"Some of them did this 20 or 30 years ago." Many were happy to find their work was still in good shape, she said.
"Jim Sanborn, who did the 'Elk Delta' sculpture near the Civic Center, was particularly pleased with the way it's been maintained."
While the book touches on the controversy that nearly prevented the installation of Mullins' West Virginia female veterans memorial, it avoids any mention of other artistic black eyes.
You won't read anything about the problems of "Charleston Arch," although Piechocki heard stories. City fathers had to raise it on concrete pedestals after post office visitors, apparently dazed by Charles Ginnever's optical illusion, bumped their heads on its steel corners.
Mayor Mike Roark came to the arch's rescue 25 years ago when postal officials wanted to move it to add parking spaces, although a sarcastic editorial writer suggested it be moved to the city landfill.
Ginnever still has some concerns for his arch. A tiny message at the bottom of the arch photo reads "Landscaping surrounding the sculpture still pending," Salisbury said.
After the sculpture was raised, Ginnever asked for some landscaping, Piechocki said. Apparently the city never followed through and, when he saw the photo, he asked again.
Sanborn's "Elk Delta" suffered an indignity 11 years after it was installed, when the Civic Center erected a large electronic message board along Lee Street that blocks the view of the sculpture from motorists.
"It just didn't occur to us anyone would do anything this dumb," a former beautification board member said at the time. Sanborn told the Gazette that while worse things have happened to his works elsewhere, he now includes nonencroachment clauses in his contracts. The message board, however, still stands.
Piechocki said there's only so much you can write in the 100-word book blurbs. "If you want to, you could add some of the more colorful information to the website.
"Obviously there's been a tradition in Charleston of commissioning both local and national art, so there's a mix of talented local and esteemed artists," she said. "It's an interesting mix."
Salisbury said she's been getting lots of calls about the book.
"People are looking at the art differently -- 'Hey, I didn't think about that.' I hope people enjoy it, pick up their copies. A lot of people are sending copies to people out of town. We're thinking of nominating it for several awards.
"It's produced the 'Aha, we didn't realize we had in the collection of art we have in Charleston.' And we hope it spurs additional public art in Charleston."
Reach Jim Balow at ba...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.