The birth of the “Does this smell like Art?” Commission


Lowell Sun

LOWELL — Neighbor disputes are a part of life, whether it’s a matter of noise issues, parking-space encroachment or trash removal, but when the dispute between South Loring Street neighbors in Lower Highlands led to a toilet bowl being used as a planter, Taya Dixon Mullane had enough.

Councilor Rodney Elliott put the item, which came up at a recent Candidates Night forum, on the agenda. He questioned why it was allowed in the city.

“There are so many other things you can’t put in your front yard. It’s unfortunate we’re having this discussion. It seems like they are doing it to be spiteful. Porcelain fixtures are allowed in the city? Apparently so, but they shouldn’t be. At what point do we say, ‘It’s art, it’s allowable or it’s a toilet bowl’? If we have to enact an ordinance to address this, that’s pretty sad. It’s an eyesore.”

Well, there’s two undeniable facts here; the City of Lowell has a lot of Art, and most definitely has a lot of toilets. Trying to define the difference between the two however, has never been harder.

“At what point do we say, ‘It’s art, it’s allowable or it’s a toilet bowl’?” –Mark Twain Rodney Elliott.

Fortunately, among our ranks is a man who makes gray area’s wish they were never born. That man is Mayor Rowdy Roddy Elliott. He’ll get to the bottom of this issue, one lid at a time. He’ll no doubt be forming a rogue task force like the Untouchables, combing the streets of Lowell to determine the true limitations of porcelain art. You want to put a toilet on your lawn? Fine, but there better be a duke in it. Where, When, Why, What? It doesn’t matter. Whether it’s the half bath off your formal living room, or a handicap stall at the Tsongas Arena, when Mayor Rowdy pokes his head under that stall door, you better be ready to answer some tough questions.