ROYAL OAK (WWJ) When does art go too far? Some Royal Oak residents are up in arms over a sculpture in the city’s downtown.

Residents say they plan to blast the City Commission tonight over the art installation that they say does not belong in a memorial plaza dedicated to veterans.

One woman was especially upset over the sculpture, says she doesn’t know what it is, but the sculpture has nothing to do with war or veterans. It’s in a prime place in the plaza, between City Hall and the much-visited Royal Oak Library.

“We have asked numerous times to have a piece of art removed from the Veterans Memorial Plaza. We have not gotten any response,” resident Carol Hennessey wrote in a letter to WWJ. “When we asked the City Manager, he said that the Commission wants it there and that is the way it is.”

The sculpture, titled “Composition in Blue” is part of the Art Explored program, where artists submit art to beautify the area and it’s displayed for a year. Created by Mark Beltchinko, the work serves to illuminate changes in what we see as reality by changing the shape of items you see beyond the sculpture through its circles and squares.

Hennessey said the area that houses the sculpture was dedicated to the veterans by the Citizens of Royal Oak so it’s not the right place for the Art Commission to place anything.

“The Veterans in Royal Oak & the members of the VFW & American Legion believe the City Commission is not showing an respect to our Veterans that paid the ultimate price,” Hennessey wrote.

The Royal Oak City Commission meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday in their offices inside City Hall.

Comments (2)
  1. David London says:

    I’m veteran and a Royal Oak resident and I’ll be the first to say that this is not offensive, nor do I want it removed. All of us took and oath and served, not so we can be honored with parks or memorials, but because we believe in our country. Anyone claiming that art should be removed because it dishonors veterans doesn’t understand why we served in the first place. And frankly, the response they’re claiming they got from the city doesn’t sound authentic. I know all the commissioners and this simply isn’t how they interact with residents. It just sounds like someone who enjoys complaining.

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