Featured

May 23, 2017

Looking for CETA

Tracking the impact of the 1970s federal program that employed artists

There are so many reasons to celebrate what the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) did for the arts in the 1970s, but it’s difficult because the evidence is practically invisible. CETA was a federal jobs program that, like the Works Progress Administration (WPA) before it, funneled many hundreds of millions of dollars to visual … Read More

Linda Frye Burnham and Steven Durland | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

May 17, 2017

Rethinking a City from the Grassroots

An artist-led urbanism project invites ideas from everyone for molding the capital of Moldova

CHISINAU, Moldova – One of the semifinalists for the International Award for Public Art (highlighted in the new issue of Public Art Review) was an insouciant project called Flat Space, in which the artists and designers of the Oberliht Association in Chisinau (formerly Kishinev), Moldova reconstructed a drab socialist apartment from the era when the … Read More

May 17, 2017

An Engaged Gathering in Chicago

Open Engagement 2017 was a forum for socially-focused arts

Under the resonant rubric “Justice,” the 2017 Open Engagement (OE) conference was held April 21-23 at the University of Illinois at Chicago and other sites across the city.   The gathering of artists and others involved in socially engaged art offered more than 100 workshops, presentations, panels, conversations, tours, parties and projects, all focused on … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

April 14, 2017

Winner! 3rd International Award for Public Art

Caring for the collectors

WINNER: Pimp My Carroça, Thiago Mundano, São Paulo, Brazil, 2007 In São Paulo, 17,000 tons of waste are generated each day, and only 1 percent of it is recycled; but of this recycled material, 90 percent is collected by the 20,000 or so people who man the carroças, the city’s garbage collection carts, picking up … Read More

Jon Spayde | Featured, Public Art Review

March 31, 2017

The Makeover of Milan’s “Rainbow Tower”

A beloved civic symbol got a major refurbishment just in time for a world’s fair

MILAN – In a world where public art is in danger of deterioration because of maintenance-budget restrictions, forgetfulness, or the sheer complexity of city life, some works are simply too iconic not to refurbish. Case in point: The 2015 makeover of the “Rainbow Tower” (Torre Arcobaleno) near Milan’s fashionable, design-conscious Garibaldi district. Built in 1964 … Read More

Public Art Review | Featured, Public Art Review

March 3, 2017

Hunting the Symbol

An interview with sculptural landscape architect and writer Charles Jencks

DUMFRIES, Scotland – Apparently, our universe is not immense enough to contain the imagination of landscape architect and author Charles Jencks. He instead thinks in terms of multiple universes, which he evokes in his most recent work, the Crawick Multiverse, a 55-acre sculptural landscape that sits on the site of a former open-pit mine in … Read More

February 10, 2017

Transforming Spaces

Catherine Widgery’s installations use subtle motions of light, wind, and water to awaken the urban landscape—and those who inhabit it

Catherine Widgery’s epiphany as an artist came just over a decade ago with a sculpture she created for the opening of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum on Cape Cod. Stringing together rusted chains, fishing gear, shells, and other debris, she created a whirlwind of junk in the center of the gallery—and after the exhibit, … Read More

January 16, 2017

Public Ritual

William Pope.L and exorcisms of abject otherness

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re republishing this 2010 Public Art Review article about artist William Pope.L, whose work addresses racism and social inequities.   Best known for his street performances, William Pope.L has worked for decades across a broad array of media including public interventions, stage performances, installations, painting, and found … Read More

Derek Conrad Murray and Soraya Murray | Featured, Magazine Feature, Public Art Review

December 26, 2016

Pure Genius

MacArthur Fellowships have a long tradition of rewarding innovative public artists—and of providing the resources for recipients to live free and dream big

Economic uncertainty, regardless of how it exhibits itself, has a sneaky way of stifling creativity. Conversely, financial freedom is often a potent muse. Just ask the artists, writers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs, and other pioneering souls who—after being awarded a vaunted MacArthur Fellowship—suddenly found themselves blessed with the freedom to dream radically, experiment spontaneously and, if … Read More

December 19, 2016

Portable Land Art

Vaughn Bell’s playful works are inspired by serious issues of humankind and our environment

Vaughn Bell’s work brings a quirky, humorous sensibility to a sphere that is often treated with deadly seriousness: our relationship with the environment. The Seattle-based artist literally “models” human relationships with the natural world by creating offbeat objects like the Portable Personal Biosphere, a terrarium that fits over the head so that the wearer carries … 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

June 15, 2016

Culture Worker

Mankwe Ndosi uses sound to build understanding in a diverse neighborhood

MINNEAPOLIS – 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 … Read More

Laine Bergeson | Featured, Public Art Review