Blog Posts for Public Art

Dear Public Art Colleagues: We Stand With You

Posted by Patricia Walsh, Aug 18, 2017 0 comments

This has been a trying week for the public art field across the country. I have heard from many of you, expressing concerns and challenges as your communities turn to you for aide in addressing Confederate memorials and symbols in your public arenas. Please know that you are not alone in your work. The conversations and community meetings that have happened and will happen are necessary for our country to move forward. Your role is essential to your community, and we are here to support you.

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“Congratulations, you have won our $1 million art award!”

Posted by Adam Frelin, Aug 18, 2017 0 comments

I can honestly say that these are words I never expected to hear. Yet, in the summer of 2015 my team and I were lucky enough to be awarded a Bloomberg Philanthropies Public Art Challenge grant. Having this much money felt almost ludicrous in its generosity. Finally, we could think big—very big. Like many longstanding critical urban issues, the ubiquity and apparent permanence of vacant buildings in our region has made it possible for us to ignore them. So, the question for us was, how should we go about drawing attention to these buildings?

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What if no one shows up?

Posted by Jessica Witte, Aug 18, 2017 0 comments

I started using birdseed to draw six-foot intricate designs on the ground in a futile attempt to arrest change and explore fragility in social situations. My first public artwork, Seed the Change, was a chance to scale up these explorations of labor, change, and collaboration in a monumental fashion. My hope for Seed the Change was that it highlighted the city’s human potential, creating a welcoming space shaped by its people that embodies the beauty of labors of love, conversation, and individual expression.

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Midden Mound Wickiups

Posted by Buster Simpson, Aug 18, 2017 0 comments

Two sets of wickiups—simple domed structures associated with Native Americans of the Southwest—perched at the top of a manmade mound of a repurposed landfill site—now Pearsall Park—invite you to take in an interesting 360-degree view of San Antonio. The wickiup structures suggest an overlay to the history of this site: a large decommissioned city landfill repurposed into a contemporary City Park. The landfill is our cultural midden; the artwork appropriates the site as a social and ecological comment on consumption.

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Discovering Philadelphia with “47 Stories”

Posted by Laura Kochman, Aug 18, 2017 0 comments

47 Stories reimagined Philadelphia's north-south-running 47 bus route, telling the stories of the immigrant and refugee communities that are connected from bus stop to bus stop. Through interviews, audio collage, alternative map designs, and a wrapped SEPTA bus, artists Shira Walinsky and Laura Deutch activated the public space of city transit in a new way. The goal was to make immigrant and refugee communities visible, to acknowledge and bring attention to their contributions to Philadelphia.

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The Making of Trumpet Flower

Posted by Patrick Renner, Aug 17, 2017 0 comments

Trumpet Flower was a labor of love, and at times it felt Sisyphean. In this case, the proverbial boulder was a horn-shaped monstrosity crafted from wood and steel, and the corresponding mountain was a six-story building which would support this towering artwork as it twisted up from the downtown Houston main street. Not only a feat of engineering and a marvel of craftsmanship, Trumpet Flower was also a great opportunity for community engagement. Taking Renner’s popular “painting party” activity to the next level, Flying Carpet invited the public to come make their mark on the sculpture, and Houstonians turned out en masse.

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