August 17, 2016

Rio’s Gold-Medal Street Art

Work by Brazilian artists—including Eduardo Kobra—in the streets of Rio de Janeiro

When it comes to public art in Rio de Janeiro, French street-art star JR’s three massive sculptural images of young athletes in action have garnered most of the international attention. (JR is one of three official Olympic artists-in-residence; the other two are German writer Tilman Spengler and American Vine-video star Gerald Andal.) But Rio hardly … Read More

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August 4, 2016

“Lightgraff” Calligraphy in Western Australia

Tunisian artist Karim Jabbari “writes” in light in a dramatic landscape

FORM bills itself as “an independent, non-profit cultural organisation… that develops and advocates for excellence in creativity and artistic practice in Western Australia.” The nonprofit is headquartered in central Perth, but its associated venues, and its programming, reach far out into the vast state, which includes some of the most dramatic landscapes on earth. In … Read More

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July 26, 2016

A Natural High

Unused elevated train tracks in Queens could turn into the Wild Line

If a Queens, NY, architectural firm and a Brooklyn rooftop-farm builder get their way, a derelict Long Island Railway (LIRR) spur in Long Island City, Queens, will become the Wild Line—a nature sanctuary that’s a shorter, greener, wilder version of Manhattan’s popular High Line. According to a proposal put forward earlier this year by BanG … Read More

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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 11, 2016

Smithsonian American Art Museum Acquires Works by Three Major Public Artists

From November 2015 to July 10, the Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrated the post-renovation reopening of its Renwick Gallery with WONDER, an exhibition that invited artists to create a single immersive installation piece for each of the Renwick’s rooms. The result was a highly successful show that drew some 700,000 visitors. Now three of the … Read More

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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

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July 4, 2016

Project Evaluation as Art

The “e” word doesn’t have to be scary; these groups make it part of the creative process

Measurement, assessment, evaluation: big, complex words that many people associate with stress, fear, or annoyance. But measuring the impact of your art-related work doesn’t have to be a necessary evil that rears its ugly head when you’re rushing to get grant paperwork out the door. In fact, evaluation can be an integral part of the … Read More

Rachel Engh | 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

June 6, 2016

Marina Abramovic: In Residence

The famous performance artist includes participants in her recent Sydney Project

In the course of her 40-year career as a performance artist, Marina Abramovic has been providing audiences with experiences that originated outside their bodies—movements and sounds and ideas that poured forth from her and washed over them. Those works have been transformative, and recognized as such. She was awarded Best Artist at the 1997 Venice … Read More

Laine Bergeson | Featured, Public Art Review