VRA 2013, Visual Resourcefulness and the Public Art Challenge, Lessick


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Presented by Helen Lessick at the Annual Conference of the Visual Resources Association, April 3rd - April 6th, 2013, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Session #2: Visual Resourcefulness and the Public Art Challenge
ORGANIZER/MODERATOR: Helen Lessick, Web Resources for Art in Public
Jack Becker, founder of Forecast Public Art and Public Art Review
Rachel Cain, Public Art Archive, WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation)
Elizabeth Keithline, Project Grants/Public Art Management, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
Abby Suckle, CultureNOW

Visual resources are key to collections within and outside of the museum and academic worlds. Public art, art in public places, civic art and design, and artist-initiated projects all contribute to a growing national collection.

This session will present the diverse approaches to organizing and presenting public art collections online and discuss the challenges of working with municipal and for-profit clients in the field based on policy, innovation, collaboration and context.

This session will present challenges and opportunities for VRA members to engage the public art field locally and nationally, and build networks for catalogers and public art collection professionals across the nation.
Wednesday April 3, 2013 1:35pm - 2:55pm

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  • Helen Lessick www.lessick.netWeb Resources for Art in Public (WRAP)
  • Public Art Programs in the United States – courtesy Porter Arneill, City of St. Louis, Missouri Public Art Program, 2010.
  • Art making purpose: projects, commissions, artist initiated projects, businesses, outdoor exhibitions and community art efforts.
  • Contemporary art in public is made locally; these pearls create a public art necklace.
  • WRAP is a grassroots effort, started in 2010 when Jack Becker, Forecast Public Art and LieselFenner, Americans for the Arts Public Art Network convened a meeting of interested parties in Baltimore, MD. A report was issued outlining the field’s efforts, challenges, concerns and purposes of putting works of public art on line.
  • Elizabeth Keithline will present an overview of the RISC collection and briefly discuss how municipal government commissions and collects public art. Rachel Cain will present WESTAF’s effort to assemble a public art archive.Jack Becker will present his efforts to create an archive for 30 years of magazine publishing of reviews, critiques, essays and artists pages in Public Art Review, and the efforts to make Forecast public art services accessible to local communities and international partners.Abby Suckle will present the grassroots efforts of culturenow.org, and the national program she is putting together for public art, architecture, and historical sites.
  • All images credit Helen Lessick except:Slide 2: courtesy Porter ArneillSlide 10: credit Performing Public SpaceSlide 13: credit Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre
  • VRA 2013, Visual Resourcefulness and the Public Art Challenge, Lessick

    1. 1. Visual Resourcefulness and thePublic Art ChallengeHelen Lessick, ModeratorVRA 31 Providence Rhode IslandApril 3, 2013
    2. 2. Digital Public ArtCollections Hidden in Plain Sight
    3. 3. Who Makes Art in Public?• Cities, counties, states, federal government• Regional agencies, airports, transit authorities• Museums, non-profit programs, for-profitbusinesses, academic classes and groups• Artists funded by grants, sales, crowd-sourcedor self-funded
    4. 4. Local pearls, national necklace
    5. 5. WRAPWeb Resources for Art in Publicwresources4publicart@gmail.com
    6. 6. Why WRAP? CommunityPublic artists workacross diverse disciplinesPublic art has historyPublic art is a local issueand a national discussion
    7. 7. Why WRAP? VisibilityPublic Art professionals requirecurrent, accurate informationPublic Art works are siloedAudiences expect on-site information
    8. 8. Why WRAP? AccuracyPublic Art historians cite web sitesArt critics and bloggers useweb resourcesPublic Art administration is taughtwith on-line resources and references
    9. 9. Why WRAP? AdvocacyPublic Art is challengingPublic art is challenged by othersAdvocates need access tosuccess stories and lessons learned
    10. 10. WRAP LA: Pilot project75 Los Angeles basin works funded by artists, non-profits, grants and a church, without a percent for artprogramSimon Riordan, paid catalogerUCSD Art Library internal reviewPatricia Walsh, external reviewDescriptive Catalog Discussions• Urban Displacement• Participatory Art• Food fight vs banquet• Material exchange
    11. 11. LA murals: Clockwise from top:Cache, Bicycling chicken muralsLeo Limon, LA River CatzSelf Help Graphics, non-profit entry
    12. 12. Armory Center for the Arts PasadenaTemporary Banner Projects One Colorado + Armory NWLeft: Daniel Buren, A Colored Square in the SkyRight: Lorraine Cleary-Dale with students installing Watz Ur Sygn?
    13. 13. LA Temporary events, with/out permissionClockwise: Elysian Park Museum of Art,Tumbleweed Snowmen (at entry)Fallen Fruit (at Machine Project)Heidi Duckler, C’opera (at Los Angeles Police Academy)
    14. 14. Land overlays: clockwise: Michael Heizer, Suspended Mass , Bruce Nauman, untitledJoshua Callaghan: Almost Invisible Boxes, Helen Lessick, Soil Sample: Los Angeles
    15. 15. Clockwise from top:Arroyo Arts Collective: For the BirdsPerforming Public Space: Octupy LAJR: Makers of the City
    16. 16. PanelistsElizabeth Keithline: Rhode Island State Councilon the Arts, Public Art/Grants ProgramRachel Cain: Western States Art Federation,Public Art ArchiveJack Becker: Forecast Public Art +Public Art ReviewAbby Suckle: culturenow.org
    17. 17. Love MatchVRA + Local artEngage your local public artist and collections.We are always looking to partner.