I’ve been considering how great it is to live in a city that loves creating new cultural activities, festivals, and opportunities for visual artists. The mayor has allocated funds to each of Chicago’s 50 neighborhoods specifically for public art-related community projects. The Wabash Arts Corridor has added over 30 murals to a few city blocks and is host to Big Walls in September, a super hip public street art-making festival.
Public art is one of the ways many people connect to a space. It can drive tourism to a location and it can give people a sense of pride and ownership in the communities in which they live. More and more I see cities implementing public art initiatives to bring hope and energy to people and places that have been neglected or forgotten. What I love about public art is that it’s all free, it’s available to anyone and it can become a voice and a connector for a community.
In our world today, where we photograph ourselves with things that inspire us and show others that we are experiencing life, Public Art is certainly becoming one of the most important ways of connecting people to places. What is it that compels a person stand in front of a giant mural with their friends or take millions of photos at Chicago’s Cloud Gate scupture. (otherwise known as “The Bean”) It’s Art! And it's calling to us to interact, to look closer, to delight in it’s existence. It’s the photograph of the art that connects us to time and place. It may seem like just a backdrop, but it is the celebration of creativity as a meaningful moment and it’s worth sharing.
Public Art can give a city an identity and connect the outsiders and the insiders.
I am working on a collection of images for the "Year of Public Art" focusing on the idea of “Opening your Eyes" to the artistic world around you. Here’s a few of the images from the new collection I am creating which I'm planning to turn into posters, T-shirts and banners.
Which one is your favorite?