For Pullman, an alternativeto Black Lives Matter art

I am writing to express my concern about the proposal of painting something similar to “Black Lives Matter” on the street downtown, and to suggest an alternative.

I enjoyed a very brief time serving on the arts commission. During that time, we drafted the city of Pullmans’ Policies and Procedures for Art in Public Places. There are a few things about this proposal that go against those policies. Using the “Black Lives Matter” goes against section 1.3 letter B, because that slogan doesn’t “speak, in a significant way, to a larger portion of the population.”

Also, Pullman is different from other places in the country in that it uses gravel all winter on the roads for traction in the snow. We have all seen what happens to the lines on the road and the Cougar logos in intersections after winter – they are mostly gone. For this reason, I believe that painting this on the street goes against (several articles in the policies; for example) that it must be durable, the appropriate material and durability and keep art from being damaged.

Pullman is unique and blessed in its diversity. We have a multimillion dollar Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center at the Entrance to WSU that celebrates culture and diversity. The Welcome Garden as you come into town welcomes people in 60 diverse languages. May I suggest an alternative work of art or mural with the slogan, “Together we can end racism” in a medium and place where it could be durable and conserved, with an African American theme and in alignment with the arts commission’s policies. The Welcome Garden could be a great place for it.

Laurel Nickels


Recommended for you