Item 10b on tomorrow’s City Council agenda:

Request City Manager provide interpretation and recommendations to the City Council concerning commercial wall murals and/or signs addressing the following questions: At what point is art considered a sign? Is a sign not a sign just because it is painted directly on a structure? Are there rules in place that address this or do we need to consider a new ordinance? Further, request City Manager include in this discussion the painting of portions of exteriors in bright or fluorescent colors as part of signage’s attraction. (Russell)

Sadly, I think I’ve taken this class before:

PHIL-204: Philosophy of Art, Esther Howland Chamber, Tuesdays at 7:30pm.
Professor Russell (no relation to Bertrand) will lead this seminar on aesthetics, or the philosophy of art.  Seminar will include readings from Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hume, as well as the Worcester City Charter, Artworks in Our Parks, and Robert’s Rules.   We will explore many questions, keeping strictly to a three-minute limit per speaker, including but not limited to:

  • Which of the representations present in the Wall O’ Washingtons is the Platonic ideal of our first president?
  • Which city-owned sculpture constitutes the biggest waste of marble?
  • Fisher Boy: calmly waiting for a pole or tragic figure?
  • How does one best free Dolphin Boy?
  • Big flashing signs: distraction to drivers or nuanced performance art?
  • Rogers-Kennedy Memorial: why?
  • Allen Court, Denholm’s, Canal District: compare and contrast to Oilzum

Prerequisites: PHIL-101: Intro to Philosophy and PHIL102: Intro to Palmieri.

6 thoughts on “PHIL-204

  1. Ruskin says:

    You are brilliant, Nicole. Love this post.

    • Nicole says:

      One can hardly wait until next week, when Councilor Bergman will lead an illuminating discussion on the influence of Lucretius on the city’s homelessness policy:
      Pleasant it is, when over the great sea the winds shake the waters,
      To gaze down from shore on the trials of others;
      Not because seeing other people struggle is sweet to us,
      But because the fact that we ourselves are free from such ills strikes us as pleasant.

      The possibilities are endless!

  2. […] “signs” and fall under the city Sign Ordinance. The wording of this item is lovely, as others have noted: Request City Manager provide interpretation and recommendations to the City Council concerning […]

  3. Brian Nelson says:

    For me, signs are art and I’d love to see the Oilzum, Cott Beverages and Metropolitan Dry Cleaners “we Hit The Spot!” signs back in service!


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