In November 2017, Forecast executive director Theresa Sweetland traveled with director of consulting and creative services Jack Becker and creative services manager Jen Krava to Hawai’i to share their expertise in a symposium, workshop, and artist residency. Along the way, they met and collaborated with thought leaders in the field of public art, a broad range of established and emerging artists, the Hawai’i State Art Museum, the Hawai’i State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA), Lana Lane Studios, local Hawaiian artists, and many community members.
Symposium with WESTAF : “The Future History of Public Art” (November 5-7, 2017)
Twenty participants and 30 observers joined Forecast from South America, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and all over the United States for the 17th symposium organized by Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), with a keynote by internationally renowned artist Candy Chang.
Read more about perspectives from the symposium participants in the latest issue of Public Art Review, where we asked the 20 public art administrators, directors, artists, critics, curators, academics and researchers: What are the transformative potential of public art and public artists for our future?
Workshop: Making it Public, Honolulu (November 9-10, 2017)
In a condensed two-day version of our increasingly popular workshop—designed to help artists learn how to work in public—we addressed the forms that public art can take, expanding perceptions of what’s possible. In our first experience bringing this workshop outside of Minnesota, we had 24 participants who came from all over the state of Hawaii. Kealoha, Hawai’i’s first poet laureate, was a highlight who not only spoke about his process, but also gave an inspiring spoken word performance. Another presenter, Dalani Tanahy, spoke about project implementation, projects she had worked on, her successes and her challenges.
Information about funding and grants was shared by Tory Laitila from the Mayor’s Office of Culture & the Arts. Jonathan Johnson, executive director of SFCA, and Forecast’s Jack Becker—who together hold a combined 50 years experience in public art processes—spoke about best practices around public art. The workshop culminated with a meet-the-makers mixer where four experienced artists: Carol Bennett, Wayne Zebzda, Doug Young, and Asipeli Havea Tolutau mingled with participants, sharing their wisdom and experience in public art.
Interested in bringing Making It Public to your community? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artist Residency with SFCA: Thiago Mundano, and collaborating artist Ian Kuali’i
From Nov 7-11, the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts (SFCA) and Forecast Public Art came together to support a unique public art residency in downtown Honolulu. Celebrating its 50th year of Art in Public Places, The SFCA aimed to break out of the traditional public art mold and bring public art and social engagement together to address one of the most pressing issues facing the Hawaii community- homelessness.
Hawaii has the highest rate of homelessness per capita — 487 homeless for every 100,000 people as of 2015 — in the United States, and lawmakers continue to learn that kindness, compassion and creative thinking can really go a long way. Honolulu’s homeless are not just numbers. Many homeless Hawai’i residents make their daily income by collecting recyclables in shopping carts, baby strollers, bags and carts and turning in those bottles, paper and cans for cash at the local recycling center.
Internationally recognized Brazilian street artist Thiago Mundano brought his unique approach to public art and social engagement to raise awareness about the “invisible superheroes” who collect recyclables and trash every day in Hawai’i. Mundano worked in collaboration with Ian Kuali’i, a multi-disciplinary artist born in Orange County California and raised in Maui. Together, these artists used their graffiti and artistic skills to rebuild and paint wooden and metal carts used by the trash collectors in downtown Hawai’i; these collectors haul junk and recyclables every day to the local recycling collection point. In the process of painting the carts, artists connected with local media and community groups to help make these invisible superheroes visible—not only in the streets, but also in the media. Making the collection carts that homeless Hawaii residents use more functional, colorful, and personal brought greater pride and dignity to the individual, and can bring more positive attention to the public service that they are providing to the community, the economy, and to the environment.
The final presentation of the newly painted carts was shared back to the community at a celebration and auction raising awareness and financial resources for the cause of homelessness in Honolulu. 10 local artists designed mini carts that were auctioned off for a local charity, resulting in $1,200 in proceeds for the Institute for Human Services.
Read more about Mundano and his Pimp My Carroça project, the 2017 winner of the International Award for Public Art.