Art is in the eye of the beholder, or in this instance in the hand of the ‘be holder’ of a fishing rod.

Rainbow Trout, my artwork which I installed at site #3 seemed like a perfect spot, site-specific. The site is a small extended deck space on the boardwalk that borders the Grand River. I screwed the welded rod frames that housed the three resin fish into the wood railing surrounding the extension.

But while site #3 seemed perfect to me, it was not to an angler who expressed his/her anger by trying to remove the art. While unsuccessful at pulling out the welded frames, a resin fish was taken out of a frame. A less than poetic note was written on the wood railing expressing outrage with his/her favorite fishing site being blocked.

Interestingly, a second note, inscribed adjacent to the angler’s note, was from an apparent art supporter asking why the fisherman couldn’t just move three feet in either direction.

Was I upset? Not really. Outright vandalism is one thing, but this was different. Although not eloquently written, I felt the angler had a valid point.

There is a broad spectrum of people who enjoy the river walk. Public art is really a misnomer. The correct phrasing should be ‘private art in a public setting’.

I recast the missing trout, rewelded it in the frame, and moved my artwork a few feet to the north. Hopefully, this resolves the issues and allows for happy fishing again.” – Craig Hinshaw, 2022 ArtPath Artist

Learn more about Craig’s ArtPath installation:

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