Mayor Satya’s campaign poster?
Dear Mayor:I have attached a picture of one of the murals that is on the Henry Street side of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. It is one of the murals created with a process under the direction of city arts administrator Karin Wolf.I am also attaching a June 15th release that describes the process. A member of the BID [Business Improvement District] committee indicated to me that they had not approved this process. In any event, it was clearly done with city staff direction and taxpayer funding.Ms. Wolf indicates that “much of the work is challenging and raw, inducing the deep thinking necessary to create the fundamental changes we need to see right now.” She has not returned my phone call from yesterday so I am depending on the 6/15 release.I am having difficulty comprehending how a stereotypical obese male officer with a ’60’s vintage pig patch and a number of police batons for additional decoration promotes deep thinking. Perhaps this artist should be excused since he is, apparently, from Milwaukee. He probably doesn’t realize that MPD has over 140 commissioned women employees and 50 men and women officers of color.I served as a member of the City of Madison Police Department for 32 years. Once upon a time, there was an understanding on the part of your office, Common Council, and other city staff of the commitment of city employees. While there may have been differences of opinion on policy, there was a realization that city employees were also a constituency to be respected. Now we are at a point where tax dollars can be used to belittle and denigrate them. Ms Wolf gushes that “the artists were given open canvasses without fear of censorship or reprisal.” Perhaps some oversight might have been appropriate.Now the question is, do you have the courage to remove it in keeping with that basic standard of respect.? Officers and the public should not have to walk or drive by this divisive and hurtful characterization. I would like a response. Thank you.
A letter another retired MPD officer, Linda Kosovac, says this:
“I’d like to know what actual truth is being told in this public display of disrespectful ‘art.’ I have written to you before and will continue to do so. I am a retired Madison Police Officer who served the City of Madison with pride and respect for 25 years. I do not, nor have I ever looked like this ‘artistic’ creation.
“I am a woman. I am tall and thin. I never had a pig for a badge. I never carried a baton like the one in the picture. I never wore a hat like the picture. I did not wear a uniform like the picture. This is not me or did I ever serve with an officer who looked like this piece of ‘art.’
What city leader in their right mind fosters such negative public posts whether they are about a citizen, a group of persons or one of their city departments. I continue to question why, as a leader, you continually condone dividing rather than uniting.”