4/21 Creative Conversation: Public (Art x Space)

by admin on April 5, 2010

Listen to the audio of this event: Public (Art x Space)

Image: TreeHouse by Benjamin Jones for Figment

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In recent years, New York City has become a major locus for exploring the role of art in public spaces, art as public space, and the art of public space. These valuable initiatives represent not only a means for engaging and developing vibrant communities, but give us new ways to think about managing the arts. For this Creative Conversation, four local champions in public art practice shared behind-the-scenes cases of projects they have managed; reflected on motivations, strategies for success, and lessons learned as advocates for dynamic, livable cities.

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Panelists: David Koren, Executive Producer, Figment Lauren Ross, Curator and Director of Arts Programs, The High Line Representative from Department of Transportation, Urban Art Program

Moderated by: Katie Denny, North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition

Wednesday, April 21, 6:30pm WNYC’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space 44 Charlton Street (at Varick Street)

Listen to the podcast:
[audio:Public Art Discussion.mp3]

View Images

Read on for panelist bios and more…

Panelist bios:

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David Koren is the executive producer of FIGMENT, and serves as the executive director of Action Arts League, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to participatory arts and culture. He has significant experience in the areas of arts, architecture, marketing, event production, and management. David is an Associate Principal and the Director of Marketing at Perkins Eastman, the largest architecture firm in New York. He is the author of The Architect’s Essentials of Marketing, a basic guide to marketing for architects, published by John Wiley & Sons. In January 2008, David was named one of the “40 under 40” in Building Design & Construction Magazine. He is a graduate of New York University (BFA in Dramatic Writing) and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland (M.Phil. in Irish Theatre). Two of his plays are published, and are performed frequently around the United States and abroad. FIGMENT celebrates an abundance of creativity and passion, challenging artists and our communities to find new ways to create, share, think, and dream. Become a part of events in NYC (June 11‐13) and Boston (June 5), and interactive exhibits on NYC’s Governors Island from June through October. For more information, visit http://figmentproject.org.

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Lauren Ross is the curator and director of arts programs at The High Line, Manhattan’s elevated public park that opened in 2009. The park traverses well-known art districts and aims to make a connection with the arts through commissions and creative partnerships.

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Department of Transportation, Urban Art Program The Urban Art Program is an initiative to invigorate the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. As part of the World Class Streets initiative, art will help foster more vibrant and attractive streets and offer the public new ways to experience New York City’s streetscapes.

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Katie Denny (moderator) will represent the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition. The mission of the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition (NbPac) is to work with artists and the communities of Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick to produce art in public spaces. Based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NbPac aims to create opportunities for artists, spark dialogue with community members and address issues within our neighborhoods and open spaces.

Co-presented by: ELNYA & SNEAC

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Emerging Leaders of New York Arts (ELNYA) is a New York City-based networking and professional development group that explores challenges, best practices, and new ideas in the field of arts management. We are an evolving group of arts administrators in our 20s and 30s who strive to empower ourselves with hands-on leadership opportunities and programming that elevates our field.

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Student Network Exploring Arts & Culture (SNEAC) is an NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service student group whose mission is to promote informed discourse and activity in the arts and cultural sector with an emphasis on policy and administration.

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{ 2 trackbacks }

FIGMENT Pavillion Competition Winners and ELNYA Creative Conversation « Governors Island Blog
April 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm
Public Art vs. art in public: Let’s do more (22 Apr 10) « KIANGA ELLIS
May 5, 2011 at 4:17 pm

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 selena April 7, 2010 at 9:33 am

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Hey ELNYA Friends! We want to know what you think about this topic and event. Seriously, let’s get the conversation started before the event. We will be inviting our panelists to comment here and invite you to do so too.

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What do you think about public art? Were The Waterfalls a waste of money? Were The Gates all they were cracked up to be? Anyone remember those crying Hello Kitty sculptures at Lever House? Should the city be funding public art? How much say should the public have in selecting public art? Does the public have any say? What about public art that’s performance?–anyone have good examples?

I’m personally interested in the line between public art and graffiti. Check out http://www.woostercollective.com/ –it’s got great documentation of art on both sides of that line.

2 Danielle April 15, 2010 at 10:18 am

I’m trying to RSVP for this event, but the link is not working. Any chance this will be fixed soon? Thanks.

3 lisa April 15, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Not sure why it wasn’t working but I just registered, so it should be all good now. Looking forward to the conversation!

4 Yooree Losordo April 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

There are some very interesting comments/questions that have been raised through the registration process.

Here’s one from Jill M:
“Is the environmental impact considered based on what and where the public art will be located? Or even art upkeep after it is installed?”

And from Irene L:
“What are the indicators that have been used to measure impact of public art projects?”

If you can provide any insight into these questions, please feel free to post a comment.

5 marisa April 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Thought that was a great discussion last night! It was interesting to hear (and not all that surprising) that arts education related to these public art programs/events is limited. What can artists, teachers, educational institutions, community-based organizations, and others do to rectify this?

6 Kianga April 22, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Loved the discussion last night. I posted a (possibly) provocative response on the blog for N.U.A. Pavilion. Here’s an excerpt: My impression from some comments made was that so-called “Street Art” was viewed with disdain and was primarily identified with being illegal. I did not hear a sensitivity or appreciation of Street Art as legitimate art, one with a particular aesthetic and history…it’s not just art in the street, after all. Public Art, it seemed, referred exclusively to the works of certain kinds of artists (even if not well-known or established) who gained access to the public space because they entered through the right gate. So, Public Art should indeed be a capitalized term because it is a very specific thing, apparently, and if you are an artist who wants to fall under its umbrella you’ve got to figure out who the gate keepers are and what are the rules of engagement. This all strikes me as impenetrable and profoundly disturbing…

7 Yooree Losordo April 29, 2010 at 11:04 am

@Kianga –
I wasn’t able to attend so I can’t comment on the reception to Street Art, so can you post a link to your full post on the NUA Pavilion?

8 David Koren May 14, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Kianga, I think you’re referring to an offhand comment I made on the panel that the difference between public art and street art is that street art is usually illegal. What I meant by that is that what groups like FIGMENT does is actually legitimize and make safe activity that in other contexts is illegal or would not be allowed. We love street artists, and many of them bring their art to FIGMENT, and because FIGMENT is there to work with the authorities and to set a general framework for the art, the artists are able to do what they do. The fact is that we live in a place where there are rules, and there are people who would rather that you didn’t make waves. We make it okay to make waves. We encourage wild creativity and chaos, within a basic framework. To me, public art and street art are just terms that are used differently by different people, and depending on who you’d ask you’d get different definitions. What’s important to me is to provide a forum whereby absolutely anyone can bring their art and contribute, no matter who they are, where they come from, what their sensibility is, as long as they are interested in interaction or participation. That’s what FIGMENT does. I don’t personally see any particular hierarchy between public art or street art. It’s all legitimate, and all welcome.

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