Eyecatchers: John Ito

I hereby issue a great big BOOOOOOOOOOOOO to our local daily newspaper, The Bellingham Herald, for an article they published today.

What starts out as a wonderful community arts piece is rudely interrupted by an exposé of a controversial public works project, and it’s as clear as can be, to anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of journalism, that the two stories should have been kept separate.

The article begins…

Soon after John Ito moved to Bellingham a year ago for his job as a designer at Mindport Exhibits, he became smitten by the decorative crosswalks downtown.

So smitten that he has crafted an 8-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide windup kinetic sculpture inspired by the crosswalks. Rotate the large wooden key and a system of gears and pulleys – visible behind a clear plastic cover – activate a painted fiberboard replica of the crosswalk on the other side.
“It’s something that people see everyday,” Ito said of the star-and-circle crosswalk pattern. “Everybody can relate to it.”

Midway through, however…

Four years ago, six intersections on Holly Street – from the intersection at Lakeway Drive and Ellis Street downhill to the intersection at State Street – had the intricate crosswalk patterns installed as part of a “streetscape” project…

When the crosswalks were installed, the expectation was that they might last up to eight years. Instead, parts of the design began rubbing away within a few years…

Of course they share some content, but they could have easily been printed on the same page and hyperlinked on the website as related stories.

If I were Ito or the folks who run Mindport Exhibits, I’d be pissed.

And so, in support of the artist, I repost the video of the making of John Ito’s sculpture, Bella Stella, here, as I found it mesmerizing and a complete joy.

6 thoughts on “Eyecatchers: John Ito

  1. I was so confused by this article as well. I could not tell if they were featuring a beautiful piece of artwork or complaining about the cross walks. Thank you for posting the video so I can focus on the art (what the herald should have done)

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