October 24, 2016

Wandering Space

by Kacey Wong

HONG KONG—Hong Kong–based artist and activist Kacey Wong questions the politics of space by reimagining housing and other built structures as mobile units. Inspired by spaceship return capsules and David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity,” Wong’s Wandering Space envisions what is possible within a small, adaptable interior. Originally designed as a traveling stage for renowned singer … Read More

Megan Guerber | Featured, Public Art Review

October 21, 2016

An Island Reborn

Public art stands to play a vital placemaking role in the $5 billion redevelopment of San Francisco’s Treasure Island

One man’s trash, runs the old saw, is another’s treasure. In the case of San Francisco’s Treasure Island, the “trash” consisted of some 500 acres’ worth of gravel and dredged sand dumped on a dangerous reef to create a site for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. And the treasure? After decades of inaction, it … Read More

October 19, 2016

Object Lessons

Increasingly, K-12 educators are looking to public art to enrich learning across the curriculum

As K-12 schools around the country kick into high gear, students at one Minnesota school have a unique opportunity to display artworks to the entire neighborhood in an outdoor gallery. It’s called Connections Gallery, and it was conceived of and constructed by students at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis, in collaboration with a neighborhood artist, … Read More

October 11, 2016

Knotted Grotto

by Meg Saligman

PHILADELPHIA—Pilgrims jotted prayers, struggles, and dreams on some 150,000 knotted ribbons at Knotted Grotto, a temporary installation at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. The grotto consisted of a 20-by-13-foot wigwamlike structure where visitors were invited to write down their intention or prayer request and tie it to the structure, then untie … Read More

October 9, 2016

Museums Go Public

Around the country, museums are collaborating with public artists and shedding their highbrow image

Over the years, in these pages we’ve chronicled the evolution of public art from “plop art”—the big sculptural object by the renowned artist dropped into the public place—into a dynamic ecosystem of artistic practices, from mural-making to event-making, that are more and more focused on the histories, needs, and wishes of communities, and more and … Read More

Jon Spayde | Featured, Public Art Review

October 8, 2016


by Charles Pétillon

LONDON—French artist Charles Pétillon, known for his temporary site-specific balloon installations that overtake cars, houses, basketball courts, and more, proves that there is no invasion more delightful than one of white balloons. Installed under the roof of London’s iconic Market Building in Covent Garden from August 27 to September 27, 2015, Heartbeat was a meandering … Read More

Megan Guerber | Featured, Public Art Review

July 15, 2016

A Shift Toward Trust

Indian artist Jasmeen Patheja describes her work and the genesis of the Talk To Me project

Jasmeen Patheja began addressing critical social issues early in her career as an artist. While still an art student in Bangalore, India, in 2003, she initiated a project that ultimately led to the formation of Blank Noise, a collective that emerged in response to the widespread harassment and rape of women. Blank Noise creates interactive … Read More

July 13, 2016

Climate Storytelling

Subtle, elegant, and arresting, public art projects on a human scale help us understand climate change

One of the greatest gifts an artist can offer is to show us the world as it is. Our sense of what is real is often clouded by our preoccupations, passivity, or politics. But when an artwork removes these filters and allows us to see as the artist sees, we can be changed. Our perspective … Read More

Karen Olson | Featured, Public Art Review

July 8, 2016

The “Sand Banksy” Fashions a “Fat Cat” in Gentrification Protest

The Brockley neighborhood in south London, like many other parts in the British capital, is feeling the pain of gentrification. A Victorian-era suburb that has long been home to immigrants and artists, Brockley is seeing rents soar and its stock of affordable housing dwindle. Enter sculptor and Brockley resident Zara Gaze, whose temporary creations in … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

June 15, 2016

Culture Worker

Mankwe Ndosi uses sound to build understanding in a diverse neighborhood

Mankwe Ndosi believes that performance is powerful, sound is transformative, and that music lives everywhere. “Everyone has a daily soundtrack,” says the Minneapolis-based artist. “Music is in people’s daily lives.” Today the Harvard graduate works to gather the musical soundtracks in city dwellers’ everyday lives, whether those are the echoes and vibrations off a freeway … Read More

Laine Bergeson | Featured, Public Art Review

June 13, 2016

Opening Up Urban Space

Two mirrored projects call attention to space in densely populated neighborhoods

In New York and San Francisco, two temporary installations have transformed public walkways with reflective materials, drawing attention to how we think about open space in dense urban areas. Five hundred feet of golden foliage-like polished metal plates form six porous canopies above paths in Manhattan’s Madison Square Park in Teresita Fernández’s Fata Morgana. “My … Read More

Anna Renken | Featured, Public Art Review

June 8, 2016

“Open Source” Philadelphia

Breaking new ground in art as in tech

Scrap materials like aluminum became works of art at a waste transfer station set up in South Philadelphia by local multimedia artists and brothers Billy and Steven Dufala. Taking cues from children’s drawings of their ideal play structures, Los Angeles–based artist Sterling Ruby designed an outdoor sculpture for them to climb that also provided a … Read More

Anna Renken | Featured, Public Art Review