Since Carmel mounted its first public art display at a roundabout in 2011, public debate has followed. 

Some residents have praised the city and Mayor Jim Brainard for injecting culture into the wealthy northern suburb, separating it from its Hamilton County neighboring cities.

Others have criticized some of the abstract pieces as baffling. Some question whether the city should be spending taxpayer dollars on art.

After the latest roundabout art installment at Rangeline Road and Executive Drive was widely criticized on social media, a City Council committee voted to prohibit any of $60 million in a road fund allocation from being spent on roundabout art. The councilors said they wanted to take a timeout on the projects because of the controversy they have generated.

The funds for any sculptures in that group of roundabouts would have to come from the city’s arts fund, which is 1% of its general fund budget.