Featured

May 2, 2016

Taking Public Liberties:

Three graces in an African metropolis

Three public “liberties”—all thumbing their nose to varying degrees at Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (1830)—are tramping through downtown Johannesburg: The amazon of Reshada Crouse’s painting Passive Resistance hails audiences from the Nelson Mandela Theater; the child in Marlene Dumas’ tapestry The Benefit of the Doubt surveys the Constitutional Court; and William Kentridge and … Read More

Leora Maltz-Leca | Featured, Public Art Review

April 29, 2016

Co-Creationists

Curators are emerging as an important force in the world of public art

Where does public art come from? How does it get made? These are simple enough questions, but they raise some complicated issues—especially when it comes to the emerging forms of “social practice” that are rapidly reshaping the world of public art. Consider the monumental steel sculpture that towers over a corporate plaza or the mural … Read More

April 27, 2016

Artists and Fabricators: Constructing a Relationship

Artist Mark Dion and fabricators Rick and Ido Yoshimoto forged a collaborative bond in creating The Ship Chandler

Public art is public memory, in either intention or effect. Some pieces commemorate history; others become landmarks, anchoring new memories. The Ship Chandler, Mark Dion’s installation for the Port of Los Angeles, plays with this truth. The work disrupts the present with a visitation from a past that is not so much remembered as imagined. … Read More

Arlene Goldbard | Featured, Public Art Review

April 11, 2016

Art in the Arab Street

An innovative and ambitious festival brings street artists to Tunisia

It is four years since street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi burned himself alive and activated the extraordinary chain of events that became the Tunisian uprising. The uprising deposed the dominant state narrative only to reveal the flux of competing cultural, economic, and political paradigms currently affecting Tunisia. It is in this context of post-revolutionary flux that … Read More

April 4, 2016

Glass Fusions

Artists and manufacturers explore techniques, from 3D printing to solar cells

When it comes to public art made from glass, new technology has led to new innovation. A variety of glass manufacturing studios and artists revealed a peek at some of the current techniques and expectations for artistic and architectural glass.   Renewable Energy Collaborating with artist Sarah Hall, Peters Studios—formally known as Glasmalerei Peters Studios—updated … Read More

March 30, 2016

Making Better Places

Creative placemaking is heading toward Disneyfication—but artists can change that

Creative placemaking has been an outcome of public art projects for years, and the term has recently become an engaging catchphrase for decision makers and developers around the United States. It is encouraging that the arts have become an accepted aspect of developing a place, but the current focus on placemaking also raises important questions: … Read More

Patricia Walsh | Featured, Public Art Review

March 28, 2016

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

A natural “installation” uses public art to raise awareness of deforestation

When conceptual and environmental artist Konstantin Dimopoulos moved to Melbourne, Australia, from New Zealand, he was struck by the abundance of trees in his new surroundings. With a population of 4.25 million, Melbourne boasts 70,000 trees, which cover 20 percent of the city—and city planners hope to increase that ratio to 40 percent. Besides being … Read More

Christina Lanzl | Featured, Public Art Review

March 16, 2016

Sans façon

artist duo makes context and relationships the center of each project

Each year, the Public Art Network (PAN) of Americans for the Arts nominates 50 public artworks as outstanding representations of the genre. When Charles Blanc and Tristan Surtees, collectively known as Sans façon, put a few projects in the hopper for the distinction, they never expected to be chosen; they simply hoped to make a … Read More

February 29, 2016

Remembering with Beads

A traveling memorial pays tribute to missing and murdered indigenous women

How can a memorial reflect the presence of grief and the absence caused by lost lives? How can it bring tragedy to light without reducing lives to stories of violence? Walking With Our Sisters (WWOS) attempts this balance as both a space for remembrance and a traveling memorial that draws attention to the staggering number of … Read More

Jessica Fiala | Featured, Public Art Review

February 17, 2016

Heightened Perception

walking with Carmen Papalia—eyes closed and other senses open

I can’t tell if we are on a sidewalk, in an alley or in the middle of a road. Every slope in the pavement underfoot is amplified, as is every sound—a car passing, a child crying, people chatting on a restaurant patio. With my right arm I feel for trees, signposts, fire hydrants, and other … Read More

Jennifer Van Evra | Featured, Public Art Review

February 9, 2016

Game Theory

Johan Ferner Ström’s Puckelboll is an artist-designed playing field

When artist Johan Ström’s first Puckelboll installation was constructed in Malmö, Sweden, in 2009, it didn’t take long before it was in use. The construction workers couldn’t resist and right away began to kick around a soccer ball. “One of the aims with the Puckelboll field is to serve as a catalyst for dialogue and … Read More

Shauna Dee | Featured, Public Art Review

January 11, 2016

The Journey is the Destination

Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures. Part 4 of 4 in the Artography series.

Part map, part artwork, part public art scavenger hunt, Wayfinding: 100 NYC Public Sculptures turns a viewer’s journey toward a sculpture into an artwork of its own. The temporary installation consists of directional signs and maps bearing black-and-white icons of public sculptures, paired with the distance to each from the Queens Museum at Flushing Meadows–Corona … Read More