Public art is art that has a direct connection to the community and is usually installed in places that are accessible to everyone. This type of art often includes sculptures and murals, but it can also include more modern forms of art such as digital new media, experiential arts, and performances.
It’s a way to bring people together and to spark important conversations about social issues. It’s also a way to make sure that art doesn’t just end up in museums and galleries, says Rachel Patterson, professor of the history of art and architecture at Ohio State University.
Whether it’s a piece of art that is meant to beautify a street or one that’s trying to raise awareness about a certain issue, public art brings people together and makes them feel like they belong.
In addition to being visually appealing, the best public art is also functional and integrated into its surroundings. It may be a sculpture of a person or an animal, for example, that becomes a fixture in a city. Locals may call it their favorite, take photos with it and fight to protect it.
This is the most common type of public art and can range in style from a painting to a sculpture. It can be commissioned or created by a community and made in a variety of materials.
An example of this is Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, a large, colorful, sculpture that has become a popular tourist spot in Millennium Park, Chicago. It was commissioned as part of the park’s new design by Chicago-based firm Aeon Architecture.
Many cities use art installations to transform blighted areas into vibrant and engaging spaces. These interventions have a wide range of benefits, including improved street safety and a boost in tourism. They can also help combat feelings of social isolation and anxiety, and promote stewardship of public spaces by residents.
It’s also a way to increase diversity in a community, according to John Reardon, senior planner at Vancouver-based urban planning and design consultancy Happy City. “We look at it as a way to connect people to a community and to the place where they live and work, and a way to celebrate what they have in their communities.”
The definition of public art is very broad, but there are a few things that all public art has in common: It must be accessible to the general population, it should be in an easily accessible location, and it should be rooted in a community.
1. It must be easily accessible to the public
The most obvious benefit of public art is that it’s free and open to the public. This is different from art museums and other types of artworks that often require a ticket or a donation.
2. It must be rooted in the community and not go on tour
Unlike private art, which can move around and be displayed in a number of different locations as its ownership changes, most public art is permanently anchored to a specific place.