In our Strategic Planning class last night, our professor and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Larry Tamburri, made mention of the current trend to link art with entertainment. On city websites and in tourist guides, "Arts & Entertainment" abounds- correlating performance and visual arts spaces with movies, bowling alleys and roller rinks. While these sectors, along with sports, are competitive for the use of our leisure time, one has to ponder whether the arts is becoming diluted or just marginalized by efficient marketing. This discussion, however, becomes completely moot as a whole new space and concept has presented itself in Winston-Salem, NC.
It's mildly disturbing and yet I can't help to acknowledge that it might just be another form of corporate sponsorship. There is also the chance that it was just a clause of the negotiation that allowed Wal-Mart to set up shop there.
A true test would be to see if the sculptures are "Public Art" or "Art in a Public Space." Without having a good picture to make reference, I would be really interested to see if Wal-Mart finally designed a building that reflected the community architecture, and by extension, contracted a sculpture that reflected its environs. �