Public Art Symposia

Public Art and the City 2014:Art as Social Practice, Art on Campus, and the Future of Public art in Louisville

The symposium’s keynote presentation will be by conceptual artist Mel Chin, interviewed by Speed Art Museum Curator of Contemporary Art, Miranda Lash.

Chin is well known for collaborative artwork with environmental, political and social themes: the artist investigates how art can provide greater social awareness and responsibility.  Chin’s works are created in a variety of art media and are placed in landscapes, public places, gallery and museum exhibitions, as well as unlikely locations such as destroyed homes and toxic landfills.

The artist’s first retrospective, Mel Chin - Rematch was organized by Miranda Lash for the New Orleans Museum of Art.  Mel Chin - Rematch travels to the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, and will be on view from Sept. 5to Dec. 21, 2014.

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Public Art and the City: Art In/On The Landscape Symposium 2013

The Symposium's Keynote Presentation was delivered by Mary Miss, founder of the City as Living Laboratory, which provides a framework for making issues of social and environmental sustainability tangible through collaboration and the arts. Trained as a sculptor, her work creates situations emphasizing a sites history, its ecology, or aspects of the environment that have gone unnoticed.

Symposium panelists discussed recent public art projects in St. Louis, Nashville, and Long Beach, Calif. The featured artists have created or managed works in outdoor settings such as vacant city lots, flooded waterfronts and alongside urban waterways.

Dan Jones, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Parks, gave the luncheon talk about the Parklands of Floyds Fork urban parks system project. The afternoon roundtable session about perspectives on public art featured U of L professors discussing sacred sites in a global perspective, environmental history, urban planning and mapping as a tool to understand landscape.

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Public Art Symposium 2012

Public Art and the City 2012 is the second of a continuing dialogue that seeks to engage the region's artists, students, curators, administrators, and other professionals in thinking about and discussing public art in theory and praxis.

The conference included an evening of portfolio reviews and presentations by young scholars, in addition to a full day of presentations and opportunities to define, challenge, and conceive of public art as well as closely examine case studies and best practices.

The Symposium’s Keynote Presentation was delivered on Friday afternoon by Renee Piechocki, Director of the Office of Public Art, Pittsburgh, PA.

Piechocki’s lecture and discussion looked at frameworks for successful public art programs in the US, paying particular attention to community involvement, models of communication, and educational programming.

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Public Art and the City Symposium 2011

The 2011 Symposium Keynote speaker was Professor Theresa Leininger-Miller from the Department of Art at University of Cincinnati. Her talk "Courting Controversy or Placating Provincialism: 140 Years of Public Art in Cincinnati" traced the history of Cincinnati's public art in the central business district from its oldest and best-known piece, The Tyler Davidson Fountain (1871), to the present. Professor Leininger-Miller examined Cincinnati as a case study of a Midwestern city reflecting national trends, including monuments, memorials, government funding, abstract art, and local tributes. She discussed works created for the Queen City's Bicentennial of 1988, as well as national competitions for art at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, among other projects.

Panels included "LOCAL FIRST: PUBLIC ART ORGANIZATIONS AND COLLABORATIONS" which examined local public art programs, initiatives and projects; "ART + PUBLIC=PUBLIC ART" which explored how artists define the terms public and art; and "MAPPING, IDENTIFYING, AND CREATING LEGACIES: INTERNET RESOURCES FOR PUBLIC ART" on how internet technologies, including Web 2.0 technology and other digital platforms, are viable resources for - and a means of creating public art.

Roundtable Break 0ut Sessions explored "Public Art and Preservation","Re-creating Civic Space" and "The Politics of Memory and Memorials."

Participants were also offered an evening "artwalk" tour of the New Albany Bicentennial Public Art Project.

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