Blog Posts for Emerging Leaders in Public Art

Round-up for Aspirations and Reflections: Emerging Leaders in Public Art Administration

Posted by Ms. Patricia Walsh, Sep 08, 2014 0 comments

What a great week filled with aspirations and reflections from emerging leaders in the public art field!

Thank you to all of our bloggers who made this salon a success by sharing their thoughts and inspiration for their thoughts and inspirations on their careers and the future of the public art field.

Reading these posts throughout the week has given light to some of the great talent that will be guiding the future of public art. We heard from Kati Stegall reflecting on how we can keep up with the changes happening throughout the country and from Meredith Frazier Britt, an up-and-coming city planner who is eager to work with public art (we need more of her!)

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Public Art; a means for human development - The Artist as Social Animator

Posted by Alex White-Mazzarella, Sep 06, 2014 2 comments

Alex White-Mazzarella Alex White-Mazzarella


It was about six years ago, in 2007, sitting in my small Hong Kong apartment, that I put down ideas for a work practice that would use public art and modern culture as means of developing community and habitat. A practice where the arts would be used not just as an aesthetic to beautify or to activate space, but as productions of communality with the residents of a place and through a process that would open a space for community members to develop and connect. It came from contact with arts in public spaces.

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Cultural Patrimony: Learning to Save Los Angeles’ Mural Legacy

Posted by Felipe Sanchez, Sep 06, 2014 0 comments

Felipe Sanchez Felipe Sanchez

By 2008, the world-renowned murals of Los Angeles metaphorically had a nail in their coffin; they had become a faded memory in the consciousness of the city. This amnesia of preserving the cultural patrimony of LA was a social epidemic that I later learned was happening to public art in many cities across the country. Mural after mural along the LA’s freeways and neighborhoods were disappeared and abandoned by the city – scenes so appalling that I set out to find organizations that could shed some light on the issue. Little did I know this small but significant action would set the stage for the next phase of my career in the arts.

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Take Me to Tomorrowland

Posted by Jennifer Lieu, Sep 05, 2014 0 comments

Jennifer Leiu Jennifer Lieu

I walked away with three things upon finishing my graduate studies in Public Art and Urban Planning: a diploma and two questions. How can I help make art that is more accessible intellectually, emotionally and physically? What are alternative and sustainable income resources for artists to make a living besides selling art in galleries and trying to find work as a tenured art professor? These questions follow me to every informational interview I participate in and panel discussion I attend. I continually think about them.

These questions shaped how I was going to accomplish my goals and led to my interest in public art. I identified that I want to help artists produce artwork that people can relate to, and would be willing to see without feeling like they have to be dragged into a museum. I also want to help connect artists with alternative resources for income and skill growth. When discussing these goals with my peers and mentors, I have been encouraged to learn more about public art. Now that I am working in the field, I find that these goals continuously resonate with me and inform questions about my future in public art.

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158 Years: An NYC Public Art Journey

Posted by Jennifer Lantzas, Sep 05, 2014 0 comments

Jennifer Lantzas Jennifer Lantzas

I am a firm believer that you have to understand where you have been to know where you are going—and public art in NYC has changed drastically over the past century and a half. The first sculpture in a New York City park was George Washington by Henry Kirk Brown, which was unveiled in Union Square in 1856. For the next 100 years public artworks were predominantly commemorative or memorial in nature—realistic representations of notable politicians, soldiers, and leaders.

By the 1960s, new ideas about what constituted artwork freed artists to explore new forms of materials and exhibitions. Sculpture grew beyond the constraints of studio and gallery spaces, and people embraced the social and political impact of art. With big sculptures, big ideas, and performance artists’ impromptu “happenings” in the City’s public spaces, it was only natural that visual artists wanted to bring their artwork outdoors.

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Common Field -- Where Arts Organizers Convene, Exchange, Vision

Posted by Stehpanie Sherman, Abigail Satinsky, Sep 05, 2014 1 comment

Arts organizers face a unique set of problems, probably similar to that of a circus ringleader. You need diplomacy, imagination, creativity, flexibility. You also have to be incredibly practical - managing budgets, funders, logistics. You’re often working with volunteers and supporters who need to receive non-economic benefits and feel engaged and excited. Communication is key.

First, what is “the field” we’re talking about? Artist-run spaces, experimental venues, artists creating platforms and opportunities for other artists, and organizations that put supporting artists’ work at the heart and center of their mission. We operate across a wide range of organizing principles - from being a 501(c)3 organization to a co-operative or collective, from long-running institutions to short-term projects - but we all struggle with a similar set of questions. Why is supporting experimental visual art practice important? Who are our audiences and partners? What are our tactics and strategies? What does sustainability look like? How can articulate more broadly the values and impacts emerging from this work?

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