Thursday, October 14, 2004
The Art, she no spell too good
AP Wire | 10/08/2004 | Misspelled library art do-over a no go: "SAN FRANCISCO - The artist who misspelled the names of famous people in world history on a large ceramic mosaic outside Livermore's new library can spell one word with ease: N-O. That's Maria Alquilar's new position on fixing the typos.

She had planned to fly to California and put the missing 'n' back in Einstein and remove the extra 'a' in Michelangelo, among other fixes. But after receiving a barrage of what she called 'vile hate mail,' Alquilar said Livermore is off her travel itinerary and there'll be no changes by her artistic hand.

'No, I will not return to Livermore for any reason,' Alquilar, of Miami, told The Associated Press in an e-mail. 'There seems to be so much hatred within certain people. They continuously look for a scapegoat. I guess I am the sacrificial goat.'

She previously told officials in Livermore, about 40 miles east of San Francisco, that she would fix the 11 misspellings. She asked for $6,000 plus travel expenses to correct the work they paid her $40,000 to create. The city council, faced with the embarrassing prospect of leaving the typo-strewn work in front of its spanking new library, voted 3-2 to approve the expenditure.

Now it appears the fix is a no go.

Livermore Mayor Marshall Kamena and Councilwoman Lorraine Dietrich did not return calls seeking comment on what their next move would be.

Alquilar explained that it took her a lot of time and money to create the work, a brightly colored 16-foot-wide circle made up of individual tiles depicting the names and images of famous people in world history.

She noted that plenty of people from the city were on hand during the installation who could and should have seen the errant spellings, she said.

'Even though I was on my hands and knees laying the installation out, I didn't see it,' she said.

The mistakes wouldn't even register with a true artisan, Alquilar said before deciding to leave the work as is.

'The people that are into humanities, and are into Blake's concept of enlightenment, they are not looking at the words,' she told The AP.

When asked whether she chose the words and names for the work or whether the city provided her with a list, Alquilar took an artistic stance in response.

'The art chose the words,' she said."

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