What do you think of when you hear the words, “public art?” A figurative bronze sculpture of a local hero or historical figure? Perhaps a large, brightly painted, abstract steel sculpture on your local University campus? Maybe even a landscape painting that hangs in the lobby of City Hall behind Plexiglas?
Well, here are some things that might not immediately spring to mind:
- A “Dance Bomb” by a contemporary Indigenous dance company1,
- A large, temporary mandala constructed in a town center from the bread and seeds of local residents, washed away hours later by a large rainstorm2,
- A 50 foot digital dome showing an interactive immersive video project of a ground-breaking temporary installation by Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei and a Navajo artist in remote Navajo Country3,
- A flock of ceramic birds decorated with words and text of controversial histories or personal stories “landing” in a park or parking lot for a day, then disappearing4.