WHAT IS THE TRANSFORMATIVE POTENTIAL of public art and public artists for our future? 

That’s the broad question Public Art Review posed to public art administrators, directors, artists, critics, curators, academics, and researchers before they met up in Honolulu for The Future History of Public Art, the 17th symposium organized by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). This year’s symposium was organized in collaboration with Forecast Public Art and the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, and held just after we went to press: November 5 to 7, 2017.

The goals of the symposium? For participants to consider the future of the field, survey growing trends and challenges, and propose ways the field might develop to create a richer and more sustainable long-term presence.

In the accompanying slideshow you’ll read the freewheeling responses of this group of deeply talented professionals to our question about public art’s transformative potential. We were moved by all the ways they talked about how public art can help create a more humane world.