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Bears spotted in Midtown park

Original post made on Oct 4, 2013

The new family that's moved in at Hoover Park in Palo Alto this week may give some residents pause (or paws) -- a family of four bears are making the park their home.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, October 4, 2013, 10:06 AM

Comments (18)

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Some of the selections of "art" in Palo Alto cause me to roll my eyes. How much did these things cost?

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Posted by Yikes
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Nice idea, but there are so many other things with much higher priority that need to be done before the city spends $$ on art, a non-necessity.

The city balks at the costs of necessary fixes, so how much did this set us back???

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 4, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I couldn't afford the liability insurance if that were in my front yard.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Couple of questions.

Are these metal bears going to get so hot in summer as to burn anyone who tries to sit on them?

Are these metal bears going to hold rainwater and become rusty?

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Posted by Awesome!!!
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

What a beautiful sculpture in South Palo Alto. Midtown residents have long held out for NEW artwork and thanks to our leaders! Including City Hall.

The previous detracters comments are unwelcome, the old way of calling out liability and costs is past. IT was a method for only some getting more. This sculture is a great suprise in our day, the beauty of living in Palo Alto.

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Posted by maditalian_1492
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm

To Awsome!!!

Too bad that you are so offended by the so-called detractors, but they're right and they have a perfect right to voice their opinions.

It will take one incident where a kid slips off the sculpture and gets hurt or gets burned by the hot metal, then the City will be sued. Frivolous or not, lawsuits for just that sort of thing still happen in this day and age.

My question is, even though the article says they are "touchable", why should kids be climbing on the sculpture. They're not toys.

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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Oct 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm

“I hope that my creation will become a vehicle for imagination,
storytelling, and play.” - Artist Beth Nybeck - Web Link - City Press Release

So actually the sculptures were meant to be playful, toys of a sort. I'm no connoisseur of abstract art, but I'll jump on board and encourage people to give these a chance. My earlier comment was that initial cringe whenever I see a little kid positioned precariously. It's certainly a wonder that I survived childhood back in the day.

What's weird is that someday in our travels we may come across another public sculpture and recognize the work of this young artist from Dubuque.

(Note to Elise regarding that press release - someone left the L out of Public again, 4th paragraph.)

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 4, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Is there any way to check how much the citizens of this city paid for these things?

I will go by and look at them, but I still have to shrug my shoulders and raise an eyebrow.

I hope that the city didn't pay too much for a set of angular metal "bears" standing on concrete slabs.

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Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 5, 2013 at 10:17 am

Good thing they're made out of metal. Remember how badly Foreign Friends were treated?

Web Link

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Posted by Just another artist
a resident of another community
on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I just KNEW the moment I saw this thread that I would come here and see 8 out of 10 comments coming from people who are sure of one of three things:

1. They have a better idea of how to spend the money.
2. Art is "non essential" so why are we even doing this.
3. Some kid is gonna climb on this and get hurt.

Art is what makes us human. Play is essential to the well-being of children. Artists contribute a vital component to meaningful human society and communities, and are worth the money we spend on them. Stanford and Palo Alto boast some of the best public sculpture in the world. It's worth remembering that artists as diverse as Rodin, di Suvero, and Serra were criticized in their time for doing work that was unconventional and/or "not art." Now their works command respect and as a community we are rightfully proud to have them here.

A little more open-mindedness will go a long way. [Portion removed.]

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Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 5, 2013 at 12:30 pm

@ just another artist:

1.) I didn't say that I have a better idea of how to spend the money. I just was wondering how much these metal statues cost taxpayers.

2.) Are is NOT essential. It is a luxury -- and one that I am glad to have around the community. I just wanted to see how much this particular "art" cost us.

3.) Meh. Kids shouldn't climb it if they are going to get hurt. If parents sue, then they should lose simply because they can't control their kids.

[Portion removed.] I just wonder HOW MUCH it cost, WHO chose it and WHY. Perhaps a little "logic" can go a long way.

2 people like this
Posted by Not an issue
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 5, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Musical-- very amusing. I did realize thatbthe city had a pubic art program :
"“Each site demands a new mission and set of criteria appropriate to that audience,” said Elise DeMarzo, Manager of the Palo Alto Pubic Art Program. “
Is Elise making a 6 figure salary managing pubic art? Who is taking advantage of this program-- our council?

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Posted by alex
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2013 at 12:09 am


As Just another artist says, art is what makes us human. I know I won't convince you of anything, but this is the reality:

Art is the expression of the highest level humanity can reach. It is an intrinsic element of any culture. I understand that you may not have the education or sensitivity to realize this. Art both transcends and contributes to economic and cultural vitality.

2 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm

@ alex:

I don't know if "art" is what makes us human. That is a nice sounding cliche, but it is really isn't what makes us "human."

Still, you don't have to try and convince me of anything. I appreciate art. I have art hanging on my walls, positioned on my furniture and create it myself. I see "art" all around me -- including in the trees, clouds, grass, buildings, animals and people. Maybe THIS is what makes us "human."

Still: I am not saying that this is "bad" art. I am just asking how much it cost and wondering what the alternatives might have been.

2 people like this
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

@ alex:

BTW, I don't know what makes you think that I might not have the "education" or "sensitivity" to "realize" your views. I graduated at the top of my classes in high school, college (a double major) and graduate school (a double emphasis).

Please don't let my name, skin tone or accent fool you. I may not "fit in" with the culturally elite, but I am educated. :-)

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Posted by Jonathan
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

I just discovered these today. They did not make me smile and I did not consider them a "wonderful surprise." I live down the street from the park and had no idea they were going in. I walk through the park all the time and have never thought "you know what this park needs--sculptures." They are not "placed at the park entrance" as the article states, but in the middle of the park in the most forest-like area. It used to be just nature, people and animals, and now there are these large silver objects. Fake animals, too, as if real nature isn't enough. I hate them. Seeing them there just makes me angry, and I kick them as I go by. I hope they get removed. It's not that I'm against public art, but location is everything, and I think Palo Alto puts the wrong pieces in the wrong places.

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Posted by SuperD
a resident of Community Center
on Oct 7, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I saw the bears and I think they are pretty cool. Thanks to the City and the Art Commission for their work and contributions.

2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 8, 2013 at 11:15 am

really hideous, and despite the photo this is not kid friendly.

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