Stuey Weills: Nevada City needs art, some color |

Stuey Weills: Nevada City needs art, some color

“I think we’re on losing ground ….” That statement makes me very sad. Let me explain. I have worked in downtown Nevada City for over 50 years. Seriously, hard to believe but true. Within four blocks. That must be some sort of record!

I have seen a great deal of change lately that’s been not so great. I live here, work here. My family has been here forever (1850s). But we need to accept the fact that it is now 2021, not 1921.

I’m appreciative of how our city has been respectful of our past. We are unusual in the fact that we have a mish-mash of architecture, no big-box stores, gas lamps, independent unique shops, charming parks, local creek, wonderful foliage. What are we missing?

Well, we are missing art. Yes. We are dying. We like to consider ourselves as living in an “artistic community.” Well, where’s the art? One obvious grievance is the objection to the National Hotel signage. The applicants did an extraordinary job in requesting an exception to the antiquated and often unrealistic bylaws we have.

Mind you, many of these restrictions are valid. However, we need to consider that time moves on, and changes.

We love our town, but how many of us want to live in Frontier Town? We need art. We need color. We need life. This brings me to “color.” The rejection of the applicant for 426 Broad St. is simply ridiculous. They wanted their picket fence painted to coordinate with their building.

Well, sorry, only white.

Picket fences were traditionally painted white because white was the cheapest paint. Aren’t we a bit more accepting of other colors or stains? We consider ourselves unique. As my niece says, “They want a movie set, not a community.”

Art makes us unique. Let’s lighten up. Murals would bring us into the real world. Not on every building. We’ll have guidelines, but we need some joy.

New planters on Commercial Street are looking great. That’s a good start. Artfully placed and welcoming. A place to sit and enjoy what we have. Soon, planters on Broad Street. An attempt to beautify our town. Much needed during this ugly time of our lives. Viva art.

We have a charming city. I love Nevada City. However, I’ve been disappointed lately. Let’s review some of these outdated restrictions. It’s about time.

Stuey Weills lives in Nevada City.

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