The mayor has decided to make tonight's City Council meeting regarding nude models a public hearing due to the hundreds of comments he has received - most of them against the art classes.

Mayor Hal Wing originally said there would not be a public hearing and that council members would simply discuss the issue during a work meeting. But Wing said he changed his mind after about 300 people expressed their opinions to him during the weekend. He said 80 percent to 90 percent of the opinions were against having nude models in a public building.However, council member Dianne Carr said she spoke with about 25 people and all but one wanted to keep the nude art models.

"I think there are just a few people who are concerned with it," said Carr, who is vice president of the board of trustees of the Springville Art Museum.

People who were randomly questioned as they were grocery shopping Monday gave a mix of opinions.

Sherry Johansen, 53, of Springville, said she has a niece who paid her way through school by posing nude. "I approve of it as long as it is done in an artful way," she said.

Heidi Winn, 28, of Springville, said the main problem is that the art class meets in a public building.

"I don't have any problem with the artists themselves," she said.

The nude models are used in classes at the Art Shop, which is owned by the Nebo School District and leased to the Arts Commission of Springville, which is under city jurisdiction.

Some of the opponents consider it a moral issue.

"Your body is a temple and you shouldn't be showing it," said Ruth Fuller of Springville. "It's the same as posing for Playboy."

Artists contend drawing the nude body is a must when it comes to learning the basics of their craft.

"An artist must be taught by studying the human figure," said Vern G. Swanson, director of the Springville Art Museum.