Public art is an art form that uses public space and resources to create something that is attractive, educational, and engaging. The term can be used to describe a variety of artworks, but is often associated with large, public-scale works. Whether it’s a sculpture, mural, or a performance, the goal is to beautify the city and encourage people to interact with the work.
Public art can have a positive impact on a community, and can address some of the most pressing issues facing a city. By bringing attention to important issues and promoting civic collaboration, artists can increase tourism, create new jobs, and combat social isolation.
A number of recent innovations in public art have redefined concepts such as community, social engagement, and collective identity. This has led to the creation of new types of public art that engage viewers outside the traditional museum setting. Interactive public art is one type, which includes video components, light components, and musical elements.
One example of a social turn in public art is the Diggs Project. This installation was created to inspire viewers to live a more compassionate life. It features multi-sensory art, including sound and water. To trigger the work, viewers can block water jets with their hands.
Another piece that reflects a more feminist approach is MissMe. This project uses portraits of strong women of color to challenge the patriarchy and toxic masculinity. Through graphic images and sound, the artwork aims to foster women’s independence, equality, and self-empowerment.
Other examples of a sustainable approach to public art include the Melbourne Art Trams, which are installed in several cities throughout Australia. These are often created with the help of locals, who can make the effect even more powerful.
The Federal Art Project, which was funded by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, provided thousands of murals across the nation. It also employed more than 10,000 artists.
Another innovative approach to public art is the use of digital technology. Some of the most exciting examples of this art form include video projections on outdoor screens, computer-generated imagery, and even audio-visual projects.
In addition to the aesthetic benefits, public art can improve a city’s street safety. Besides creating a beautiful and vibrant environment, art can also educate people about the history and culture of a place. Many public art works, such as those on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, are designed to be a permanent fixture in the community.
Another example of a large, permanent public art work is Jim Pallas’s Century of Light. This large, outdoor mandala of lights reacts to movement detected by radar. Sculptural seating and artist-designed glazing are other examples of integrated public art.
Whether you’re interested in learning more about the history of public art, or if you’re just wondering how to get involved, there are plenty of ways to find out. You can explore the history of the city’s public art programs, browse the sidebar for important facts, or view an archive of the program.