Featured

June 26, 2017

The Street Museums

Can you create museums for the anarchic outdoor genre called street art? Sure, as long as they break the rules too.

Whether you call it graffiti art, urban art, street art, or post-street art, the work of spray can and sticker virtuosos has been moving toward the mainstream for decades. It’s commissioned as public art and shown (and sold) in galleries. It got its first major museum retrospective, Art in the Streets, at the Los Angeles … Read More

Jon Spayde | Featured, Public Art Review

June 23, 2017

Public Posts

Artist offers a way for people to express themselves post-election

It was the day after Election Day. In the wake of the shock felt by many Americans at the victory of Donald Trump, sticky notes began appearing on the wall of a tunnel between the Fourteenth Street subway stations on Sixth and Seventh Avenues in New York City. On them were written messages of love, … Read More

June 21, 2017

“How Do We Go Beyond Talking?”

A conversation with Roberta Uno about arts, equity, and demographic change

Roberta Uno leads Arts in a Changing America, a five-year initiative based at the California Institute of the Arts. She and her team partner with other organizations, host conversations, design participatory artist-led workshops, and share stories that look at the relationships between the nation’s changing demographics and the arts. She mixes artistic, community engagement, scholarship, … Read More

Venessa Fuentes | Featured, Public Art Review

June 16, 2017

Rolling Rez Arts Is On the Road Again

A unique mobile art and banking space is bringing mentoring and financial help to Native artists.

PINE RIDGE, SD – The vehicle is impossible to miss: a big truck adorned with stylized buffalo in bright colors. It crisscrosses the Connecticut-size Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, connecting Native artists with one another while helping them ratchet up their artistic and financial skills. Rolling Rez Arts is a joint project of three … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

June 15, 2017

Hard Work in a Hybrid Space

Public art administrators have to handle demands from multiple stakeholders, private and public—while staying true to mission (and as upbeat as possible)

Public art program administrators and their colleagues who run public-art-oriented nonprofits need to be negotiators. Not only do they have to talk a good game about their projects, they have to negotiate the conflicting demands of multiple stakeholders: artists, community groups, government entities, private-sector players like developers and building owners, and anybody else who has … Read More

June 7, 2017

Street Art Museum Update

Two new projects for housing outdoor urban art challenge the museum paradigm

AMSTERDAM / BERLIN – More and more, partisans of street art are creating museum settings for this basically anarchic genre—and the museums are proving to be as rule-breaking as the art. Berlin’s architecturally innovative, soon-to-open Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art—see photo—and the buildingless Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) are profiled in the latest … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

June 1, 2017

What Are We Risking?

An interview with Carlton Turner

Carlton Turner is all about creating narratives: true narratives that challenge lazy assumptions about the world and what art and artists are—narratives that confront false limitations on what art can say and how it can change the world. Since 2001, Turner has worked with Alternate ROOTS, a regional arts membership organization based in Atlanta; he … Read More

May 23, 2017

Looking for CETA

Tracking the impact of the 1970s federal program that employed artists

There are so many reasons to celebrate what the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) did for the arts in the 1970s, but it’s difficult because the evidence is practically invisible. CETA was a federal jobs program that, like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) before it, funneled many hundreds of millions of dollars to visual … Read More

Linda Frye Burnham and Steven Durland | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

March 3, 2017

Hunting the Symbol

An interview with sculptural landscape architect and writer Charles Jencks

DUMFRIES, Scotland – Apparently, our universe is not immense enough to contain the imagination of landscape architect and author Charles Jencks. He instead thinks in terms of multiple universes, which he evokes in his most recent work, the Crawick Multiverse, a 55-acre sculptural landscape that sits on the site of a former open-pit mine in … Read More

February 10, 2017

Transforming Spaces

Catherine Widgery’s installations use subtle motions of light, wind, and water to awaken the urban landscape—and those who inhabit it

Catherine Widgery’s epiphany as an artist came just over a decade ago with a sculpture she created for the opening of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod. Stringing together rusted chains, fishing gear, shells, and other debris, she created a whirlwind of junk in the center of the gallery—and after the exhibit, … Read More

January 16, 2017

Public Ritual

William Pope.L and exorcisms of abject otherness

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re republishing this 2010 Public Art Review article about artist William Pope.L, whose work addresses racism and social inequities.   Best known for his street performances, William Pope.L has worked for decades across a broad array of media including public interventions, stage performances, installations, painting, and found … Read More

Derek Conrad Murray and Soraya Murray | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

December 26, 2016

Pure Genius

MacArthur Fellowships have a long tradition of rewarding innovative public artists—and of providing the resources for recipients to live free and dream big

Economic uncertainty, regardless of how it exhibits itself, has a sneaky way of stifling creativity. Conversely, financial freedom is often a potent muse. Just ask the artists, writers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and other pioneering souls who—after being awarded a vaunted MacArthur Fellowship—suddenly found themselves blessed with the freedom to dream radically, experiment spontaneously and, if … Read More