"All art is quite useless," Oscar Wilde once declared. But in Palm Beach Gardens, maybe not.

Gimme Shelter: Is it a Bus Stop? Or is it Art? Palm Beach Gardens Decides.

The Palm Beach Gardens city council has $440,000 burning a hole in their pockets: They're planning to spend the money commissioning eight works of public art that will also function as bus stops. The council is calling for proposals through August 31st, which doesn't give designers a lot of time: artists are advised that their sculptures/shelters/happenings have to be friendly to amenities like trash cans and benches.

The money comes from the city's public art fund, paid into by developers, so what looks at first glance like a colossal waste of taxpayer dollars is in fact a sort of neat way to get public art to do something more useful than, say, piss in the wind** (see examples below). Shelters have to be built to last 20 years, and to use material acceptable under city codes.

Here's hoping the council and PBC artists can come up with ideas less creepy and annoying than these sculptural public flashers and sphynxes, compiled from across the globe:

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