How bad was “Tracing the Fore,” the art installation that was voted out of existence by the Portland City Council last week?

The good-on-paper, but bad-in-real-life sculpture and landscape concept in Boothby Square got this endorsement from the chairman of the city’s public art committee.

“I can happily write that after more than four years in place, there have not been any complaints of injury related to the artwork,” wrote Jack Soley in an Aug. 16 Maine Voices column. Not causing injury is good, but it’s a pretty low bar for judging an art work. “Tracing the Fore” probably didn’t call anyone names or give them a disease, either, but forgive us if we still expect a little more.

A key word in “public art” is public, and hopefully the committee will keep that in mind in the future.

That doesn’t mean that everyone has to love every piece, but it does mean that enough people have to be proud to host it in their neigborhood for it to be considered a success.