The San Luis Obispo Arts Council won a valuable victory last week when the City Council approved a request for up to $10,000 to match the Bill Beeson Memorial Fund. The Arts Council so far has raised $6,000 for a public art memorial that will commemorate Beesonâ€™s contributions to the local art community.
A longtime member of the SLO Arts Council, Beeson established the organizationâ€™s Art in Public Places Committee and was also a well-respected art critic at New Times. Last January he passed away at the age of 69.
Ann Ream, who now chairs the Art in Public Places Committee, said that the Arts Council will continue soliciting donations through letters to the friends of Bill Beeson to raise an additional $4,000, and that they may hold a fund-raiser if necessary.
Once the funds are collected, the Arts Council will put out an open call to artists and begin the selection process. Ream doesnâ€™t expect anything monumental, but perhaps something akin to Sandra K. Johnsonâ€™s â€œThe Cat and the Fiddle,â€? which was one of Beesonâ€™s favorite public art pieces.