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( Hieronymus Bosch – ‘The Conjuror’, 1775 ). This workshop/enquiry…. Slides to explain the discussion question Interaction welcome throughout, for fun, but help me keep it rolling productively (Maybe write notes, for main discussion) Okay?. First….

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this workshop enquiry
This workshop/enquiry…
  • Slides to explain the discussion question
  • Interaction welcome throughout, for fun, but help me keep it rolling productively (Maybe write notes, for main discussion) Okay?

Some slides to explain the question

what s the point of art anyway
What’s the point of art anyway?
  • Relief, long-term happiness
    • Helps us escape/transcend the petty/mundane
  • Creativity, prosperity
    • Promotes imagination –in play and business
    • Attracts quality people and businesses to town
  • Town identity, attractiveness
    • In time, defines a place – creates identity
    • Citizens proud to belong, join in community
public art i f we pay for it and see it around us every day for years why can t we vote select it

(Public art) If we pay for it and see it around us every day for years, why can’t we vote-select it ?

Examples of unpopular public art

The City of Shreveport paid $40,000 for this depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King in what was supposed to be, a memorable image. It sat in a warehouse for over a year before the city had the nerve to install it. Finally, on January 25th, the Shreveport City Council voted to sell it for scrap. -

Examples of unpopular public art

The City of Shreveport paid $15,000 for this odd shaped planter full of rubble and weeds. The city's art-selectors called it a sculpture.

Public art that almost everyone loves

Although the bust of the Greek God Hermes is actually part of this entire statue, Praxiteles mastery of facial details and hair has made it one of the most revered and studied busts in the world of sculpture. To this day his skills in this arena remain unrivaled.

Public art that almost everyone loves

Music puts pigs into Hog Heaven (Bremen, Germany)

Public art that almost everyone loves

(Paris, France, from same website)

Public art that almost everyone loves

Water feature, Cuba Street Wellington

Public art that almost everyone loves

( Living statue, walking in Wanganui )

Public art that almost everyone loves

Urban Care competition pukeko, Palmerston North

Public art that uhh…

Clock tower and balls, in “Square”, Palmerston North

(Precedent - Australia)

People back Archibald judges

“The striking portrait of actor David Gulpilil that won this year's Archibald Prize yesterday also took out the People's Choice Award.

The portrait, by Sydney artist Craig Ruddy, was voted No.1 by more than 11,455 of the 60,133 visitors polled, Art Gallery of NSW director Edmund Capon said yesterday.”

sioux falls south dakota
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • SculptureWalk [2004] is a new, exciting venture for the Sioux Falls community. It is an exhibit [public polled] of outdoor sculptures displayed year-around in historic downtown Sioux Falls.
  • Besides the beauty and passion that SculptureWalk will bring to downtown Sioux Falls, the sculptures will also grow the economy through increased tourism and develop Sioux Falls as a center for the art and artists in the Midwest.
  • This program shows many of the sculptures on display, and introduces you to a few of the artists that helped make downtown Sioux Falls beautiful.

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

“People can vote on their favorite sculpture for the city of Sioux Falls to buy for its permanent collection by voting online or picking up a SculptureWalk guide at downtown businesses.

The deadline for voting on a sculpture for the city's permanent collection is Aug. 15.

Many of the SculptureWalk pieces are for sale, but potential buyers who bid must wait until the vote is finished to collect their artwork. The sculpture chosen by the public for purchase by the city will not be available.

At Leanin' Tree Museum

‘Sea Dream’ Sioux Falls

london leytonstone subway hitchcock mosaic
London, Leytonstone subway, Hitchcock mosaic
  • “The members of the public then voted for the 17 pictures they liked best out of the 34 on display and added comments on their forms if they so wished.
  • The exhibition was supposed to run for only one week but was so popular it continued for two.
  • About 100 people voted and all comments were read and taken into consideration before any decisions were made.”
(Precedent – Palmerston North)

A photo exhibition by students in a Broadway St. shopping mall had a poll asking the public for opinions on each photo.

precedent australia
(Precedent - Australia)

“There was a huge response to the People's Choice, with several thousand votes collected. The overwhelming favourite was Ruth Downes' work, an engaging sculpture comprising forty imaginative individual cups and saucers.“

“While developing my public artworks, I was exposed not only to the diversity of peoples' needs and aspirations, but also to their desire to belong in their community. I learnt the value of accessibility - that my sculptures should positively enliven and enrich our daily lives.

This sense of 'daily life' led me to look at the rituals in all our lives. Domestic paraphernalia has also absorbed and fascinated me, shared and familiar objects that could touch a diverse audience. It soon became apparent that the rituals surrounding tea offered a vibrant and cohesive”

What might happen if public art was all ‘high-voted’ art? - Say, 80% favour needed- Start with temporary placements
‘Happenings’ near favourite art

- Gathering, talking

- People-watching

- Spontaneous music, dance, romance

City ‘identity’ from the art

- Citizen pride

  • Sense of ownership, belonging, community
  • “My town…”, “Our city…”
more relevant art
“More relevant” art
  • Relating to daily realities & culture of people

“Marriage carousel”, by Jürgen Weber (from 1541 poem, “My wife’ is heaven and hell, devil and angel, peace and strife.” Hans-Sachs-Brunnen)

Mana/magic of a site. Culture.

- People meet/embark from the art site

- Becomes ‘woven into’ lives & minds

Downtown Toronto drummers

Kowloon Central Park, Sculpture Walk

‘Funding confidence’ in art

(e.g. councillors, decision makers)

Increased ‘conversation’ between the artists and the community
  • Progressive community & artist learning
  • Growing sophistication (smarts) about art
  • More & better art offered for placement (‘good’ displaced by ‘wonderful’)
Widespread interest

- Becomes arena for art acclaim/status

- Artists move into town

  • Visitors
  • On the web: photos, talk, business
No art pieces achieve the required 80% public acclaim

- Wait?

- Spread the net?

- Leave a tantalizing space to provoke endeavour?

- Interim-install the most favoured?

Simple ballot box (beside a sketch of the art, or the art itself, posed temporarily in place)

- Name

- Tel no. as ID,

- Vote yes/no or 1-10

Public competitions, for a known need (e.g. at four entrances to city)
  • If it gets 80% approval, it qualifies to be funded/installed
  • Response by hotline poll
Media publicity aspects
  • Probably welcome material to media
  • Ongoing parade of art being considered
  • Discussion, more focus on arts
PNCC – possible strategies
  • Be seen to question cost while actually increasing public enjoyment of art
    • Small art pieces are beautiful too
    • Require free ‘concept previews’ before buying
    • Include ALL artists in the competition
    • Only pay for what public says it loves best
    • Get the media involved – enliven’s town
Menlo Park Council forces businesses to fund public art painted by Boys and Girls club.
  • Menlo council votes to repaint public art law
  • By Rebecca Wallace Almanac Staff Writer
  • The design for the mural at the Menlo Chevron service station was ready to go, with images of colorful cars at a gas pump.
  • The kids from the Boys and Girls Club practically had the paintbrushes in their hands. All this, despite the fact that station owner John Conway didn't want the art.
  • Now the mural probably won't ever become reality. And, some art-lovers say, neither will many other works of public art that could have been.
  • In a move that made business folks beam and art-lovers cringe, the Menlo Park City Council on March 30 took a swipe at the city's public art law, directing city staff to draw up a new version. This one would allow all applicants with building projects facing the public art mandate to pay an in-lieu fee instead of installing art on their property.
  • Currently, applicants qualify for the fee only if the Arts Commission determines that there's no appropriate place on their site for art.
  • Even though the Menlo Chevron mural was set to be painted in June, the action didn't come too late for Mr. Conway, who fervently opposes the law as an unfair burden to businesses. The council agreed that the amendments would be retroactive, applying to applicants whose projects are already going through the public art process.
  • After the meeting, Mr. Conway said he would scrap the mural and pay the in-lieu fee if the council ultimately approves the amendments.
  • "I really don't want that painting on the building. I still feel that art is inappropriate there," he said. His Chevron station, located on El Camino Real at Oak Grove Avenue, recently re-opened after a $1 million remodel and upgrade.
  • The law requires developers of commercial, industrial and municipal projects costing at least $250,000 to pay 1 percent of construction costs to put in art. The in-lieu fee, however, would go into a citywide fund that city officials would use for art elsewhere, probably on municipal land.
  • The Arts Commission had recommended that if the fee were to be open to everyone, it should be boosted to 1.5 percent for costs that the city would then cover: choosing an artist, installing the art, maintaining it. Some members of the council, though, wanted to keep the fee at 1 percent and asked the commission to look into what the city's costs would be.
  • Councilwoman Mickie Winkler, who made the motion for the amendments, had said the higher fee would deter businesses from coming to Menlo Park.
  • At the meeting, Mayor Lee Duboc asked City Attorney Bill McClure if it is legal to make the changes retroactive. "Business people want relief," she said, supporting the motion. Mr. McClure said the move would be legal.
  • Mr. Conway's views have been aligned with those of the councilwomen before. He's president of the political group Menlo Park Matters, which has backed Ms. Winkler and Ms. Duboc and champions such issues as streamlining the permitting process for businesses.
  • Mr. Conway also had two vocal defenders at the meeting: his sisters, who waved hand-lettered signs that said "No Art For Menlo Chevron" and "Keep Chevron Red, White, and Blue."
  • "Don't you have more important things to do?" sister Candy Galea shouted at the council. "Let this poor man pay you your money -- that's what this is all about -- so we can all go home!"
  • Councilmen Chuck Kinney and Nicholas Jellins also voted for the amendments. Paul Collacchi abstained, saying that he had always opposed the law as an inappropriate way to mitigate the effects of construction.
  • The council also agreed to review the law again in 18 months.
  • Less public art?
  • The decision was a disappointment to Arts Commission Chair Nancy Chillag, who has championed a public art law from the very beginning and thought it was too early to review the ordinance, which took effect in September 2002.
  • Because of the economic slowdown, only a few projects have fallen under the law. A mural has been installed at the new Mike's Cafe on Middlefield Road, and a decorative bench is now at the 7-Eleven on Alma Street.
  • A mural was approved in March for the expanding Longs Pharmacy in Sharon Heights, and four other applications are in process, including the planned Safeway renovation on El Camino Real.
  • Ms. Chillag also raised another concern: if businesses pay into the in-lieu fund rather than putting art on their sites, art could end up concentrated only in city sites such as parks, rather than providing a widespread benefit. It could be difficult for the city to work with owners of private property to put art there, she added.
  • "This could result in less art," she said.
  • In the meeting, though, Mr. Jellins said, "I believe that we as a city can do a pretty good job of putting it (art) in various places."
  • Resident Erin Glanville voiced concern after the meeting that a 1 percent in-lieu fee could mean the city wouldn't be able to recoup its art-related costs.
  • "I came away unsure about how committed the entire council was to art," she said.
  • Ms. Chillag added that she felt bad for the children who had planned to paint the Menlo Chevron mural: "What a slap in the face to the Boys and Girls Club."
  • Mr. Conway said he would probably give a donation to the club.