Public art is any work of art that is displayed in public space. It may be in the form of a sculpture, mural, painting, or installation. Often created in response to a place, it is designed to engage audiences who would not otherwise visit a museum or gallery. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, public art can address community issues such as transportation, safety, and security.
During the 1970s, urban cultural policies were developed to promote public art, and it acquired an increasingly important role. These programs, along with artistic efforts, allied with efforts to regenerate cities and neighborhoods.
Today, there are many government-funded public art programs available to cities and towns. Each program varies by location and theme. They can be temporary or permanent. Many can offer jobs to local residents and tourists, and can even improve street safety. Additionally, they can help combat social isolation and anxiety.
The federal government funded the Federal Art Project, which employed thousands of artists to create a significant body of public art. A variety of works were created, including murals, street paving, artist-designed glazing, and bas reliefs.
Another type of public art is interactive, which encourages direct hands-on interaction. This type of artwork can include video, light, or musical components. It can also feature water components. Some examples of this type of art are the Ontario Science Centre fountain, which is a musical instrument, and the Gertrude Street Projection Festival, a digital projection art event.
Some examples of permanent public art are statues, memorials, and civic statuary. They are usually made from durable materials and are meant to be in place for a long period of time. However, they must be designed to stand up to the elements, which means that they will be affected by weather and wear.
In addition, they should be accessible to the public. Typically, they are free and open to all. Depending on the site, public art can also be integrated into another structure or space. For instance, the Seed sculpture, located in Jubail Island, Abu Dhabi, is a sculpture that represents the life cycle of a plant.
Another type of public art is symbolic, which attributes meaning to objects. Examples of this are the Seven Sisters, daughters of Bunjil, and the Koorie creation story, Another View Site 17.
When designing public art, it’s critical to consider how the artwork will interact with the environment. Depending on the situation, this can degrade the artwork, or enhance its effect. Therefore, it’s important to choose a material that’s able to withstand the elements and be maintained by the owner.
As a result, the public art industry is continually evolving. New forms of public art are being developed to meet the needs of modern society. By exploring new themes and concepts, they redefine the way we think about collective identity, community, and social engagement.
While the concept of public art has changed over the years, one thing remains the same: art is a democratic way to communicate to the masses. Because it can be exhibited outside of a gallery or museum, it’s accessible to all.