Featured

September 10, 2014

Miranda July’s Somebody

On August 28th, filmmaker Miranda July unveiled a new way to communicate: Somebody—a free app available from iTunes. This public art project creates face-to-face connections for strangers via their smartphones. When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes not to your friend, but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

September 5, 2014

Wide-Open Spaces

Yinka Shonibare on why he turned his London studio into a “mini-community”

Hossein Amirsadeghi: What role does the studio play in your work? Yinka Shonibare: The studio is something productive for me, but not only in relation to the creation of art objects. It is divided into two parts. The top part is where I do my production meetings and my drawings and paintings. But I also … Read More

Hossein Amirsadeghi | Featured, Public Art Review

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

September 1, 2014

Back in the Game

Art returns to sports stadiums

From the Archives (2012) – New sports stadiums in America are incorporating increasing amounts of public art, and this is fitting. The art adds value to fans seeking a “destination experience,” and support for artists can console some cultures that oppose public funding of stadium construction. There is an intrinsic connection, too: the affinity between … Read More

August 20, 2014

Culture in Motion

A mobile, inflatable auditorium brings arts programming to a tsunami-devastated region of Japan

On March 11, 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake, one of the most powerful in recorded history, hit Japan, and was followed by a devastating tsunami. The catastrophe claimed more than 18,000 lives and left vast swathes of the northeast severely damaged if not destroyed. In the Tohoku region, whole towns were swept away; the force of … Read More

August 15, 2014

The New City-Makers

Six lessons public artists can teach us about how to make our cities better

Something strange is happening in our cities. Given the somber state of our economic, environmental, and social progress, one would expect cities to be in serious trouble. After all, a growing majority of the world’s population lives in them (84 percent in the United States, according to the last census), where they consume an ever-growing … Read More

August 1, 2014

Portrait of the Artist as a Leader

Frances Whitehead, lead artist on Chicago’s 606 project, tells Public Art Review about her role and how she got there

On a ragged day at the end of 2014’s rough winter, a Chicago wind nudged around the corners of a few construction trailers parked behind a chain link fence on a vacant lot just off the Kennedy Expressway. At the start of the construction season, there wasn’t much to recommend this shabby and largely forgotten … Read More

July 18, 2014

Self-Made Worlds

Meet the makers of hand-built art environments, where the creative spirit reigns

Called outsider art by some, folk art environments by others, self-made worlds are generally the works of individuals not trained in the formal arts (but by no means untrained in their own fields), using nontraditional materials and building methods. Raw Vision editor John Maizels addressed the difficulty of defining self-made worlds in an early issue of … Read More

July 7, 2014

Cash Cow: The CowParade™

The CowParade™ and its discontents

When I moved with my family to Chicago at the turn of the millennium, we were not without misgivings. Ex-New Yorkers returning to the States after a decade in Europe, we packed most of the predictable prejudices about the Midwest: Were we abandoning the cultural riches of Mitteleuropa for the banality of Big Brats and … Read More

July 4, 2014

Artists and Parks

How artists shape our shared spaces

At the Tolt River–John MacDonald Park near Carnation, Washington, artist Elizabeth Conner recently spent six months with staff scientists from King County’s natural resource divisions. Together they monitored fish biology and the water’s movement at a flood plain restoration site. But Conner asked different questions and used different words than the scientists to describe what … Read More

Carolyn Law with Matthew Stadler | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review