LETTER: Approving Putnam Ave Mural is a Slippery Slope

Submitted by Konstantine G. Wells, District 10

Dear Greenwich RTM & Fellow Greenwich Neighbors,

I am writing in opposition of the proposed mural gift.

I have heard the goal of this project is to promote the pollinators, a noble and necessary cause. I have 6 beehives on my property, I understand the dilemma quite well. This however does almost nothing to raise awareness. Why not fund a program which educates children about pollinators similar to how the Seaside Center at Tod’s Point educates about marine life? $25,000 could pay for a full blown apiary of 40 hives. Why not add actual value to the environment with pollinators by putting hives all over Greenwich and educating the schoolchildren about their importance? Maybe they will insist their parents stop using chemicals on their properties. 

Commissioning an out of town artist to the tune of $15,000 with partly taxpayer funds is a ludicrous way to be spending our money. Yes, part was raised privately, but the rest is a grant funded by a group that receives funds from the State of Connecticut. While the heart is in the right place, this falls short as a value add to the town. This however is not the crux of my opposition. 

Approving this project would set a precedent that could allow for these murals to pop up on every available piece of concrete in town. I have heard numerous conversations from folks who would like to do just that, including on underpasses, outdoor seating partitions on the Avenue, etc. It may not even stop there. Many cities around the county now have murals painted on the actual roadways. This vote is between whether Greenwich wants to remain a town or be hurled faster into the realm of an urban city with this type of public instillation. 

While this is not in the charming nature of a historic New England Town that is the beautiful Greenwich, there is another even more troubling part to this slippery slope. The most important point I would like to make is; Do we want to allow the potential politicization of our public spaces with potentially controversial installations. After all, “art” is a form of expression and beauty (and political preference) is in the eye of the beholder. Let’s keep the Green in Greenwich and preserve the natural beauty of this town we all call home.


Konstantine G. Wells

Greenwich District 10