Public Art: Advice from a First Timer
For the 16th anniversary of the Public Art Network Year in Review, we offered the selected applicants and artists the opportunity to tell us the stories behind their works. This week's blog salon features the stories behind some of the most compelling public art projects completed in 2015.
Imagine Art Here: Tysons Tiles was an ambitious project for a public art novice. I learned some valuable lessons managing a public art project for the first time that I’d like to pass along.
Surround yourself with experts. The success of the project is due to selecting an amazing artist and having a terrific support team of advisors and fabricators. 130 artists responded to the RFQ, and Julia Vogl stood out to the selection committee for her visually compelling installations and meaningful social engagement.
Working with private site owners is easier than public entities. We had originally planned to use the area outside a Metro station for one of the installations. The final design didn’t pass Metro’s safety requirements. We had to identify another installation site quickly. The privately owned sites involved fewer guidelines and regulations.
Which leads me to lesson number 3 –
Be flexible. The project concept and design underwent numerous modifications.
Maintain good communications. Keeping Arts Council staff, the artist, sponsors, engagement sites, volunteers, and media informed of all the parts and phases of the project was key to its success.
It never hurts to ask. The residents and business community were excited about the project and extremely supportive. In addition to generous support from government and corporate sponsors, we were thrilled that in-kind donations expanded and improved the project in many ways.