowbrook Park in Urbana are not part of a city public sculpture program, though Urbana has installed several.

The non-profit, volunteer Public Art League brings most of the sculptures here — 40 since the group formed in 2010. Thirty-three remain; new ones will be selected this spring.

Businesses, foundations and private citizens sponsor the sculptures by paying the artists the cost of the two-year leases. Public entities contribute by covering the installations on their properties.

Most of the sculptures are not here permanently, unless an entity or individual decides to buy one and leave it in place (or move it to another location.) So they're not exactly graveyards.

As for silver, hardy stainless steel is often used for outdoor sculptures. It appears that many of the sculptures here are silver, but of the nine pieces placed by the league last year, only two are silver. A third, "Glory Pipes 2.0" near the old train station, is silvery with colored LEDs. Of 12 league pieces installed in 2012, five could be described as silver. For more go to

Bruno Mars will perform during the halftime of Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Feb. 2. Who would be your choice?

I'm not familiar with his music.

Some critics consider Mars too lightweight for the Bowl because he's released only two studio albums. So the Super Bowl folks recently added the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Spin magazine said the Peppers will be the first "capital-R Rock band" to play the Super Bowl show in four years. I like the Peppers, though I'm not into stadium rock.

Personally, I'd go with U2 for their big, lush sound. The Irish rock band just won the Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination for best original song for "Ordinary Love" from "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom."

Because U2 performed at the '02 Super Bowl, let's spice up the show with an appearance by the popular Pope Francis. That would really rock the world.

Can I still get passes for the 16th annual Roger Ebert's Film Festival April 23-27 at the Virginia?

Yes. Sales are on par with last year's, said Steve Bentz, director of the Virginia Theatre. Some passes remain and all will be sold out by the time individual tickets to the Ebertfest movies go on sale starting April 1, he said.

The passes are $145 each and cover all 12 screenings. The individual tickets are $14 each, with a $2 discount for senior citizens and students. The tickets sell out fast when a big-name actor is a guest. The lineup will be announced in March.

To buy passes call the Virginia at 356-9063 or go to the box office or

Topics (4):Art, Film, Music, Television

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