UT Tank to Retain Controversial Art
The aesthetic future of a water tank in Cedar City, Utah, was recently up for debate when the area council considered doing away with what has been known as a controversial mascot formerly used by a nearby high school.
According to The Spectrum, two versions of the resolution to change the artwork, which depicts the silhouette of a Native American head painted in red with the text “Redmen” above it, included the options to keep the artwork on the tank, or leave the decision up to Cedar High School.
Water Tank Art Controversy
According to St. George News, the artwork in question dates back to 1924, when the high school first started using the symbol. Council member Paul Cozzens originally issued the tank-painting resolution in May, and a vote failed to pass later in June due to a lack of a second at the time. The later discussion in July also included a resolution put forward by council member Terri Hartley, who pointed out the aesthetic of the city's north water tank, which is painted teal and features a large “CV,” for Canyon Valley High School. Another resolution later combined both measures into one.
‘Redmen’ to stay on Cedar City water tank; council members come clean about group texts. #StGeorge #CedarCity #SouthernUtah #Utah https://t.co/ZwHoAsp6Kn pic.twitter.com/bC2fI8UXZl— St. George News (@STGnews) August 1, 2019
City attorney Tyler Romeril noted that the new resolution, which did not mention the symbol in question, would see the Lehigh Hill water tank, along the other water tank in north end of the city, to keep the art of both Cedar and Canyon high schools.
In the new resolution, both tanks were to be inspected annually, and exterior painting was to be funded with private donations, not funding from taxpayers. The Canyon View High school tank will be maintained in collaboration with the city, whereas the other tank will be maintained by a special interest group.
Artwork Future Decided
City council approved keeping the artwork in a vote of 4-1, from the revised resolution, though the mascot that inspired the art changed in February. Councilman R. Scott Philips noted that he voted against the measure because he did not feel comfortable acting on an issue connected to a school district. The vote was held in mid-July.
The approved resolution also indicates that volunteers need to give the water tank a fresh coat of paint once every 10 years.
Otherwise, the city has not received any additional requests to change the art on the water tank. The city is also not responsible for maintaining the image on the "Redmen" water tank.