I don't know if you can see it. But if you look closely, at the bottom half of this image. Kinda hard to make out, but that there is the public. That's who's receiving the art. That's what public art is about It is art in public. Somewhere outside a gallery, shop, or museum, or any of the usual places you might find art. Tends to give a space an identity by demarcating that space. Giving the space its identity, defining its community. Ideally it engages with that community. (positively or negatively) Good public art will know its audience. What is an ideal public art program? One that is open to possibility. And allows for the spontaneous combination of ingredients and energies to transcend; to create magic. To engage its audience and identify its community.
This will allow for works that commemorate in the traditional sense, bronze statues, etc. (Stevie Ray Vaughn & Philosphers Rock)
Allows for works that are abstract (Clockknot: Mark DiSuvero for Landmarks, Doctor Pangloss: David Heyman & Sandra Fiedorek for AIPP, Laguna Gloria)
Weird, performative, ephemeral works that rely on duration of time or materials (Bill Davenport for Texas Biennial, Bodies In Urban Spaces: Willi Dorner for Fusebox festival, I of Texas: Luke Savisky for First Night)
work that engages a group of people or the community (Mel Ziegler, Harrell Fletcher). Hold Your Breath 2004 Mel Ziegler Dunn & Brown Gallery Harrel Fletcher Corentine's Turtle 2006 Domaine De Kerguehennec Brittany, France
I've chosen a couple of Austin artists that I feel have a good handle on their audience. Hunter Cross creates interactive, site-specific and crowd-sourced art. He is also the lead organizer of Open Doors Collective
From their website: Open Doors served as an introduction to a community of Texas artists. By empowering artists with full control of a domestic space lacking the commercial constraints of a traditional gallery, … Sophistical Protection Terra Goolsby bubble wrap, house
… we defined ourselves as curators of the senses and the audience as an active ingredient in the work. … Untitled #2 Sandra Martinez 13.5' x 8.5' x 7' concrete, perilite, twine, wood, pvc, latex paint, rope lights
… The exhibition included five room-sized installations and two large-scale exterior works presented … Grand Hall Kate Scherer dimensions variable wood, turkey feet, wire, bacon, silcone, fabric
… by nine emerging Texas artists at a house located in central Austin. Hora Vital Cole Thompson & Cesar Alexander Villareal 14' x 15' x 13' corn syrup, white vinyl, padding, foam, plexi, metal, wood, rope
Because of that success Open Doors secured an unfinished space downtown the following year. The exhibition focused on large-scale sculptural and spatial works that encouraged audience interaction and visual submersion. Cole Thompson Gaspaglorbs, 2005 latex weather balloons, sonotubes, timers, vacuums Sandra Martinez Object Rendered ,2005 tires, twine, paint
Hunter Cross Diaspora, 2005 mdf, acetate, organizational dots Cesar Alexander Villareal Nido, 2005 branches, feathers, sound, camera These two exhibits worked outside of the &quot;white cube&quot;. They wanted the public, they needed the public: &quot;audience as an active ingredient&quot; & &quot;encouraged audience interaction and visual submersion&quot; They transformed these inert spaces into art spaces. They wanted to be taken serious as artists. So they created an arena for the public to meet them.
barnum for the web Matthew puts his work where everyone can see it, on the street. No need for the audience to visit a designated art environment. uses the language of graffiti and raises questions of legality, but more important there's the question of the relevance of its content.
caloo calay goon gone green grass was on its way We tore up all the cement one day and planted grass that night. A month later we all got chiggers and burs. &quot;Rodriguez uses the earth itself to express dissatisfaction with man's effects on the environment. A mound of concrete rubble and a house in shambles are both anthropomorphized with simple frowning cartoon faces.&quot; -Salvador Castillo Austin Chronicle That Was Then, This Is Now Apr 11, 2008
Q: Does nailing something to a tree hurt the tree? — Maggie, age 9 A. Good question. Generally, no, something the size of a nail hammered into a tree won’t hurt it. The nail would most likely be inserted about an inch to an inch and a half into the bark. “The tree should compartmentalize and heal the wound around it,To be in physical pain you need a central nervous system. Which means you need a spine.Trees don’t have spines. A few nails wont hurt it.” says Grant Jones, technical advisor with Davey Tree Company in Kent, Ohio. He carries this question of &quot;how serious am I supposed to take this?&quot; into every aspect of how he presents his work. Its very playful.
He is a community artist. You may have seen his work driving around town. He worked at the hospital with kids having them create drawings & paintings which he digitzed and applied to a couple of CapMetro buses. He moderated this process and then placed his collaborative work in the same public space as Rodriguez, but as his work is a collaboration there were certain structures he worked within. And needed their buy-in.
&quot;Cion has envisioned and is now implementing a collaborative project between himself as an artist and the Child Life Division of the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Specifically, he is engaging the patients being treated in the dialysis, hematology and oncology clinics to create art while going through their treatments. The hospital, the patients’ families, and eventually the city of Austin will see their art through a project that uses advertising bus wraps to display the work.&quot; - Christina Hiett from: The Public Art Issue Cantanker Magazine Less of an argument as to whether its is art or not. More about which public he's engaging. Sponsors? Kids & families? Anyone that can see the bus?
Austin Green Art is an environmentally conscious art organization lead by Randy Jewart. They kinda started with this multisite eco-friendly art installation exhibit.
I found out about Austin Green Art after experienceing Virginia Fleck's contribution.
AGA has gone on to create installations at festivals,
coordinate Earth Day events/celebrations
Annette Lawrence at Flatbed Press Polymorphic Plastic Parade “ Polymorphic Plastic Parade” is a 5-week tour, traveling in a bus that operates on waste vegetable oil, created by IAN GAMBLE AND SARAH WITT. http://www.plasticparade.org/basecamp1/ National Park(ing) Day Ridgetop Elementary Gardens Green-Warriors 25 people working for Austin Green Art and learning environmental skills this summer through a grant to Goodwill from Workforce Solutions. The $1.79 million grant puts 600 at-risk 14- to 24-year-olds to work over five weeks, said Laura Griebel, a program manager for youth services for Goodwill.
Recently unveiled, the Sunflowers are an example of highly visible placement. Right next to IH-35 and the much talked about Mueller development. Again, very Austin in that it is green (solar powered lights) and pedestrian and bike friendly. AIPP helped with selection process!
The collaboration with the Texas Bienial. Besides dipping their toes in the temporary art waters, the locations are what I thought of as highly effective/visible. When I think of Austin, I think green,athletic, the hike and bike trail. At the right time on the right day, that place gets just as packed as I35 or Mopac during rush hour. This is a great example of AIPP putting art in front of the public where they’re at.
return to this image to point out that as public artist, you are not competing with architecture. You are trying to connect with the public.
AIPP Public Art Symposium 9/12/09
What Is Public Art? What Is Public Art? image courtesy Jenn Deering Davis, edited by CMBJ via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Auditorium_Shores_(2007).jpg