Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 24, 2018

Missed opportunities

March 30, 2015
Washington, Iowa

To the Editor:
This letter is in regard to the mural proposed to adorn the new city water tower.
I want to start by saying this is in no way intended to be a critique of Pedro Lujano’s design. I’m quite sure he gave the city exactly what it asked for, a slick professional design that would look at home on corporate letterhead anywhere in the country. It is a design that no one could find objectionable. In other words, it’s safe.
But the community is missing a huge opportunity here. The water tower is the highest profile piece of real estate the city owns. I mean that literally. Visitors can’t help but see it miles before they ever reach the city proper. Why not do something noteworthy. Why not create something people will remember and talk about. Various groups around town have been trying for years to identify ways of making Washington stand out. To make Washington distinct from other small cities in Iowa. We all know this is a great place to live and raise a family, but it’s hard to get folks to notice that fact. Well, here is a chance. And these chances don’t present themselves nearly often enough to play it safe. The proposed design, though well executed, will elicit zero attention. No one will remember it two seconds after seeing it, and absolutely no one will go out of their way to look at it and talk about it.
Let’s do something amazing for once. Let’s let the artist show his skill, his passion and his love of this city. Give Pedro Lujano free rein to do what he wants. No committee. No shackles. Let him do what he is so good at and trust him. Give him the chance to make our community shine. The water tower is a marquee for all of us, and Pedro can create something worthy. This isn’t some corporate campus in some sterile industrial park someplace. This is our home and we should hang something nice on the walls of our home.

Thomas Billups