Poll results: Art or ad?

The verdict is in. As far as the St. Paul City Council is concerned, this is art.

Creative Kidstuff.jpg

Creative Kidstuff won its appeal last night, successfully arguing that the cartoon cats it wants to add to its Grand Ave. storefront aren’t signs, they’re sculptures.

“I just frankly find it kind of fun to walk between a lion and a tiger and not be eaten,” said Council Member Dave Thune, who represents the area.

The council voted 5-1 to grant a variance to local signage size limits. But our readers were more closely divided. In response to a poll I posted yesterday, only one respondent said the cats were clearly art. Five said they were clearly advertising, and eight could see both sides of the argument.

“They function as art, but they serve the goals of advertising,” one survey respondent wrote.

I also asked for opinions on four other potential art-vertisements around the city. Here are the votes so far.

Car lot mural.jpg

<img alt="question 2.jpg" src="https://blogs.mprnews.org/cities/files/legacy/question%202.jpg" width="480" height="186" class="mt-image-none" style=""

Comment 1: “Not sure. I think this would likely be more pleasant to look at than the side of an old building. I would lean toward leniency on this one.”

Comment 2: “It shows the company’s logo and a product they sell. It’s an ad.”


Squirrel Mural.jpg

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Comment 1: “I might be biased on account of the old faded advertisements still visible today on the sides of brick buildings and barns. To me they look charming, and I’d like to save space for things like that to happen again.”

Comment 2: “We don’t need building sized billboards lining out streets. If Pabst wants to advertise, they need to do it on a licensed billboard, just like everyone else.”


Schmitt music mural.jpg

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Comment 1: “The musical score does not contain a product. It doesn’t even scream BUY Musical Scores Here! It’s beautiful, arresting, and charming.”

Comment 2: “Unless the business owner is willing to leave the design completely up to an impartial artist, they’re not really interested in art–they’re interested in advertising them self.”


Whole foods mural.jpg

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Only one new comment: “Generic product imagery isn’t necessarily offensive. I have no problem with legislating prohibitions on mural-images of giant cigars or cats or mustaches (whatever people decide is distasteful subject matter). That may put knife stores and pet stores and cigar shops at a competitive disadvantage against grocery stores and haberdasheries, but that doesn’t bother me.”

Want to take the survey yourself? There’s still time!

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