In late September, a billboard went up picturing a white man aiming a rifle at The Scout, the locally-famous statue of a Native American on horseback that’s in Penn Valley Park. The billboard also called out a cheery “Discover Kansas City!” in cursive font. But, it didn’t go over very well. The billboard came down about a week after it went up, and it nearly wasn’t installed at all.
The Kansas City metropolitan area has had its share of controversies over the years when it comes to public art. Remember the 2012 petition drive to remove the statue of the headless bare-breasted woman at the Overland Park Arboretum? Or the artists who were encouraged to drop arrows from their terrazzo flooring design at KCI, so as not to confuse travelers?