Shanghai – Researchers from across the globe gathered last week to share their perspectives on public art. Sponsored by the University of Shanghai, the two-day meeting invited scholars, curators, artists, project managers, and city planners to give presentations about recent public art projects as well as discuss the nuances of place re-making throughout the world. The event highlighted the ways in which cultural, historical, and environmental factors along with the availability of resources—ranging from government funding to social media platforms—affect both the different ways in which artists approach public art and how we learn about their projects.

The International Award for Public Art (IAPA) was founded in 2011. Organized by the Institute for Public Art, the Award acknowledges outstanding achievement in public art with a focus on excellence in placemaking, community building, and social practice. For the network meeting, researchers from each of the IAPA’s seven world regions (North America, Central and South America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia) gathered to represent the thinking, challenges, innovations, and values that influence public art worldwide. In addition, fervent discussion revealed how to improve research methods, which will help the IAPA to further advance a broad understanding of public art.

Past IAPA winners include Tiuna el Fuerte Cultural Park in Caracas, Venezuela (awarded in 2013) and Talk to Me in Bangalore, India (awarded in 2015). The next Award will be presented in 2017.