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January 26, 2015

Innovations in Art Parks

Sculpture parks and gardens are brimming with creative ideas for drawing new visitors and introducing them to art

FROM THE ARCHIVES (2011) – It’s Saturday morning and 20 enthusiastic yogis clad in various layers of Lululemon athletic gear roll out a rainbow assortment of mats to begin their sun salutations. A typical West Coast scene, but this one has a twist: The location for this workout is the Olympic Sculpture Park in downtown … Read More

January 23, 2015

Putting Him, and Her, on a Pedestal

Artists: Antony Gormley & Kate Gilmore

New York, New York (2010) – Performance, video, the expanded field, the urban context, the revision of both the object’s and the spectator’s status: All these seem fairly new in contemporary art, having gone mainstream in only the past 40 or so years. But just as cubism depended on the genre of the still life, … Read More

January 16, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed

Artists: Homecoming! Committee

  VIDEO + SLIDE SHOW Fort Worth, Texas (2014) – Many cities boast a single, iconic public artwork—a sculpture, like the St. Louis Gateway Arch, that is intrinsically identified with that place. In Fort Worth, Texas, that piece was once Eagle, a 39-foot-tall, origami-like steel sculpture by Alexander Calder that stood for some 30 years … Read More

January 12, 2015

Sugarcoated

Kara Walker explores the bitter legacy of colonialism.

VIDEO + SLIDE SHOW – New York (2014) – More than 100,000 people, according to the New York Times, stood in line last summer to view A Subtlety, Kara Walker’s monumental sugar sculpture, constructed in Brooklyn’s iconic Domino Sugar factory. It isn’t the attendance numbers, however, but the ongoing conversation about the work that indicates … Read More

January 8, 2015

Experiments: Roman Signer

The figurative, temporal, and sometimes explosive works of Roman Signer

The video shows a man—the Swiss artist Roman Signer—seated on a wooden stool in a green field in front of an easel (Punkt [Dot], 2006). With a paintbrush in hand, he is poised to make the first mark on a blank canvas. He could be a plein air painter, taking up a painterly tradition that … Read More

January 5, 2015

Park-Time Work

Three artists talk about their park residencies

FROM THE ARCHIVES 2011 – For public artists, the fact that parks are public spaces may give park residencies a special magnetism. The chance to work in the open, the immediate presence of an audience, the sense of contributing to an important public amenity, all may be elements of the attraction. Still, the effect of … Read More

November 11, 2014

Honoring Veterans

How public artists memorialize our nation's heroes

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell Every year on November 11th, our nation—along with nations around the world—gathers together to honor those who have bravely served our country. We not only honor the fallen, but the 22 million veterans living in the … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

October 29, 2014

Pollinating Neglected Places

Juan William Chávez aims to help St. Louis reclaim the history and landscape of Pruitt-Igoe

Juan William Chávez, an artist and cultural activist, sees potential in vacant spaces. Since 2010, he’s been exploring the former site of the failed Pruitt-Igoe urban housing project in St. Louis, Missouri. Built in 1953, the development was riddled with poverty, violence, and segregation until it was eventually demolished in 1972. Over the years, a … Read More

Lauren Bedosky | Featured, Public Art Review

October 15, 2014

Water Works

Nine artist-driven projects that are transforming watersheds and communities

1. BRIGHTWATER TREATMENT PLANT (KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON) Artists: T. Ellen Sollod, Buster Simpson, Jann Rosen-Queralt Why did artists help design and decorate a new wastewater treatment plant in the Seattle area? Because it’s the law. A King County ordinance actually specifies that artists be involved early and often in community infrastructure projects. “The commitment of … Read More

September 3, 2014

Purl Jammers

Yarn bombers celebrate their colorful craft with an international festival

On June 7, knitters around the world brandished their needles and skeins to celebrate International Yarn Bombing Day. Yarn bombers wrap the urban landscape—lampposts, tree limbs, bicycles— with colorful knitted creations. It’s a playful twist on ephemeral street art like graffiti, and its following has grown exponentially since its emergence in the early 2000s, prompted … Read More

Amelia Foster | Featured, Public Art Review