October 15, 2014

Water Works

Nine artist-driven projects that are transforming watersheds and communities

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 King … Read More

October 10, 2014

Free Your Mind

Perhaps the most radical act of a public artist is to activate the public imagination

Community engagement in public art comes in many forms; and probably just as numerous are the reasons we should be interested in such engagements. But one reason, above all others, is profoundly important—especially given the widespread insistence (as evidenced by recent “Occupy” movements, citizen uprisings, and public protests) on full involvement in public political, social, … Read More

Rob Garrett | Featured, Public Art Review

October 6, 2014

CREATE: The Community Meal Serves 2000

Artist: Seitu Jones

St. Paul-based artist and urbanist Seitu Jones organized an unprecedented community gathering. On September 14, 2014 two thousand Twin Cities residents met around a table that stretched 1/2 mile across the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul. Together they shared a meal provided by local kitchens and farmers to raise awareness about food justice—the fight for all … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

October 1, 2014

Tamara Johnson’s Waterless Pools

New York, New York (2013+2014) – The highlight of the Socrates Sculpture Park EAF exhibition in 2013 was a piece so subtle and well-integrated that one might have mistaken it for part of the grounds. While other pieces at Socrates are generally plopped around the larger lawn, Tamara Johnson sited her work, A Public Pool, … Read More

Janet Zweig | Featured, Public Art Review

September 26, 2014

Fleeting Light Opens in Hong Kong

Hong Kong – Hong Kong celebrates the media arts with Fleeting Light, an interactive public exhibition. Presented by the Hong Kong Arts Development council and organized by the City University of Hong Kong, Fleeting Light features a series of interactive media arts exhibitions and large-scale public art installations. Jim Campbell is a world-renowned artist known … Read More

Public Art Review | 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