March 6, 2015
Soon the Capitol will be vacated for renovation. The renovation of this historic building is a big undertaking and will take several years. The logistics of relocating employees, furniture, and work spaces is center stage. There is an artist who is willing to provide her work that relates to Chief Washakie to the Capitol for permanent display, and a budget item was proposed this session to purchase the collection. I did not endorse the provision because I believe it is premature.
The time to settle on interior features, such as artwork, is not now before the project has even gotten underway but later on as the project moves toward completion. This will allow for full discussion and input from many about what should go where in the renovated Capitol building. This will also allow us to visualize the renovated space in order to make the best decision about decor and possible display of historic objects and art.
I have great respect for Chief Washakie, his place in history, and as a leader. His statue graces the front of the Capitol and rightly holds a place of honor there. My decision not to fund the purchase of art this session was based on the prematurity of the action and the lack of discussion about it, not the nature of the collection.