San Diego and Public Art

Posted by Dana Springs On April - 15 - 20115 COMMENTS

Narric Rome

The story of how the federal government funded the National Endowment for the Arts and the Arts in Education program at the U.S. Department of Education really began on November 2, 2010.

Election Day delivered a major change of power in Washington with the GOP regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives and tightening the margin of control in the U.S. Senate.

With the GOP set to take control of the House in January, the House Democrats found themselves unable to pass a FY2011 budget and had to settle for a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government until March 3, 2011.

This CR funded the National Endowment for the Arts at $167.5 million and the Arts in Education program was provided $40 million – which was the same amount they received the prior year.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sahar Javedani

I am an artist.

I am an administrator.

I am a teacher.

I am an advocate.

My destined path of arts education and advocacy began at an early age.

As the child of an Iranian architect and set designer, I have actively participated in the arts throughout my upbringing.

Raised in Encinitas in North County San Diego, California, my youth consisted of participating in community theater productions, conferences, and competitions. When it came time to decide on my academic future, I knew with 100% confidence that I would pursue a career in the performing arts.   Read the rest of this entry »

If you’re wondering what your organization can do to take chances and make the most of future, it is probably time to try out group discounts, mobile apps, QR codes, etc., check out this new post by tech-pert Amelia Northrop.

The post is an expanded version of an article in our latest members-only newsletter, Arts Link.

For those of you with smartphones, use your barcode app to scan this QR code: 

To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of Americans for the Arts, visit our Membership page!

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The Art in Transportation

Posted by Wendy Feuer On April - 15 - 20111 COMMENT

Wendy Feuer

Wendy Feuer, Assistant Commissioner of Urban Design and Art, New York City Department of Transportation, will present her innovative program at the Built Infrastructure: Interdisciplinary Initiatives Public Art Preconference session in San Diego this June.

Feuer’s blog outlines proposal authored by the Transportation Research Board Subcommittee on Art and Design Excellence in Transportation. The study will examine art in transportation program, feasibility, art and design in transportation projects, proposed funding of programs, and assessing value and outcomes – to offer successful models for how more transportation agencies can incorporate public art.

Transportation infrastructure is one of the leading ‘shovel-ready’ programs of our nation’s agenda, let’s add art to the equation. ~ Liesel

Many communities are interested in public art programs to further their economic development, tourism, and place-making initiatives. Art programs can enhance the quality of public spaces, reflect local culture, and provide a venue for community engagement in project planning and design decisions.

In these ways, art programs can support the Livability Principles of the Federal Partnership of DOT, HUD, and EPA.

As public transportation agencies (sponsoring urban and rural public transit, high-speed and intercity rail, air travel, passenger boat and ferry travel, bicycling infrastructure, and walkable neighborhoods) respond to community interest and incorporate art in their projects, the need has been demonstrated for a resource booklet of successful public art processes and practices specific to the context of public transportation.   Read the rest of this entry »

Get Honored for Your Work

Posted by Liesel Fenner On April - 15 - 20111 COMMENT
Every Beating Second

Every Beating Second

Former PAN Council member and Year in Review Award winner, Janet Echelman’s Every Beating Second, just premiered at Terminal 2 in the San Francisco Airport. Additional SFO artworks will be highlighted in the Travelers as Cultural Audience Public Art Preconference Session.

While all of that work is already being spotlighted at this year’s Americans for the Arts Annual Convention, you still have time to share that spotlight.

The 2011 Public Art Network Year in Review is accepting project submissions until next Friday, April 22, 2011.   Read the rest of this entry »

Madame Curie

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has commissioned Jennifer Steinkamp to create a new work for MCASD Downtown’s Joan and Irwin Jacobs Building.

Entitled Madame Curie, this new commission is inspired by Steinkamp’s recent research into atomic energy, atomic explosions, and the effects of these forces on nature.

Marie Curie was the recipient of two Nobel Prizes for creating the theory of radioactivity, and discovering radium and polonium.   Read the rest of this entry »

Helen Lessick

There are three reasons public art file searches are performed: Cultural Tourism, Community Practice, and Critical Assessment.

1. Cultural Tourism: Where is the artwork (GPS/location info), what is it (art work title sometimes is what is being searched), who made it (artist’s name), and what does it look like (a clear image of piece as experienced by the viewer)?

2. Community Practice: How the community achieves the project, a lessons-learned toolkit, documenting what was done, who did it, and how. This type of material includes artist selection, proposal, contacts, contracts, maintenance report, community engagement, and fabrication records.

3. Critical Assessment: These are materials generated outside the work of the artist and any commissioning agency. They may include critical writing mentioning the project, press releases, art dedication, and project description. Currently, art administration educators and their TAs are building courses about our practice. Art critics and bloggers are writing about stuff in public. Professional media outlets seem to shout the loudest, and turn up first in online searches.   Read the rest of this entry »

Michael Killoren

The following is an extended version of our Q&A session with Michael Killoren, Director of Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America Fast Track at the National Endowment for the Arts, featured in the current issue of Arts Link, our quarterly member newsletter.

To find out more about the benefits of becoming a member of Americans for the Arts, visit our Membership page:

What is your overall role as the director of Local Arts Agencies and Challenge America Fast Track at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)?

I’m responsible for the oversight and management of these two program areas, in alignment with the new strategic direction under the “Art Works” guiding principle.

You transitioned last fall to the NEA from the Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs in Seattle. What’s it like to move from a local or regional organization to one with a national reach? Read the rest of this entry »

From Albuquerque to New Haven, from Providence to Portland, from Kansas City to Culver City, from Toledo to El Paso, from New Orleans to Albuquerque, over 28 public art collections across America are collaborating with cultureNOW to create a digital National Gallery of art and architecture in the public realm.

Already one of the largest and most comprehensive compendiums in the country, the online collection encompasses more than 6,000 sites and 11,000 images.

The website and iPhone app were created for people who are curious about the world outside of gallery walls.

It is meant to tackle some of the challenges of visiting works of art and architecture.

Is the piece where it’s supposed to be? If you make an excursion to a specific artwork, is something else interesting nearby? How can you minimize schlepping heavy guidebooks around the city?

Would it be possible to actually stand in front of a work of art and see the rest of the pictures, the drawings, the installation photos while you were listening to the artist explain the vision?   Read the rest of this entry »

Cathy Breslaw

As a contemporary visual artist working and living in San Diego county, I am always contemplating where and how my work can be exhibited.

Over the last several years I have had opportunities to be part of temporary public art exhibitions in downtown commercial buildings, private companies, restaurants, and the San Diego International Airport.

While these exhibits have provided good places to be seen in the area, I never really thought about these exhibitions as “public art.”

I pretty much took these shows for granted and in many ways, I may have been blinded by the traditional notions that “good art” should be seen in other venues like contemporary galleries, college and university galleries, museums, and hip nonprofit spaces.

I didn’t evaluate exhibition opportunities in the broadest sense and now that I have had time to reflect upon the past, I have learned some things.

One thing that has opened my eyes to the expansiveness of public art is the book I read called The Artists Guide to Public Art by Lynn Basa.   Read the rest of this entry »

Melinda Childs

After spending the past few years developing an Artist Services program for Forecast Public Art, I was thrilled to hear that the Public Art Network is creating conference content to specifically serve the needs of independent public artists.

I was honored when PAN asked me to facilitate the first ever Artist Track sessions. I soon realized I didn’t exactly know what that would entail since there was no precedent.

We’re conducting an exciting experiment, and I hope you will be inspired to take part!

The PAN Preconference is a natural opportunity for public art program administrators around the nation to connect with artists seeking projects and commissions.    Read the rest of this entry »

Helen Lessick

Project management in public art is, increasingly, information management.

As I travel, research and learn for WRAP, the Web-based Resources for Art in Public initiative, I see the potential for dots to connect across disciplines and efforts.

In public art administration we manage selection committees, contracts, and community processes to get an artist selected.

When the project is done, we manage documentation of the project, including its presence as a cultural object in our facility; its contractual life as a community building tool; and its online informational profile.

In public art competition and design, we manage our images and artists’ statements, documenting (and endlessly resizing) our creative works and our innovations in outreach, process, and community engagement. We write letters, articles, proposals and master plans, stored on the cloud, a hard drive, or memory stick, to help us apply for the next creative opportunity.   Read the rest of this entry »

Joanna Chin

Joanna Chin

In the past few weeks, I’ve become addicted to this new online thing.

And by addicted, I simply mean that participating in it has sort of taken over my free time.

No, it’s not Twitter or Facebook or Linkedin or FourSquare…in fact, it’s not any of the usual suspects.

My latest web crush is called OpenIDEO.

It’s an online platform developed by the design firm, IDEO, as a way to include a broader range of people in tackling significant global problems through the design process.

Basically, it works like this:   Read the rest of this entry »

Porter Arneill

From my perch on the far western edge of Missouri overlooking Kansas, I’ve been watching feuds on both sides of the state line as the two state arts agencies face the political and economic challenges du jour.

To the west, the Kansas Arts Commission recently faced abolishment as part of the governor’s executive reorganization order.

Fortunately, with help from legislators, individuals, and the Kansas Citizens for the Arts, they persevered. Unfortunately, the struggle isn’t over—the state legislature still has to resolve the Kansas Arts Commission’s annual budget and the Governor has a line-item veto.

To the east, the Missouri Arts Council was zeroed out by the House, despite the Governor’s recommendation of funding at $1.2 million.

Ironically, this is in part because the Missouri Arts Council has a trust fund that was created and intended to grow as an endowment.

They’ll have grant funds for next year and perhaps beyond but without approved budgetary allocations, spending those funds now is effectively cannibalizing future resources.   Read the rest of this entry »