A Quickie with 

Carissa Hussong, director of the urbanArt Commission

"The Gates" project has festooned New York's Central Park with saffron banners and brought an estimated $80 million to the city.

We caught up with Hussong, on her way to New York, to find out about our chances of wrapping The Pyramid.

Flyer: Could we ever do a project like "The Gates"?

Hussong: Memphis has the potential to do things on a smaller scale. You could do a very, very significant temporary project for $100,000 that would receive national and international attention that people would come to see.

A lot of people here still think it's a huge amount of money to invest in a temporary piece of art, but they're not thinking about it in the same way they would think about the Beale Street Music Festival and its economic impact. How many people are coming downtown and spending money they wouldn't have otherwise spent?

There's a potential in spring and in fall to do outdoor installations. It could be up for a fair amount of time, and the weather wouldn't be too hot or too cold. It could show Memphis in a better light instead of people always thinking of it being so hot. But it will take somebody stepping up and having the vision.

What if we wanted to wrap The Pyramid?

Most of the time, an artist calls and says, "I have this vision to do this" and ... they have no idea what it takes to build it, construct it, install it, insure it, convince people that it's structurally sound. You have to do your homework because it's not just about wrapping a building or putting an installation somewhere. There's a lot of practical and legal issues.

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