Assessing What to Assess in Public Art

From Jon Pounds at ARTSblog:

Public art is more than a beautifying (or inspiring) public amenity—it is social catalyst and civic infrastructure. Picasso’s untitled sculpture was dedicated in Chicago’s Civic Center in August 1967 the same month that the first community mural, The Wall of Respect was painted by the artists of Organization of Black American Culture just a few miles away. Each were astonishing moments in the history of public art. But can we say that the Picasso has ever brought more than a handful of people in to town just to look at it for 90 minutes—or that the loss of The Wall of Respect in 1970 ended its ability to inform and inspire?

Each are part of a democratic culture in which ideas give form to voice. Voices that once expressed the collective formation of faith in churches now extend the conversation to the collective formation of our public spaces. Wait. Am I preaching to the choir?

Read the full post.

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