I recently resigned from a public art program in Detroit that was housed inside a small arts college. During my time there, evaluation became a big part of my job. It was critical to track, define, and report for the future of the program to serve as a baseline for success for the arts institution. Before this, my idea of success was primarily based from the perspective of the studio artist.
The projects that were created in the neighborhoods of Detroit were much more complex because each project was so very different from one another, involved different people from diverse backgrounds, and had community defined goals and artist selection.
When I set out to create a plan of evaluation I realized this was going to be a complex task.
My first obstacle was simply trying to figure out what to call the projects. A seemingly simple thing turned into more than I expected.
I started to compile a list of all the different names that artists and organizations are using to define public art which involves the people around the project in some way.
• Social Aesthetics
• Relational Aesthetics
• Social Justice Art
• Community Art
• Social Sculpture
• New Genre Public Art
• Tactical Media
• Cultural Activism
• Social Practice
• Participatory Art